Liverpool (England) in two days
We’re in Liverpool! Liverpool, England. Not the rip-off town whose name Sydney stole – but the real Liverpool where the Beatles’ Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr grew up.
A lot of people asked why we put Liverpool into our Europe itinerary and it was mainly because I knew there would be Beatles-related attractions. That and I know that many bands were bred in this city. People have asked me what’s in Liverpool and I am not sure if they have ever been there, but I always feel like directing them to Holly, who has been living in Liverpool for a few years and makes it sound like more than what people think it is.
20+ hours of flying
I feel like it’s necessary to talk about the flights here, which meant we were on a plane for over twenty hours. We flew business class from Sydney to Singapore with a quick stopover, then from Singapore to Manchester (stopping at Munich, Germany to drop and pick up passengers). It probably made sleeping more comfortable because our seats could fold out into a bed. We were fed really well, though I ate so much because I wanted to try all the food, even though I probably ate what I would normally eat over the course of three days.
I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on the plane. I knew about the story before watching and tried not to let that affect my viewing, and to be honest I kind of hated it and thought it was a waste of time. I have heard people say it is a nice film but it was really kind of bizarre and almost all the characters ticked me off at some point or another.
I tried to read but after reading some blog posts I had saved, I got bored and tried to read a book but it proved difficult when my eyes were getting so dry and I couldn’t focus. Eventually I got to sleep, not before eating ‘supper’, which was undeniably huge. I half regret eating it because I felt completely stuffed but I knew I would have regretted missing it because the seabass and quinoa I had was insanely delicious. Wouldn’t be surprised if I gained a few pounds (hmm am I already measuring my weight in pounds instead of kilograms?) from the flight alone.
After twelve hours where we managed to get some sleep, stopping in Munich for an hour, and almost two hours playing Bejeweled on the entertainment system on the way to Manchester – we decided to rough it through our first day in Liverpool without any more sleep. Flights are difficult. Travelling twenty hours to travel nine hours back in time does not sound efficient. :P
We took a train in, checked in with our Airbnb host, had a quick shower, and headed out for the day.
Day one of activities
We were going to catch a bus down to Albert Dock but decided to walk because the bus didn’t show up after a minute and we didn’t feel like waiting for very long. It took us a while to walk though we stopped at Vodafone on the way to buy SIM cards, and looked around at the shops.
The next day we realised it would take 45 minutes to walk from where we were staying to the dock, so we must have walked that much – wow. I logged over 21,000 steps on my phone, and sometimes I don’t carry it (like when I go to the toilet and get Nick to mind my bag).
We took the Merseyside ferry around the Mersey river. We stopped at the U-Boat story museum, which Nick found underwhelming, but it was pretty interesting nonetheless. We took photos at the Beatles statue and wandered around the Beatles Story. We also watched a quaint 4D Beatles show, it seemed a bit cheesy.
We met up with Holly (and her boyfriend Tyrone) in the evening! I can’t remember exactly how long we’ve been chatting online for and how long we’ve known each other for, but I know that we have talked a lot more in the past two years than before that. And I know it’s been at least five years since knowing her, because she’s been with Tyrone for much longer than that, and the first time we spoke they were already a couple. Not to mention, she wrote a blog post recently that reflected on some photos she posted on her blog sooooo many years ago! It’s safe to say she is one of my blog friends I’ve known the longest.
We had some cheap drinks before dinner, and then went to Free State Kitchen where Holly managed to make a reservation (despite them not usually taking any) because she said I was a VIP. :P We had some good burgers. I had a veggie burger which definitely scales high on my veggie burger list. I’ve had some pretty bad ones in my lifetime, haha.
We talked about so many things and Holly even gave me a little guidebook on scouse English. We had a bit of an adventure at Tesco where I found wine gums for so damn cheap. They are hard to find in Australia, and are usually expensive. Nick also pointed out how the Fanta here is yellow – in Australia it is bright orange! XD
Day two of activities
We were so tired we slept for about ten hours, we were also interrupted by some drunk-sounding guy yelling ‘taxi… taxi’ outside our window.
We had a spot of breakfast and then did the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour bus. It was really interesting, and we went to the Beatles Story museum in the afternoon. Both were very educational and I learned a bit more about the Beatles than I already knew. It was great seeing the real Penny Lane and Strawberry Field, which inspired the Beatles songs Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever.
I found the Beatles Story museum quite emotional towards the end. The museum followed their entire story and the end had tributes to each Beatle, beyond their life in the Beatles. I felt like I was going to tear up reading and hearing about John Lennon, even more so when it came to George. George is my favourite Beatle. I definitely felt the same emotion seeing the exhibit for John Lennon’s Imagine.
After going to the maritime museum and the Museum of Liverpool, we shopped around a bit. We don’t have New Look or Primark in Australia so I poked around there, and then bought some tea from Leaf – Holly said they specialise in tea so of course I went and bought some. I am going to go nuts if the tea is good. I probably won’t try it until I get home, though.
We ate at Host for dinner, which Holly also recommended, I thought that was pretty yummy too.
Notable interesting things about Liverpool (and possibly England) so far
One thing I have to point out is that the birds in England actually cheep! Holy shit. That doesn’t happen in Australia. Which this tweet will explain:
american birds: chirp chirp
european birds: cheep cheep
australian birds: FUCKIN AHAHAHAHAHAHA
— fungbunger (@parsfarce) March 18, 2016
I also noticed that rubbish bins/trash cans are purple. Such a strange colour for bins (in my opinion), as the ones in Sydney are gross dark green, with others being red or blue.
The kerbs or the roadsides are not very high off the road compared to Australia. They are very shallow. I noticed on the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour bus that some cars park half on the road and half up on the kerb, especially in narrow lanes. Perhaps that is why the kerbs are shallow.
I saw a lot of girls wearing ripped jeans, it seems to be quite common here.
Groceries (namely at Tesco) are so cheap! I can’t believe you can buy a packet of decent biscuits for 28p. Good luck finding them in Australia for any less than $3.50 (£1.78).
But yes… I do like Liverpool, I probably won’t be rushing back for another visit, but I have enjoyed staying here. It doesn’t seem very ‘touristy’, which is why I like it. For that reason, I have started to dread how possibly ‘touristy’ London might be. We head there tomorrow. :o
Note: I’ve linked to my Instagram photos in this post but I just might edit this post later on to put the photos in directly (and may include more).