Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3, 2011: Manchester/Toronto - Flight, Home!

No photos to post for this last day of our trip - we simply flew home! Our sabbatical year has been a fantastic experience, but it's great to be back.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 2, 2011: Manchester - Library, Art Gallery, Industry, Steak

Today Mark's cousin, Simon, showed us around Manchester. It may not have the glamour of London, but I found the industrial history of Manchester really interesting. And the prevalent red brick construction of the buildings, contrasted with some very dramatic modern architecture, reminded me of Toronto.

We enjoyed the sunny weather, eating outside at a street festival, and having a pint outdoors at an English pub.

After touring the city we went for a delicious steak dinner with the extended family - a lovely way to finish off our European adventure!

Old Manchester and new

Cousins walking down the stairs: Simon and Mark

A detail of the old architecture

A very striking new building

The Museum of Science and Industry, housed in several old factory buildings

We saw a detailed demonstration of the textile machinery that drove the Industrial Revolution in Manchester

 We also saw a variety engines (many of which were invented in Manchester) in operation

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1, 2011: Berlin/Manchester - Botanical, Flight, Indian

After checking out at the hotel, Mark and I walked to the nearby Berlin Botanical Garden for a last outing. I cleverly tried to pay with all of our Euro change, but miscalculated, and had to break a bill - drats. It was a short visit, as we wanted to get to the airport in time. So we only saw a portion of the garden, but it was quite lovely.

Since we were already in Europe, it seemed like a good opportunity to stop over in England along the way, to visit Mark's mother's relatives in the Manchester area. Our flight went well, and we landed to beautiful weather - warm and sunny. Mark's relatives kept remarking on how lucky we were. Oddly enough the last time I visited England (11 years earlier) I came during a summer heat wave.

For dinner we had take-out Indian - delicious. The closer we get to home the spicier the food is! It was also really nice to relax in a home, with family, after so many months of being away.

One of the garden's lush greenhouses

At first glance I thought we had missed seeing a zoo-esque garden, filled with moose. After double checking with Google Translate, I realize it was a garden filled with moss. Which I may well have enjoyed just as much...