Thursday after I had an early morning walk (Piper asleep) down the “ginnel” (moving from the grafitti-laced alleyway to a semirural path through the neighborhood, mostly of Liverpudlian decrepitude), Pi and I took the double-decker “Magic Bus” down Wilmslow Road to the center of Manchester (Piccadilly Gardens).
There we spent several hours walking around with our trusty cameras: from redbrick Victorian oldtown, along the very urban canal, across to the river, up to the circular main library and the town hall; then toured the art museum of 17th-19th century works including by Blake, Rosetti, Renoir, etc. as well as some contemporary folks. Quick lunch from a Subway -- of all places! – and after getting a bit lost (little or no signage when you needed it) decided to forego the Manchester “Eye” and bused back.
Friday I took another morning walk through nearby Birch Park (Piper asleep) which was a “beautiful” large, grassy, wooded acreage but ultimately boring; and then D and I walked (Piper reading) to the grocery store via Platt Fields park, more interesting, including a big pond filled with moorhens, ducks, a hundred or so Canada geese, and swans. I was able to ruffle the tailfeathers of a cygnet who was nose-down in the water (the mother was unamused). Next to the park was a large neighborhood of student housing (once terraced housing for the lower classes) – pretty desolate and wholly without gardens or decoration. And then we took the hour-and-a-half train from Piccadilly Station to