Manchester is blue now

Manchester: With the club colors red or blue in their hearts

There are all sorts of serious reasons why one should get to know Manchester, the cradle of our modern industrial culture. Two of them are of particular importance. The disadvantage is that they are mutually exclusive.

From Old Trafford ...

In short, if you adore Manchester United football club, you will not be able to avoid a visit to the Old Trafford sports complex. The magnificent stadium is filled with Vietnamese (!) Beer, but otherwise combines the amenities of a modern Premier League venue with the aura of a secular temple.

Sir Alex Ferguson greets you as a stone figure from the glass front. ManU fans stock up on articles of faith in the fan shop. Particularly popular in the textile department this year: the cloak of silence that has been spread over the past season.

... about The Quays ...

The district in the west of the metropolis, about within sight of the stadium, belongs to Trafford and is called The Quays. Boats with mud shovels lazily rummage through the Manchester Ship Canal. The BBC has parked a large part of its sports studios on the banks of this harbor landscape. One sparkling glass palace adjoins the next. You can either go shopping or feed seagulls with cucumber sandwiches.

A couple of famous bistros spoil you with continental food. In the Imperial War Museum North, an interestingly shaped cake building with a corrugated roof by Daniel Libeskind, the visitor takes home the message of the futility of war. To strengthen the tourist's will to persevere, the shop has particularly crumbly war chocolate (reproduced) and teddies with thinning fur, perfect imitations of the soft toys from the early 1940s.

... to the home of Manchester City

The second reason to visit Manchester is diametrically opposed to the first, but it also has to do with football. Manchester City, the reigning champion, has its large fan shop in the heart of the shopping district (Market Street). The Etihad Stadium, home of the "Citizens", is at the other end of the city (Eastlands), at least seen from Trafford.

The blues may live off the money of Arab investors. In the grandstand you will find illustrious figures from the counterculture represented, such as Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher or, even more countercultural, the speaking-singing The Fall complainer, Mark E. Smith. Anyone who addresses the latter as "Mancunian", ie as a resident of Manchester, can expect to attract a torrent of filthy abuse. Smith is from the industrial district of Salford. Those who live in Salford or visit the local pub just turn up their noses at the city.

Manchester, a sexy university metropolis

The same applies to Salford: We are a media city! For example, this is where the original locations of Coronation Street are located. Against the tenacity of this soap opera, which has been broadcast regularly since 1960, Lindenstrasse looks like a flash in the pan. In the nearby industrial museum you can marvel at the oldest computer in the world, or rather: what is left of it today. One feels reminded of a transistor system from the People's Republic of North Korea.

Even without football, Manchester is a wonderful city. The full life of a sexy university metropolis pulsates around the red brick buildings (with more than 100,000 studios), which knows how to stage itself skilfully. London? Great. But who can afford that ... (Ronald Pohl, Album, DER STANDARD, June 21, 2014)

Getting there: The low-cost carrier Jet2.com has been flying to Manchester from Vienna up to three times a week since May 14th. Price of a one-way flight: from € 68.

Stop: One of the nicest ways to feel at home in Manchester: The Lowry Hotel on the Manchester / Salford border. In the house with 5-star service, the Manchester United combat team also gathers to recharge their batteries.

The trip was at the invitation of Jet2.com and Visit Manchester.