Monday, 5 January 2015

daytripper in liverpool

I always wanted to visit Liverpool. It seemed like it would give me an insight into English city life that I hadn't had yet. And of course I wanted to see where the Beatles had come from!

One of the first places the Beatles played

I arrived late in the afternoon for a one night stay. My vague plan was to go check out the Cavern Club, one of the early places the Beatles played at, and a lot of other famous English acts including The Who and Oasis. I wasn't sure what to expect, since it said live music is played every night, and it was a Monday. Would it be a dingy place with no one there and awkward for me to sit and watch acts that might not be very good? I teamed up with an Aussie staying in my dorm at The Hatters and we agreed we would check it out and leave if it wasn't good. 

We needn't have worried. 

As soon as we started walking down the spiralling staircase to underground I began to get excited. The Club is set in brick underground chambers that have been opened into one another. The walls are covered in pictures of the people who have at one point played to the audiences that sit at tables and on low stools, or get up and dance in the narrow spaces between, and tag the walls with pens or whatever they can find to lay claim to having been there. 

We drunk the Cavern Clubs own beer, and watched three amazing acts who played Beatles music but also other favourites at the end, and left only because they closed up at 12.

Me on the stairs down to the Cavern Club

Actually really good even for me and I don't drink beer much!

One of the first acts, who looked freakishly like Paul McCartney

My initials on the wall with purple nail polish

I had most of the next day in Liverpool before I headed over to Manchester to have dinner with friends. The plan once again involved the Beatles, by joining in with some others at the hostel to do the Fab Four Taxi Tour. I was hoping it would be as good as the Black Taxi Tour I had done in Belfast. Unfortunately although the sites we went to were great to see and our driver was lovely, he was not the best at telling the story of the Beatles in an interesting and informative way and remembering all the facts, basically telling us to buy a book and not able to answer questions, or unsure of his answer. I luckily didn't have too much trouble understanding him, but unfortunately the Brazilian and Mexican in our cab later told me the just laughed when the rest of us did because they had no idea what was going on!

We started off at the birthplace of John Lennon

The street on the right is where Ringo lived as a child 

Where he moved when he was older

Me on Penny Lane

The famous Barber shop

Eleanor Rigby's tombstone

The hall where John Lennon and Paul McCartney met

Outside the gates of Strawberry Fields - the home is no longer there

Outside John Lennon's house - the glass porch is whee many songs were composed

Outside Paul McCartney's house

I would still recommend the tour because it took me to all the places I wanted to go, and if you can do it in a group it's good value to be driven all over Liverpool. 

The city is mostly how I imagined and definitely worth a visit to see something outside of London and Edinburgh. 


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