I was already awake when the alarm went off at 5 o'clock this morning, we were up, dressed, lunch packed and ready to leave the house by 6 o'clock to drive up to Crewe Station where we had a light breakfast before boarding the 7a.m. train to Manchester. The train was nearly empty as it went through Homes Chapel and Goostrey (where we passed by Jodrell Bank). A few people joined us at Alderley Edge and Wilmslow and quite a few more at Stockport. We arrived at Manchester just before 8a.m. and followed the signs to the Metro Link where, on the platform, we had fun with the ticket machine - it kept spitting out our 50 pence pieces. We got there in the end and then stood on a packed platform waiting for the link to Eccles. When it arrived everyone crammed tightly into the carriages and as we sped through the city towards Salford Quays more and more people seemed to be getting on at the stops but not many were getting off. By 9a.m. we had managed to fight our way off the metro and were walking down towards the Lowry and along the avenue of trees to find what we were looking for. There was already a queue waiting to board so we tagged on the end, pleased with ourselves that we had got there in time to take our cruise on the Mersey Ferry along the Manchester Ship Canal.
I will write more of the actual voyage later but suffice to say that we had a wonderful time, the weather was excellent, we saw some wonderful things and really enjoyed the commentary by the Blue Badge guide. The ferry arrived in Liverpool just before 4p.m. and we found the St James Station for the underground link to Lime Street; here we had tea and cake before catching the train back to Crewe to pick up our car from the station car park. We arrived home at 6p.m., exactly twelve hours after we had left the house that morning.