I did not think my first place to ever run 5k at an event would be a random morning in Manchester and yet it happened today. Mark had been in touch with our Airbnb host before we arrived and she had casually mentioned a run Saturday morning, the day after we got there. I figured okay, I might as well give it a go thinking I was going to be going for a run with some hardcore long distance runners. I made sure to mention in the morning that I was quite rusty and had spent the last month eating chips through Europe so to please bear with me. They both assured me it was just for fun. We ended up at the beautiful Platt Fields Park. It was filled with other runners of all ages decked out in colourful running gear surrounded by family with kids and dogs. Running through the park was so beautiful with a lake as a centrepiece filled with swans and ducks and surrounding ponds rich with lush green hills and rainbow flower gardens. It was a fairly chilly day but totally worth the experience. Im not sure how long my run was but i got to ring a victory bell at the end it being my first run and get some snap shots after we completed. Made for a pretty great first morning in Manchester.
Me after finishing the 5k run ringing the first timer victory bell
Myself, Clive and Delphine (our wonderful Airbnb hosts) at the finish line
After some breakfast and a shower, Mark and I got some great info from Delphine about where to go and what to see (the awesome perks of staying in an Airbnb — tips from locals). We took the tram into the city centre and ended up at the National Football Museum (soccer, ahem) which I’ll admit was very entertaining and interesting. Filled with memorabilia and important collections of the sport. There is lots of interactive games and activities to do on every floor making a great place to all ages and families to visit, especially if you’re a fan of the game.
j1930’s take on, I guess you would call an ‘Air Hockey’ table
After the museum, we spent a lot of time walking around the city, taking in the scenery and street life. Like every city in Europe they are equipped with a busy and energetic walking street lined with shops and restaurants. The cobble stone walkways alive with local striving artists as entertainment on every corner. It reminded me a lot of Grafton street in Dublin with the same feel and atmosphere. We of course made sure to stop and enjoy the free live band for a few minutes before continuing on walking past and dipping into the side shops and mall for clothes shopping.
Candy cart and street performers
We stopped for a quick drink to rest our feet and research some restaurants in the area with the free wifi. Both of us agreed on a place called Las Iguanas, a Latin American place with a large, multi cultural menu with choices from Mexican to Brazilian and Dominican. We had an amazing dinner that has to be the best meal I’ve had to date. A Peruvian style quinoa risotto with smoked cheese, roasted cauliflower, charred baby corn topped with crispy chilli. It was absolutely delicious. Mark ended up with a Dominican goat curry dish with rice and roasted plantains. We had several drinks and finished the night off with a wonderful banana dessert and a Motros Vivos — Cachacas, amaretto, apricot, lime, pineapple and passion fruit served in a tiki head. All in all it was a really awesome night out and a great way to end our first night!
I’ll leave you guys with some of my favourite photos below of the day. As always, thanks so much for reading!