I do love strolling little known streets and taking ad hoc trips to unknown places. Living close to what they call “transport links” makes a huge difference, as well. When you only need to walk 3 min. to the place where there will be trams, buses, taxis and even trains you do feel like you’re almost obliged to travel. All the better for me, as you may guess.
So, on Saturday I was waiting for a home delivery, which was not delivered due to the store’s not supplying my full address. With the bookcase assembly then being postponed, I wandered around the flat for a short time, before deciding to go to Altrincham.
I’ve never been to Altrincham before – except for a short visit in 2005. I was a BBC’s People’s War story gatherer, and on that day we were meeting the war veterans during the annual Flower Show at Tatton Park. A free bus service operated between Altrincham and Tatton Park, so I took a tram from St Peter’s Square. I had a glimpse at Altrincham’s buildings while on the bus, but it took me three years to get to walk in the town’s streets.
On Saturday afternoon the town looked and felt deserted. I recalled a visit to the old Russian city of Vladimir: I went with a group of friends during the weekend, and although the trains were fairly busy, the city was silent and calm. Altrincham was very much the same, except for its silence was almost magical. I also remembered a short stay at the Shap Wells Hotel,
There was something lovely about being called “signora”, and talking to Giorgio the chef about his long walk in Tatton Park, and then listening to the chef’s humming to himself, and then to the Italian music. Just as I was leaving, “Solo Tu” by Matia Bazar came on, which I was able to recognise because I have already seen the embedded clip on YouTube. A weekend trip to Altrincham became an unforgettable tree-gazing, tiramisu-tasting, Italian-feeling affair – something I would certainly love to relive one day.