On Saturday, December 8, we took a trip to the city of Manchester to explore the Christmas Markets.
The first detail I noticed about the markets- they were crowded. Hundreds upon hundreds of people, walking every which way. Not too surprising, considering it was a sunny Saturday and not too cold. Although the crowds made navigating feel like a maze, it was refreshing seeing so many people at an outdoor market, as opposed to in the mall.
The market consists of all these wooden stands, starting in front of Manchester Town Hall, and snakes down the streets for four block. A little confusing to navigate, but maps were conveniently set up on every block to help guide people to the right place.
The market stands themselves were something else. Dozens, maybe hundreds of them, selling just about anything you can think of. Hot chocolate, purses, wind chimes, figurines, scarves, jewelry, even wood carvings- more diversity than I ever would have imagined.
Christmas decorations were everywhere; lights on the trees and stands. The most distinctive feature I found was a giant carousel-like structure with a windmill fan, sitting atop one of the stands. I later found out it’s called a Christmas pyramid. The town hall had its own giant Santa decoration sitting atop an electronic sign.
The atmosphere of Manchester differentiates to Liverpool’s. In contrast to Liverpool’s commercialism and touristy feel, Manchester has more of an industrial look and feel.
Like most English cities, the architecture once again awed me. The Town Hall, with its clock tower and high windows, along with the fancy interior, resembles more of a cathedral. A fine example of English architecture, a contrast to the United States’ brick buildings.
Overall, I enjoyed the Manchester Christmas Markets, experiencing the diversity and Christmas spirit it offered.