Birmingham – brimming with history

When I first visited Birmingham on a backpack tour around England almost 20 years ago, it wasn’t love at first sight. It was a grey day with a persistent drizzle that didn’t dampen only my mood but also drained any colour and fun out of Birmingham. I was glad I stayed only for the day.

Since I moved to Wales, I have been back several times. Usually for my yearly fix of bratwurst and mulled wine at the German Christmas market and a bit of retail therapy. And I try to discover a new part of the city every time. Last year I had a nose around the newly opened library. This time, I arrived quite early on a sunny though cold day and decided to go for a walk along the Birmingham Canal,and around the city centre for a while before getting all christmassy.

Birmingham_Cube

The atrium of The Cube

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The Cube is one of the newer buildings in Birmingham.

Birmingham_Canal1

Gas Street Basin

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Along the canal you get a feel for the industrial past of the city.

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Canal junction

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The area seems to be popular with graffiti artists as well.

Birmingham_Canal5

Not a single cloud in sight.

Birmingham_Library3

Old and new. The building to the right is the new library. 

Birmingham_Library2

The facade of the library.

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Two wheels – Birmingham Wheel and a statue outside the Hall of Memory representing the navy and holding a ship’s wheel

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King Edward VII

Birmingham_Wall-Mural

Nice touch to an otherwise boring building

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This side of One Martineau Place has got a bit of a retro feel to it.

Birmingham_Selfridges

Selfridges

Birmingham_Back-to-back

‘Back to backs’, the last surviving court of back-to-back houses in Birmingham managed by the National Trust. I was lucky to get a last minute place on one of the guided tours.

I have to say, I really enjoyed myself (and the bratwurst afterwards) and will have to come back on a summer’s day and see more of this city.

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