Sunday, August 30, 2015

Live From The Lido Deck Does Blackpool

I am back from our two week adventure to England. While I wont go into much detail of our time in Manchester, as we spent that time visting with family, I will go over our 2 day stay in Blackpool. Blackpool is a neat seaside town about an hour or so north of Manchester via train. Arriving  mid week, we were able to experience the area without a large group of tourists. Our first day we mostly went shopping at a local garden center and an outlet mall. It was interesting to walk around and compare pricing for similar items at home especially stores we have in the States like the Gap.

For dinner we headed to Harry Ramsdens, known for their fish and chips, they have been on the Blackpool Promenade for years and have been serving the UK for over 75 years! Although I am not a fish fan, I tried my sisters and the cod was great. The chips were delicious as well. I had the Jumbo Prawn Shrimp Cocktail, which was a mistake. It took a while for me to realize, that although similar, England is different food wise than America. The Prawns, to me, tasted as if they were straight out of the ocean and there were very few of the large shrimp. Most of the dish was made up of the small salad shrimp and despite it being shrimp cocktail, they did not serve with cocktail sauce. In fact, the waitress didn't even know what I was talking about. Something I am just not used but must adapt to as I travel. On future trips, I hope to make a better effort to try things out of my comfort zone.

After dinner, we walked it off along the shops next to the Restaurant. The following day we came back for a visit to see what Blackpool is all about. First stop, a fortune teller on the beach! I have never had my palm read so it was an interesting experience and the woman had been there for decades. We continued to walk along to our destination: Blackpool Tower! They offered a multitude of ticket options if you combined different events. They offer a circus,  the dungeons tour, Madame Tussaud's, etc. Tickets are cheaper online vs buying day of so consider that if you are planning a trip to Blackpool.

Once tickets have been purchased, you move your way along the queue stopping to take some green screen photos you can purchase in the gift shop afterwards. Once your group photo has been taken, you head into a small auditorium (standing room only) and watch a 4D movie on the history of the tower. I enjoy 4D experiences at theme parks and thought this was a cute idea. After the 10 minute show you head into a waiting area where they have more in depth historical facts. There are two sets of glass elevators used to take you both up and down the tower from the first of three viewing areas.

The first viewing area is completely enclosed with windows all the way around. There is a penny press for anyone who collects those (they were all over England) as well as the glass bottom floor viewing area. I am not usually afraid of heights but the glass bottom floor was a no go for me. The first viewing area I was 100% comfortable in but as we took the stairs up to the second area I got a little sketched out. Unfortunately,  the stairs were one way up one way down so I had to make it half way around the tower before I could head down. My sister, Nana, & cousins headed up to the third viewing area so I gave them my camera and headed back down with my great aunt. The tower did offer amazing views of Blackpool and the coast so I definitely recommend going up to at least the first viewing area.

                                     My sister showing off the view from the third level viewing area.

We walked around and shopped a bit more before heading back to our cousins to have a quick dinner and then made our way to the train station towards Manchester. The trains both ways were nice and seemed pretty popular with the locals, many I am sure travel via train as they commute into Manchester for work as there are multiple stops along the route.Arriving late Thursday night, we had one more day to spend in Manchester before we excitedly headed to LONDON!

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