Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 27 November 2009

Postcard From Liverpool


Last Thursday, whilst the poor people of Cumbria were enduring Britain's heaviest rainfall in 24 hours, NAH and I were not that far away in Liverpool for the day. Surprisingly we had no rain at all, although it threatened to do so for most of the time we were there. It was tremendously windy, the kind you can lean on without falling over and the antics of a pigeon on the ferry across the Mersey [cue song - Ed] amused us greatly: it was clinging onto the deck for dear life, but the wind was still managing to push it ever closer to going over the side.

We'd decided that the ferry was a holiday 'must do' and this was my first ever visit to Liverpool. Here you can see one of the classic Liverpudlian vistas: The Three Graces aka the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building (from left to right). NAH and I think the view's been spoilt somewhat by the brand new Pier Head ferry terminal in front of the Royal Liver Building: you can just see the Liver Birds - legend has it that if they fall off then Liverpool's prosperity will cease. Needless to say they're very well tethered on their perches!

Liverpool has the most Listed Buildings in England outside of London, so the hop on, hop off city bus tour was a good way to see a number of them and to get an overall feel of the place. We stopped off at Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club where it all began for The Beatles, but didn't have time to visit either of the museums dedicated to the Fab Four. NB The Cavern Club shown in the link is not the original, but a mere shadow of its former self. There's some rather kitsch street furniture around there, which will be turning up over at Sign of the Times shortly. A quick run around Albert Dock with its many museums rounded off our flying visit before we boarded the train* to head back to Cheshire.

* = I need a need little rant here - it cost us £3.20 return from Hooton plus 80p for a day's parking at the station and the parking was manned by a cheery man at the pay station on the way out. I went to Bath on Saturday, a shorter train journey which cost me £4.50, plus £4.50 (unmanned) car parking. Rip-off southern Britain or what?

12 comments:

  1. Um, does "liver" mean something over in your part of the world besides, well, "liver"? I'm getting some rather unsavory mental images from the words "Royal Liver Building"...;-)

    Sounds like it was quite an adventurous day, what with all the wind and rain. Glad you survived to write about it!

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  2. Susan - it's pronounced liver as in alive, not liver and refers to the birds on top of the building. The birds first appeared on Liverpool's coat of arms in the 1300's and the company building they adorn is an insurance company.

    It was a great day and the weather conditions certainly made it memorable, though thankfully not as memorable as those living in Cubria!

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  3. it fascinates me that weather can be so different between short distances. when i was a little girl, we were visiting my mom's hometown (pop. 400, 4 streets then unnamed). a tornado was threatening & we went across town to my grn'ma's basement. she was certainly surprised to see us as the weather was bright & sunny over her house! poor little pidgeon :) glad you had fun.

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  4. Great pic - it makes liverpool looka bit line GotahmCity from Batman.

    Chippenham station car parking - don't get me started! £6.70 in the week - and just up from £4.70. Inflation or what?

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  5. Oh, makes me want to go. The hubby was there years ago with friends(where he got locked out of his room, in his underwear AND he was the one looking after the tickets home!, they were a day late coming back) and my uncle has played guitar with George Harrison. I'd like a Liverpool story.
    Damn shame about that port in front of such a famous building.

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  6. My views about the ferry terminal are probably unprintable VP ! Merseyrail is particularly cheap - unfortunately we are just outside its boundaries :( We were in town then on the same day - coincidence or what? I noticed that wind too :)

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  7. My Liverpuddlian cousins were horrified that I included a trip to the Beatles Museum during my visit a few years back. They are staunchly Beatle un-fans. Granted, the museum was a bit frayed at the edges, but I didn't regret making the pilgrimage.

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  8. Well, that's very cool about the liver birds. I guess I would have understood about the pronunciation if I'd read the link first. Just goes to show you what happens when you skip those informative links! Thanks for the explanation of the pronunciation anyway.

    Here's hoping the birds don't fall off and Liverpool is prosperous for many, many years to come.

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  9. Petoskystone - at least you were safe! Whilst you're right that weather can be so different over short distances, I'm still surprised we weren't under a deluge at all!

    Mark - that's exactly what I thought. And don't get me started about the station car parking either - I used to walk there when I commuted regularly rather than pay for the parking. It was actually cheaper to have a taxi home, if it was pouring with rain at the end of the day.

    Carrie - now there's a story, you must tell us all about your uncle and George Harrison...

    Anna - thanks for clarifying I wasn't sure if you meant Chester or Liverpool when you said you were in town the other day. Now if only we'd known we'd be there on the same day...

    Helen - there's a sparkly new place as part of the ferry terminal too, so there's now a choice of Beatles places to go. My Brother-in-law couldn't believe that we didn't go there, it's the main reason for visiting Liverpool in his eyes. Mind you, he was a postgrad at Liverpool, so I suppose he's seen quite a bit of the city already.

    Susan - only too glad to tell you a little bit more :)

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  10. Imagine me standing up, jumping up and down, and waving a scarf around:
    L-i-v e-r-p double-o-l Liverpool FC!!! Thank you. I now return you to your normal posting.

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  11. Monica - you constantly surprise me with your knowledge of all things British :)

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  12. What a pleasure to recall Liverpool - a fantastic city and one of the friendliest in Britain.

    Car parking? Expensive? Try Peterborough Station - it's a cool £12 per day - an absolute OUTRAGE!!!!! Even then National Express couldn't make the railway pay, having given so much in their desperate bid for the franchise.

    So our best railway, the London Scotland East Coast Line is nationalised again. It's as if the government were trying to destroy the excellently green and environmentally wise rail transport so more and people can be forced to fly.

    Ooh, sorry, Getting cross again!

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