Spring Trip 2014 – Day 8 – English Version

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Ha! Would you look at that! Birmingham is actually growing on me. Can’t say the same for the industrial architecture, but at least the city is honest about its character. Does that make sense? I’m not sure. I think what I’m trying to say is that I feel more comfortable in cities whose history I can read on the buildings and the roads and the way the neighbourhoods are arranged. I still feel a little uncomfortable, but that’s probably because I’m used to a town that I can cross in less than two hours.

I was thinking earlier, as I was crossing the (large and very well-kept) campus, that if York seems infused with legends and medieval tales, and the odd ghost, then Birmingham is the very definition of steampunk. Old and new twisted together, with the traces of the Industrial Revolution visible even in the newest buildings. But at the same time there are gardens and parks full of flowers and as I was walking to the university I realised that if I ever write a utopian or even dystopian tale then Birmingham would be morbidly appropriate as the setting.

Speaking of walking… My legs are ready to pack and leave. I’m not kidding, poor things, they suffered today! Eight miles to walk to and fro the campus, plus my exploration there, plus a lengthy wondering to the local shopping complex…Honestly how I made it back to the hotel, I have no idea. And this paragraph is way off topic. I wanted to speak (write?) about the university. I was not certain on what to expect. Whoever wrote the prospectus was a Master of bland writing. Turns out the campus is very well taken care off and way larger than I thought. They must have always had a large intake of students, even the oldest buildings are tall, with plenty of floors and shaped to resemble rectangulars. The areas around the halls of residence are more diverse, mostly thanks to the gardens surrounding them.

It’s a pity I wasn’t able to get my hands on a map of the city. I’m sure there are some pretty awesome nooks and crannies here and there… Still, can’t be helped. Who knows, in two years time I may be here and then I’ll have all the time to go through every little alley and passageway with a toothcomb if I feel like it.

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