Birmingham – A Nice And Friendly City
We had never thought that we would travel to visit Birmingham for vacation and the first time we visited was when travelled to the University of Birmingham to see our son during his first year of studies in 2011. It took one hour to reach the city from the airport and the weather was cold! It was 9°C in October!
To give you a brief background about the weather, July is the hottest month in Birmingham with an average temperature of 17°C (62°F) and the coldest is February at 3°C (37°F). The most sunshine the country receives of daylight hours is around the 11th day of December and the wettest month is January, during which it always rains.
Birmingham is a very friendly city with a fascinating history and many fascinating buildings. It is England’s second city after London and is an important industrial and Commercial Centre with its own International Airport, and a canal system that rivals Venice. Its central location is ideal for visiting the areas of Shropshire, Shakespeare country and Warwickshire, and there are quick rail networks to London and the major cities which take only 2 hours of travel.
While in Birmingham it was not difficult to buy or eat halal food and most of the markets which sell meat or chicken put up stickers that read “Halal” in their shop windows. We can visit almost every year to see our son and spend our vacation without worrying about halal food.
Islam has become the second largest religion in the city with nearly 15% Muslims and 59% Christians. Birmingham has a higher number of Muslims than any other local area and there are more than 200 mosques within the city (purpose-built places of worship, former cinemas, churches etc.). The first purpose-built building was the Birmingham Central Mosque in Belgrave Middleway and this mosque is the second purpose-built place of worship. It is one of the largest mosques in Western Europe and was built in 1969 then opened to the public in 1975. The most inspiring aspect of this mosque is its multi-denominational position which means it does not cater to any one particular sect or school of thought but it represents all Muslims from any background. See -(http://thehalalchoice.com/h/index.php/component/content/article/16-visit-the-muslims-in/9-birmingham-uk)
There are a lot of places to visit in Birmingham. Some such locations are:
Victoria Square, formerly known as Council House Square, which is considered Birmingham’s central focal point and is also where the city’s Town Hall and Council House are situated. Victoria Square is one of the more attractive squares in Birmingham and visitors can enjoy the Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ fountain and attractive surroundings. The Queen Victoria statue of the British monarch Queen Victoria can be seen there. The statue is a bronze recast of the original by Thomas Brock that was sculpted in the year of the Queen’s death in 1901. Victoria Square is also the focus for the Frankfurt Christmas Market that descends upon the city in the lead-up to Christmas every year.
The amazing Bullring is a great place to visit and is so much more than a shopping centre – it’s a tourist attraction in its own right. The sprawling complex is home to over 160 shops and two department stores, including Selfridges, which has become an iconic architectural landmark. Outside the Bullring, there is a bronze sculpture known as ‘The Bull’. Other shopping centres nearby worth a look are the Pavilions (which includes a upper floor food court), the Pallasades and the Mailbox.
The canal is another great attraction and travels through the West Midlands. It meets the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal near Wolverhampton. Another canal, the Birmingham Fazeley Canal, built in 1784, meets the canal, which begins at Tamworth. It is nice walking by the canal taking photos of the historic buildings and seeing the regeneration that took place around the area.
There are many other lovely places to visit in Birmingham like: The Cadbury factory at Bournville where you can discover the history of chocolate and see it being made; Chamberlain Square, the square named after Joseph Chamberlain, a former Birmingham mayor and MP; the centerpiece of the square, the Chamberlain Memorial, a Neo-Gothic monument designed by John Henry Chamberlain; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, a large Victorian building that opened in 1885; the National Sea Life Centre which takes visitors on an undersea voyage with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life; and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens which has four glasshouses, 15 acres of ornamental gardens and was opened in 1832.
You can choose Birmingham as a nice choice for a halal vacation.