Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Manchester, England

Tuesday morning we woke up to more freezing weather.  Frank and Geraldine say that the weather here is record breaking cold.  I have to admit, even from Alaska, it's unbelievably cold here.  I thought my toes were going to freeze off and I had two pairs of socks on and my warm shoes!  It doesn't help either that my fleece lined wool hat and gloves were stolen!
Following up on my return flight, we left early in the morning on the train to Manchester airport from Atherton.  The trains are even a mess because of the weather.  Standing in the freezing cold waiting for delayed trains, just to have them announce it's been cancelled or on another platform.  The thing is, it's not even snowing.  It's just cold!  I saw people with their suit cases and children on their hips bouncing up and down as they run to try and catch any train to the airport.  This country does not know how to function in the snow.  Once to the airport, which I might add is a bit of a maze between each terminal, British Airlines was just as unhelpful face to face as they have been with their phone service and email (in which you can't use at all!)  The fed up employee told me that he couldn't book me on KLM because now KLM and other airlines were refusing transfers because they were more concerned with their customers than British's.  This makes sense to me, but I asked if there was any other flight to Spain that was not through London, to which he continued to shake his head (how does he not have a kink, nod instead of shake for the love of your spine!) and told me he could re book me on the 27th but only through London.  Now there is nothing wrong with spending the holidays here, so I thought, "Okay, I should just rebook considering I don't want to chance being stranded in airports on Xmas Eve and Christmas".  Then I started to think about Spain and Marcos, how all my friends and new family want me home for the holidays.  How many chances would I get to experience a Christmas in Spain.  They do things very different for the holidays than how we do them in the USA.  Santa Claus doesn't come down the chimney with presents, but is more of just an icon for Christmas.  They don't do presents until Three Kings in January (and that is really just for the little kids) but instead on Christmas go out to the bars and walk around kissing everyone and wishing them Feliz Navidad all the while drinking hot drinks or cold beers!  I'll go into this in more detail when I live it, because I got all this information in Spanish and I could be mis-interrupting it.  So anyway, after a minute of thinking, I thought lets go to KLM and see if I can get on one of their flights.  We walked the 15 minutes from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2, while I looked online (Frank's phone) to see if they still had flights and they didn't.  I was getting panicky.....  thinking thinking thinking.... and then I remembered Easy Jet has a direct flight from Manchester to Malaga for pretty cheap!  We had to head back to the terminal 3 (same exact spot, it felt like dejavu).  While we were walking there, I used Frank's phone to book the ticket as they were only 3 seats left.  By the time we got there, it was already done.  Frank was quite impressed.  "How did you walk and use the internet at the same time and remember all your bank information?"  My response, "I'm a good multi-tasker!"  haha!  While there, I asked British if I could get a refund and he told me to call in two weeks after all this mess was over with!  Can you believe it?  I feel so bad for people still stranded. I still can't believe I actually got here.  There are people still stranded since Saturday.
Aaannyywaaay, afterward we headed back into Manchester.  What a gorgeous city.  The old buildings and the smells.  I just loved it.  We headed to the German markets and has giant sized sausages for lunch.  I ate mine in about 2 minutes, dripping Ketchup on my jeans and shoe.  I'm a mess, but it was the best sausage I have had ever.  All the little vendors had the cutest things to buy but were 1.5 x's more expensive for me :(  Stupid dollar!

The most cute and quaint pub in  Manchester (I'm a bit biased, it was the only one I visited!)
Later that night we enjoyed a French meal at Cafe Rouge and then onto the Pantomime.  A Pantomime is a play that is put on with a lot of audience participation.  We went to Snow White, and the actors were famous here in England from English television.  Pantomimes are said to be for children but really they are for everyone!  It was the funniest show on stage I have seen in a long while.  The used modern day songs, from Lady Gaga (the queen and her wickedness) to Mission Impossible theme song (when the 7 dwarfs saved Snow White in the forest).  It was sooooooooo cute!  I think if Ketchikan did this every year for the holidays it would become a fun family tradition.  Kids yell to the actors with praise, boo to the wicked queen, sing songs and laugh and laugh!  At the end, before the Snow white wedding, they did a little audience participation.  Four children got on stage to participate in a "ha ha ha" contest.  I missed the first kid who was interviewed on camera, because we weren't allowed to use cameras (but I did it anyway!)  When asked if he liked girls he said "Only two... my mum and nan!"  (how cute is that!)  The video is below.  Here is the link to the web album to see more pictures.

1 comment:

Macky said...

good thing our business conference was canceled this week...was going to travel to manchester.

I just cant stand the freezing weather =)