As you drive in through the gates to the car park there is a LED car counter to let you know how many car parking spaces are left. There were 5026 left on the morning of our visit so I think we were going to be ok :) I had been warned about the dangers of never finding your car again, the peril of wandering the car park, walking up and down aisle after aisle until you finally collapse from starvation and exhaustion; so I made sure we knew exactly where we parked - and here's a picture.
I agree with Seinfeld on this one; if they gave car parking rows a name instead of a number you would be more likely to remember where you parked. For example if our row was called 'monkey vomit' you are not really very likely to forget that in a hurry. Really you would think car park designers could be a little more imaginative.
The designers of the Trafford Centre however were very, very imaginative. I have never seen so much marble or Greek/Roman style statues in my life.
The glass dome in the centre of the building is truly fabulous, even more so when viewed from underneath.
We arrived at 9.00am and as the shops do not open until 10.00am we had plenty of time to look around. Mr Bee walked several meters away from me as he was highly embarrassed by my oohhing and aahhing and taking photos of everything in sight.
Every surface is decorated in some way. There are murals, cornices, columns, Greek/Roman themed plant pots, and benches.
Here is an example of one of the murals. There is one of these painting every few meters. I am not sure if they are people from history or if they are more modern celebrities. For arguments sake lets call this lady Kathy. Imagine how excited Kathy would have been to be asked to sit for one of these murals.
Then imagine that you became Kathy Queen of the Toilets. I think the excitement may have wained a little by now don't you?
Each one of these pots must have cost several hundred pounds each, and there are hundreds of them scattered throughout the centre.
Here is the dome from underneath. Large murals cover the walls under the dome. You can enlarge the photo to have a better look.
This will give you the idea of what they look like. These were done in a more traditional Greek/Roman design. The Trafford Centre construction must have kept quite a few Manchester based artists employed for years completing all these paintings.
Cruise Liner Food Court
I think the statues are made from reconstituted stone, but don't quote me on that. They are all white with molted brown clothing draped on them. If they are not reconstituted stone and are actually carved by hand it must have taken years and year to complete them all as every way you turn you can see a statue. They even line the roof outside.
The Trafford Centre is effectively one large rectangle with two floors (ground and level one) which houses some 230 stores. There is a walkway which joins the rectangle half way along the top floor, near Boots, which take you to the furniture and home wears shops in the open air section. There are Christmas shopping trips from Guernsey to the Trafford Centre. You fly out on the 7.00am flight and home again at 8.00pm. Buses meet you at the airport and drop you off at the Trafford Centre. I could never see the point in this type of shopping trip before.....I can now! I would need to take a large suitcase with very sturdy wheels as I do not believe I could carry all those bags all day ;P
This is one of the murals on the walkway. There was also a piano which plays itself but I didn't get a photo of that as it was getting a bit crowded by this point.
Another Greek God just for good measure.
Mr Bee dubbed this the Trevi Fountain designed by Top Shop.
There has been some serious money spent in the decoration of this shopping complex.
We stayed and shopped until about 1.00pm, as Aunty Sue was kindly looking after the Bumble B'eers. It was for the best that we left when we did as plumes of smoke where wafting from our wallets due to the frantic card swiping going on in all the shops we visited.
Now lets go find the car. Where did we park again? Oh that's right aisle Monkey Vomit!