Industrial age duel

After Wales it was Manchester, which bluntly put failed to impress. Manchester has this ‘dirty, mean, rude, industrial age sports hooligans city’ theme going there. Unfortunately I’m not much a fan of that vibe, so simply put I ditched the place and went to Birmingham instead.

Birmingham, when you read its history, oughta be alot like Manchester as they’re both industrial cities, both big, both in the same rough area. So why can I safely say that I enjoyed Birmingham a fair bit while I loathe Manchester? Well, going from looks alone and my limited impressions gleaned from walking throughout the cities, Birmingham has developed into a fresh modern commercial city while Manchester seems a bit stuck in the industrial age. Yes yes, I know I’m undoubtedly wrong and people could give all sorts of reasons Manchester is a vibrant community of loving cute kitten equivalents, but I’ll be blunt here: On average during my trip a place has one day to impress me, after that I’d be off to another location. Manchester failed to do anything but make me dislike the city. Birmingham on the other hand I left with very positive impressions.

Birmingham was a nice, modern style city that if anything reminded me of Calgary. What I did find odd though was the local cathedral, which was a fairly new church really with some nice stained glass windows but otherwise unremarkable. No, it wasn’t the cathedral itself so much as the extremely casual atmosphere of the people as during work lunch break all the business men and women sat and relaxed in the church yard, some leaning back casually against old tombstones as they talked with friends and ate their lunch. During my travels I found that for the most part the churches tended to be either ultra touristy or quiet, conservative places. Graveyards dedicated to the occasional sightseers and tourists as well as the down-on-their-luck type looking for a quiet place to relax and sleep as well as wandering herds of goth kids. Other than that deserted. Not so with Birmingham where, in the economic areas anyway, they were treated with a sort of park atmosphere.

Again, first impressions are everything, and it that respect Birmingham was one of the best. The main train station opens up into the central part of town, very clean place and well maintained, right next to the major shopping area and within easy walking of the museum and other cultural landmarks. Very nice museum too I might add.

What else can I say? Manchester, bleh, Birmingham, yay! On to the next location..

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One Comment on “Industrial age duel”

  1. […] blogs on a tourist’s first-time perceptions of Manchester vs. Birmingham… “On average during my trip a place has one day to impress me, after that I’d be […]

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