Manchester Has Awesome People And Trams

I’d never been to Manchester but I was invited to go on what was a rather geeky day out, which involved lots of statistics and pretty graphs presented in Manchester Town Hall. The town hall is a most beautiful building and well worth a look in its own right. After a fascinating day we wandered out into the city and ended up in Piccadilly Gardens which was a hive of activity as they were preparing for the start of the Manchester International Festival; in particular for an event called “What Is The City But Its People?” which involved a giant catwalk and two massive screens. Well, as we were there anyway we decided to hang around and watch and we were very glad we did.

As people came along the catwalk, the screens showed us some beautiful portraits of them and told us a little about their life. From Stefan, who sells the Big Issue every day at Victoria station, to a Syrian refugee, a mother and her new baby, school children with dreams, lovers, bakers, an array of very well-behaved dogs and many, many more. A diverse community of people living their lives in a big city. Wow!

The next day we managed to find some time to explore the tram network, ostensibly to look for Eccles cakes in Eccles (be warned, there are none). However despite that, Manchester was an amazing city, and one I hope to see again.

Manchester

From Depart To Arrive Route
Exchange Square 14:47 St Peter’s Square 14:52 G/H
St Peter’s Square 15:01 Eccles 15:28 E
Eccles 16:50 St Peter’s Square 17:19 E
Piccadilly Gardens 18:52 Deansgate-Castlefield 19:03 E

 

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Seaton Tramway And The Sea

Mystery trip out, getting up at silly o’clock in the morning, take my camera? Well yes, I’m always up for that.

So we went on an adventure (and a magical mystery tour) and ended up in Devon. I laughed when I saw were we were, because who doesn’t love trams. Even better this was a little tram line that runs down to the seaside (and back). You’ll see from the table below that we were determined to make good use of our day tickets.

Seaton Tramway

From Depart To Arrive Route
Colyton 12:30 Seaton 12:54
Seaton 14:00 Colyton 14:23
Colyton 14:50 Seaton 15:14
Seaton 17:00 Colyton 17:23

 

We also saw the sea (proof below), paddled in it, ate fish and chips and ice cream and had what was really a perfect day out by the seaside.Seaton Beach

Brussels Has Small Sights And Underground Trams

Brussels is a lovely city. It has beer, chocolate and lots to see. The first thing we saw (if you exclude the Atomium which we passed underneath of course) was Mini-Europe. This contains scale models of many famous sights in Europe, many of which I have seen (and usually photographed) the real one.

Brussels Tram MapIt also has trams. Some of those actually run underground, which was a real novelty for me. So here is the requisite list of tram journeys.

Saturday

From Depart To Arrive Route
Heysel 16:10 De Wand 16:20 7
De Wand 16:21 Gare du Midi 16:27 3
Gare du Midi 17:20 Merode 17:53 81

Monday

From Depart To Arrive Route
Merode 17:47 Germoir 17:57 81

Tuesday

From Depart To Arrive Route
De Brouckère 11:05 Gare du Midi 11:12 4
De Brouckère 13:15 Port de Hal 13:25 4

Much to my surprise (some of) the trams are made by Bombadier.

Hull Museums – More Tram Logos

Kingston-upon-Hull has an amazing set of City Museums. Entrance is free so there was no reason not to take a look. We managed to find time to visit The Streetlife Museum of Transport and the Hull and East riding Museum (briefly). I certainly hope when we go back we’ll find time to visit some of the others.

The transport museum was amazing with a period street, a carriage ride and a couple of lovely trams. A couple of new tram logos I’d not seen before:

Romans Go Home!

Romans Go Home!

The Hull and East Riding Museum was a little jaunt through history and certainly has some wonderful Roman mosaics and the best Roman street scene I’ve ever seen, complete with graffitti! Slightly more authentically, I should point out that “Cave Canem” made an appearance too.

The Ferens Art Gallery is of course temporarily closed, but we have plans to visit that when it reopens and hopefully then we’ll get a chance to visit some of the other places we’ve not yet seen.

