Monday, 22 September 2008

Manchester Ship Canal

We have wanted to go down the Manchester ship canal for some time now and when we saw an advert for a trip there we immediately booked our passage. We left early on Saturday morning and after several failed attempts by our driver to find the coach park in Chester we were finally pointed in the right direction by a passer-by. Chester maybe large but the old walled city is quite small but very distinctive with two-tiered shops a lovely place to spend a couple of hours. These two buskers under the market cross looked as though they needed the money to buy shoes.

Our driver again had problems finding the hotel but in the end we got there and drove in by the exit gate. A wedding was being held in the hotel so the celebrations went on until quite late and we didn't get to sleep until the early hours of the morning. At five to six we were rudely awaken by the fire alarm.
Here we are all standing in the car park waiting for the fire brigade to give the all clear. It turned out to be a fault on the alarm board. Didn't bother to go back to bed as we had to be up and out early for our trip to Salford where we were to get on the boat that would take us down the Manchester ship canal.

Again our driver got lost and here he is asking for directions, note the how he's telling the person on the end of the microphone where we currently are.

Once on board our boat we left Salford and set off down the canal on a voyage discovery. Our industrial past is everywhere around us in ruins now, gone but not forgotten.

Here we are just leaving Salford.

Rust dyeing is very popular at the moment so anyone looking for a bit of rusty metal there should be enough for you all here.

Railway bridges abounded on the canal.

But wildlife was also abundant, we saw lots of swans, cootes, moorhens, cormorants (flocks of them whirled round the boat), heron and lots of other wading birds not to mention the ubiquitous seagulls. The amount of wildlife shows the high quality of the water in the canal.

And of course these intrepid two legged high flyers who were absailing down the bridge in aid of charity.

After five hours cruising we arrived at the end of the ship canal. We took nearly another hour to travel up and across the the River Mersey to enter Liverpool.
Two very well known landmarks are the two cathedrals. The square one in the foreground is the anglican cathedral and the light coloured (wigwam) in the background is the roman catholic cathedral.

And of course the Liver Birds on top of the insurance building.

We thought we were home and safe with no more mishaps but we were wrong!!! On arrival back at our coach it was found that several people were missing. They were still on the boat which had set off back across the Mersey.
It had been a very hot journey down the MSC and we were all hot and tired. However we had another hour to wait before the boat brought the missing people back. Finally we all climbed back on the coach and went to sleep.
When we arrived home the postman had left a lovely pile of goodies for me but I'll blog about them tomorrow.

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