Saturday, 19 September 2015

Fulfilling the 'Corrie Connection' with a little hint of 'The Hoff'

Many of you know I'm a not-so closet Coronation Street fan. I mean, I'm not as full on crazy about it as some, but I do enjoy watching it when I'm home (and may have had some influence on my decision to move to Manchester...*). It's pretty much one of those shows that so bad you can't look away... You all know what I'm talking about! Maybe it's not Corrie, but you know you've got one!

Anyway, when a Corrie storyline takes a character or characters on a vacation, they tend to go to one of two places - London (for the more posh folk) or Blackpool. Being as I did London in January, it meant there was only one place left to head: Blackpool. So, I made my way to the train station and set off for the great tourist destination of Coronation Street characters. And I'd like to just say this: Blackpool had some of the friendliest people I've come across in my limited travels within England! I'd also been told that the city was a bit of a dump...and sure, there were a few sketchy areas, but overall it was quite lovely - plus, there's ocean, so, you know...hard not to sell me on that one!

I arrived in Blackpool just before noon. The forecast had called for rain. Actual weather: beautiful sunshine! One the one hand, this delighted me. On the other, I wasn't wearing sunscreen, and the suns rays were just beaming down on me! So, needless to say (and yet hear I am saying it...) I left with a nice lobster-red hued souvenir! Yes folks - I got a nasty sunburn! But, man was it worth it!

I spent the majority of my afternoon walking and sitting along The Promenade. It was so nice to, once again, be close to the Atlantic**. But it was nice to take it all in. I, once again, was fixated on taking pictures of seagulls and waves, which seems silly, but it s actually quite relaxing.

The cenotaph  
The North Pier
There are three piers along The Promenade, as well. I didn't go on any of them, because they were filled with amusement-esque activities, and well, that's not the most fun for a party of one. I did, however, head up to the tippy top*** of Blackpool Tower. This was more my thing, as the views were stunning! It also has one of those 'SkyWalks' which is pretty trippy. I mean, it's amazing just how much power your subconscious has. Logically, you know you aren't going to plummet to your death by standing on the 5 centimetres of glass, but subconsciously, you pretty much question everything in life... It's not a feeling I enjoy, which is why I actually enjoy doing things like this. I don't know that I'd say I have a fear of heights, but I would tend to agree that I'm not such a fan of the possibility of falling 148 metres onto pavement. But, being as I'm typing away recounting this experience, you'll all be happy to know I'm in one piece!

Blackpool Tower
The view below the glass floor of the Blackpool Tower. 
Views from the top of the tower.

As part of your ticket, you get to experience a short 4D film, which is nothing more than a really epic tourism advertisement for the area. It has a bunch of sensory effects, including getting sprayed in the face a number of times with water... But it was pretty neat. However, there was one part of the film that was really strange. You know those delightful photo-op stands, where there's an image and holes where you plunk your face in? Well, one of the scenes involves an image of a larger woman in a bathing suit. Fine. What was off-putting and slightly confusing was the act that the little boy, who was the focus of the video, imagined this woman in real life to be a MUCH slimmer version of the painted image one would pose in. THEN to take it one step further, you realize that this small child is fantasizing about this fit woman who looks strikingly like his mother... I mean, I don't want to be that person who nit-picks over things like this, but it was just really unnecessary.

Anyway, after spending some time at the top of the tower, I walked all the way down to Pleasure Beach, which is a theme park near the South Pier. I didn't go in, but had a brief walk around the outer gate. I'm sure it would have been fun - particularly if a certain brother of mine had been there to peer-pressure me into a few of the rides!

Pleasure Beach in the distance
Central Pier and Blackpool Tower

Afterwords, I began the walk back to the station, stoping for a bite to eat (across the street from a place called Kennedy Place!), before checking out the Winter Gardens (a theatre). And this, my friends, is where THE Hoff enters my tale of Blackpool. No, I didn't meet him, or see him for that matter - but I learned that in a few weeks he'll be starring in a play at the Gardens. The description sounded terrible... but I'm not going to lie - I'm slightly jealous I won't be able to see David Hasselhoff live in Blackpool (of all places!).

Not sure what this is...but it was pretty cool! 

Blackpool Cathedral - St. John's Church
So there you have it - the end of my Coronation Street adventures.

-the Orange Canadian

*It didn't...much.
**I could feel it calling me back to the other side, which was great given that in two weeks that's where I'll be!
***Or, as far up as I was permitted to go...

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