Bilbao (with Tram)

In our recent visit to Spain we decided to drive out to Bilbao to have a look around. I always enjoy a chance to see a new city and to ride on a new tram and this was a decidedly modern tram.

Bilbao

From Depart To Arrive Route
Uribitarte 18:09 Arriaga 18:15 A

Plus of course there were lots of things to see.

Budapest (With Tram)

I’ve been to Budapest many years ago (and believe me that really is another story) but in those days I knew not of trams and so we had used the metro to get around the city. This time however I wanted to ride on a tram. Time was short but I fitted one little journey in:

Budapest

From Depart To Arrive Route
Kossuth Lajos tér 15:41 Vígadó tér 15:46 2

Here are a few of the pictures I took of this lovely city.

Vienna – Trams

We’d been cruising along the Danube for several days. Each day had brought new locations and we had been toured round them. We had seen trams, we had even seen trolleybuses but there had been no chance to ride on any of them. So when we given basically the whole day free in Vienna I had only one real ambition, to ride on a tram.

Well, actually, I had another ambition, to see the snow globe museum and find a snow globe from the original snow globe manufacturers, but although we took the tram out there, they were closed on Fridays. Then we headed back, and after lunch went out to The Belvedere to see the Klimt paintings (“The Kiss” is really far more impressive in real life than in a poster). Then finally back into town for a little shopping before we headed back to the boat. And, for those of you are interested, I did manage to buy a snow globe from the original snow globe manufacturers as a present for someone very special.

Vienna

From Depart To Arrive Route
Shottentor 12:03 Antonigasse 12:20 42
Vinzenzgasse 12:46 Shottentor 13:05 40*
Shottentor 13:50 Shloß Belvedere 14:05 D
Shloß Belvedere 15:38 Schwarzenbergplatz 15:44 D
Schwedenplatz 17:14 Prater Hauptallee 17:28 1

*The 40 doesn’t actually go to Vinzenzgasse normally but it was diverted due to some kind of street festival.

Munich – Trams

Where we went (Click for much bigger)

Where we went
(Click for much bigger)

Visiting Munich was of course yet another opportunity to play on some trams, so I took full advantage.

 Friday

From Depart To Arrive Route
Deroystraße 12:56 Hauptbahnhof 13:02 17
Hauptbahnhof 13:05 Olympiapark West 13:17 21
Petuelring 15:27 Karlsplatz (Stachus) 15:50 27
Hauptbahnhof Nord 16:54 Hackerbrücke 17:01 17

Sunday

From Depart To Arrive Route
Hackerbrücke 18:39 Eduard-Shmid-Straße 18:53 17
Deutches Museum 20:49 Hackerbrücke 21:11 16

Monday

From Depart To Arrive Route
Deutches Museum 17:02 Max-Weber-Platz 17:15 16
Max-Weber-Platz 17:15 Hauptbahnhof 17:29 19
Hauptbahnhof Nord 17:31 Hackerbrücke 17:36 16
Hackerbrücke 18:52 Wiener Platz 19:12 16
Rosenheimer Platz 21:46 Max-Weber-Platz
(Johannisplatz)
21:50 25
Max-Weber-Platz 22:04 Müllerstraße 22:15 16
Müllerstraße 22:22 Hackerbrücke 22:32 16

Tuesday

From Depart To Arrive Route
Hauptbahnhof 17:05 Hackerbrücke 17:10 17

Tram, Train, Travel – Going Home

When it came time for us to leave Belgium the journey home was as much an adventure as the rest of the weekend had been.

A tram first of all to take us to Gent Sint Pieters station.

From Depart To Arrive Route
Korenmarkt 15:35 Sint-Pietersstation 15:45 1

Then a double decker train to Brussels. I’ve never been upstairs on a train before so this was very exciting (and gave me my favourite travel related photograph above).

Then finally the Eurostar back to St Pancras to be greeted by the newly unveiled (and dressed) statue.

Then…as if by magic…we followed the signs for Arrivals and found ourselves back in the concourse exactly where we had started from.