Friday, 30 December 2011

England: Day Three

This is Day 3 in a series. You might want to check out the previous day, or start at the introduction.

Finally, on day three, we reached England. Manchester, specifically.

But we'll get to that.

The day, overall, was much slower than the others have been so far. I slept in and then had a late breakfast. After that, we went on another walk of Howth. However, this time we did a walk down the pier, as opposed to around the downtown. This is what Howth looks like from the pier:
A photo looking down the pier at the... beach I guess, and the coastline.
It's not raining for once!
As you can see, it's a quaint town, on a beautiful landscape. I really enjoyed my stay there. The country is quite beautiful.

For lunch, we went out to a local fish shop called The Oar House, and got (presumably) fresh fish. I got fish and chips, because I figured that Irish fish and chips won't really be any different from English fish and chips. They aren't, by the way.

After that, we went out souvenir shopping, but were unsuccessful. Which I was kind of expecting, so I wasn't disappointed.

Actually, I came back fairly happy, because I did pick something up: a book, American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I've heard good things about it, and it won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, and other awards, so I hope I'll like it. I'm not usually one to impulse buy. I may post a review of it when I finish (whenever that will be), but we'll see. (UPDATE: I hated the book. It did not need that many sex scenes, and they were all way too graphic. I threw it out without finishing it.)

Anyhow, we went back to the house and packed up after that, then went to the airport. We bid farewell to Auntie June, and hopped on the plane for England. We were flying on a smallish airline, Ryanair. They, apparently, found a way to cut costs by not docking at the airport gates, but instead loading all of the passengers onto buses and then driving them out onto the tarmac and letting them walk up stairs to the plane:
Us boarding the airplane from the tarmac.
I'd like to think that Jack Ryan (from Tom Clancy) owns this airline.
It was actually a fairly large plane, so there were at least three large buses that were filled to the brim with people. The flight was a short one, only about 45 minutes in the air.

The biggest surprise occurred when we got into the Manchester airport. We exited the doors through baggage claim, and were immediately confronted with this:
There's actually a Tim Hortons vending machine in the Manchester airport!
My life is fulfilled!
That's right. There are Tim Hortons in England (sort of). So, we made sure to buy a doughnut each. They are just self serve doughnut and coffee stands, like at a gas station, but still. Tim Hortons!

We caught a cab (#41), and drove to our hotel, the Trafford Hall. We're here as part of a package where you stay for a night and get tickets to the Manchester United game. So this is what our room looks like:
The room is themed to the team, so the sheets, towels, and lamps and whatnot all have the team colours and logo.
This hotel was targeted at a very specific audience, I think.
There seems to be a theme here, but I cant put my finger on it...

Speaking of Manchester United, my dad and I were watching a BBC movie called United, about the 1958 Munich disaster. The team's plane crashed trying to take off from the Munich airport, and 23 people ended up dying, 8 of them Manchester United players. The notable thing about this movie was that David Tennant was in it, famous from his stint as the Tenth Doctor on the show Doctor Who (one of my favourite shows). It was a very well done movie, with surprisingly high production values. I enjoyed it.

So, our plan for tomorrow is to be at the Manchester United vs. Blackburn game. If anyone wants to watch it, it's on ESPN3 starting at about 6:45 AM CST.

p.s. Ireland knows how to do license plates. This is a typical plate:
The plate reads "09-D-4817."
I don't know the owner of this car, FYI.
This is what you can tell just by looking at it:
1.) It is a 2009 model car.
2.) It was sold in Dublin.
3.) It was the 4817th car sold that year in Dublin.
One plate for the car's life. Much better than the random numbers and letters in North America, right?

Full Series

IntroEngland Trip
Day 3: Howth and Manchester


  1. You are at the game right now!! I am watching! I heard it was going to be raining, but I can't tell if it is. Blackburn got lucky with that penalty goal, and half of the way through the game they are up 1-nil....wonder if they can keep it up! So tell us what it is like being there! Don't run afoul of any hooligan firms, eh? While I like the idea of being able to get your Tim Hortons in England, I am pretty skeptical about that TH stand! How was it? When are going to see Arsenal?

  2. What an exciting game this is turning out to be!!

  3. It's cool that you were watching! Kind of a disappointing ending, but still, it was fun. The Arsenal game is Monday at 11:30 CST.

    As for the Tim Hortons, it was just a boring sort of doughnut. Kind of dry, because it had been out for so long, but still nostalgic.