That's right - we went to Liverpool! Honestly, I wasn't that excited at first. I was pumped for a new city to explore, but it wasn't my lifelong dream. I had no idea how awesome the city would be. I planned this trip for two reasons: 1) to get Zach excited about traveling abroad and 2) to do something Dad would enjoy. I really don't give either of them enough credit because a) Zach was excited to travel abroad and b) Dad loves exploring mining mills that most would fall asleep in, so Liverpool was like another scoop of ice cream in his travel sundae. I seriously stress myself out about people having a good time. I just read that Liverpool is on the list of top Europe travel destinations in 2013!
Liverpool is eclectic. The skyline's a definite mix of old and new, but that's every city with a history. These people are wonky. I mean that as the highest of compliments. They have all these oddities and humorous additions. Do you see little green things on the top of those white matching domes? Squint real hard. No? Yeah, the picture's a little far.
Unfortunately, this one isn't much closer, but I pointed them out. They're liverbirds (pronounced lie-ver rather than liver), which are creatures totally made up by Liverpool. These guys go way back, too - medieval times back. I can't remember what they're made up of, but I think it's something like the body of an eagle and the head of a phoenix. They're facing opposite directions and are chained in those directions because the story is that if they were to turn around and see each other, they'd fall in love and fly off, leaving Liverpool unprotected. The female's chained looking over the sea, protecting the boats, and the male's chained facing the city, making sure the pubs are open. Both quite important. But isn't that so quirky? I love these silly people.
Oh, and all fun facts are brought to you by our ducky tour. Again, we're quacky about those amphibious tours.
We toured around the city, picked up some fun facts, and stalked a few Beatles spots (I missed the picture of both the place where John Lennon was first married and one of his apartments). We also saw the largest church in the UK, and the fifth largest in the world.
Seriously, isn't that thing a monster? It's probably not politically correct to refer to a church as a monster. The architect also designed the iconic red phone booths, so there's one of those in there, too. Style points.
We continued along and ended in the Albert Dock. There were tidbits of history here and there, but mainly it's associated with trade. They were real close with the Americans back in the cotton days, and even claimed that the American Civil War officially ended there when a Confederate ship surrendered. It's been a few years since my last history lesson, but I really don't remember that. Four score and seven years ago...
Much of the area in and around the docks is relatively new. They were hit pretty hard in WWII.
Finally, as you can tell from the first picture in the post, we hit up Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club, where the Beatles were discovered.
We visited on a Saturday night, so there was a live band, which really kind of gave you goosebumps. Bonus points for them because they were actually good. The club itself is four flights underground, with low, curved brick ceilings, and, for obvious reasons, always packed. It was hot to say the least. That didn't take away from how awesome it was to be there, it just made me reconsider my choices in winter outerwear.
Everything about that place just felt so cool. I would definitely have been a teenybopper groupie fan girl. I got caught up in the hype of the building.
Lastly - superlambananas.
Jigga what? Apparently it had been too long since the Liverpoolians made up a creature, and it was because it was about 800 years, so they brought in this guy. He's part lamb, part banana, and that's enough for me to think him super. Then, in 2008 when they were named the culture capital of Europe, they made dozens of these guys to parade around. It was almost as good as puppies on parade.
Liverpool, I love you. I really don't know if I understand you, but I love you.
I saw a ceramic superlambanana in the tourist store but passed him by - he was the equivalent of $45. I'm regretting this. Don't let me down, Amazon. PS - I have treasure from here, but I have treasures from London, too (a post I'll get to), so I think I'll just throw them all together. So hang tight, unless you're in physical pain from anticipation, then let me know.