Back in the UK, the holiday continues

Gunner turret from a Wellington bomber
Imperial War Museum North, Salford Quays

Our journey back from Rome was uneventful. The flight to London was late but we had lots of time between connections. I did stand in the short non-EU passport line for far longer than you might expect considering there were only a couple dozen people in front of me. The EU passport line had hundreds and it was moving steadily much to my chagrin.

Our queue only had three agents to deal with the travelers. One agent had these two women there at the desk almost the whole time I was waiting. I kept expecting them to be taken away  at gunpoint or something!  Another agent left the desk to deal with people that were driven from their plane on one of those airport go-carts. Finally the long queue cleared and everyone in our queue could take advantage of the rest of the agents and we finally sailed through. Sheesh!

We had something to eat while waiting for our flight to Manchester which was on time and quick. The car rental for the Manchester Airport is now down the road a bit but there’s a free shuttle bus straight there. They have a shiny new rental centre for all the companies and a secure parking lot for the cars. Our car turned out to be a wee little Fiat 500. There’s not much room in the back “seat” for an adult but then we don’t need it for that anyway. It’s surprisingly roomy for the two front seats and I always have the seat back as far as it can go anyway. G. is doing all the driving anyway and he loves it! We only have a small place to park it so it fits in nicely.

Sunday was a nice, easy day. The weather seems to have turned Novembery, clouding over, drizzling rain. I’d say it’s typical Manchester but it’s like that at home in Canada too. We met a group of friends at a pub in Cheshire that had a carvery set up and enjoyed the food and the company immensely. We visited G.’s dad when we got back and then spent the evening in relaxing. Our feet are still tender from all the walking in Rome so we really just need to recharge our batteries and spend quality time together.

Monday was another rainy, cold day but we went out anyway. We decided to go to the Imperial War Museum. There’s a Northern branch here in Salford at the Quays that opened 10 years ago. I’ve never been to it nor to the one in London though I will be making the effort to see that one when I get the chance next. The War Museum has displays and artifacts from various wars that the UK has been involved with over the past 100 years, starting with WWI. There are a lot of personal items donated, too, from military personel and civilians affected by war.

There was a video presentation on the effects of war on children  that was projected on all the walls of the large exhibition room which was lined with school kids yesterday.  Letters and statements were read by both actors and what sounded like real people telling their memories. They talked about being evacuated from the cities during WWII, about what it was like when family members didn’t return from the war, and what it’s like even now living in war conditions. It was very moving at times.

The exhibits were all very interesting and we could have spent more time there but we did have other things to go. I would highly recommend it and I’m definitely going to make the effort to see the main one in London. We had a hot drink in the cafe and also went up in the tower of the building to the viewing platform for a look over rainy Manchester. A lunch break and then to the grocery store to stock up and we went back to our nest and relaxed.

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