I’d previously avoided visiting Manchester despite having studied abroad in southern England for about three months in 2013. Though I had always been curious to see Manchester beforehand (mainly because of ManU), my time in Brighton changed that as most of the southern Brits seemed to have such a low opinion of the northern industrial city. Anyways, two years and some later I finally ended up there for a concert.
Back home, I really enjoyed going to concerts, so being away from Seattle which happens to have a phenomenal music scene has been a bit hard. In Seattle, it seemed that literally every week there were artists in town that I wanted to see. It was easy to go to multiple shows per month, or even week and not think twice about. However, it’s a completely different story here in Valladolid. There isn’t much of a music scene at all, so if you’re craving to go to a concert, most likely you’ll have to travel outside the city or even country.
Since I knew I’d need to get my concert fix, I decided to book a trip to Manchester for one of the infamous Warehouse Projects long before I even arrived to Spain. I actually met one of my current roommates as I posted about this on the auxiliar page, and she replied that she wanted to go with me!
Anyways, this past weekend I jetted off to Manchester city! For all the negative stuff I’d heard about it, I was actually really pleasantly surprised. The city is much more beautiful than a lot of people give it credit for, the accents are not as difficult as you’d think, and the food is miles better than most places in Spain (albeit more expensive- but that’s another story haha).
The concert itself was amazing as well. Concert doors closed at 10:30PM (which seems really odd to begin with) but we didn’t end up arriving until about 11:30. We were completely unaware that entry ended so early until the security guards stopped us at the entrance and informed us that we were too late to be let in. For a brief moment we were terrified that we’d traveled all this way only to be rejected at the door. Luckilyyyyy, we somehow convinced them to let us in. The venue itself was pretty awesome as well. As the name suggests, it is in a giant warehouse with super high ceilings and tons of space. It seemed to be a mainly young male dominated crowd- so Shelby and I were definitely the minority. Although I was bummed that Tchami dropped out last minute, Whatsonot, Skrillex, and Karma Kid absolutely killed it. We danced all night and ended up getting to our place at around 6:30AM.
The next day we were couch potatoes for most of the day, but we finally decided to get out of the house to go see the Lighting of the Christmas Lights in Albert Square. To be honest, it seemed a bit early for Christmas celebrations but who doesn’t love Chirstmas?-so I just went along with it. The event had some artists from the British X-Factor perform Christmas songs and some other semi-famous people I don’t know also made appearances. It was all was concluded with a fireworks display at the end, which I must admit was pretty magical:)
On our final day, we went on a walking tour led by a young Mancunian who had recently started up the free walking tours in Manchester. He did a great job of covering the history of Manchester in a easy to follow, and entertaining way- you can definitely tell he is passionate about his city! (He’s on Facebook if you search for the page “Free Manchester Walking Tours”)
After the tour, we headed into the city center and did a bit of shopping. We neglected the time, as girls do when they shop, and before we knew it we were running late for the airport. My roommate had lost hope at one point, thinking we’d missed our flight but I assured her that it wasn’t over until it was over! We ended up just BARELY making the flight. Once in Madrid we realized we’d missed all of the buses/trains back to Valladolid so we were forced to spend the night at the 24 hr McDonalds in the airport. It wasn’t all bad though- we met some cool German guys (who had been kicked out of their place for partying too hard, and thus had to go to the airport earlier than intended haha) and were able to have McDonalds for dinner and breakfast haha.
All in all, despite a couple of mishaps and a lot of close calls, it was great trip! I’d definitely like to go back to Manchester at some point:)
– Sinceramente Gigi