I woke up Monday morning to the smell of bacon. This is the universal smell to what is sure to be an amazing morning and start to the day. Sean and Jay had gotten up long before me and started preparing a proper English breakfast. Holy cow was it a lot of food! Besides delicious bacon, there was buttered toast which had baked beans loaded onto it, sautéed mushrooms, breakfast sausage, and scrambled eggs, all covered in “daddy’s sauce.” The sauce is best compared to a thicker Worcestershire sauce and it goes on a lot of stuff over here (it’s also known as brown sauce). Everything I ate that morning was just slightly different than what I’ve had back in the states, but it was jolly good and extremely filling. I typically eat till I’m satisfied, but since my plate was already loaded and I didn’t want to leave any food behind, I found myself eating well past the comfort zone. In some regards it worked out well because we had a long day of exploring ahead of us.
The first thing I learned about Liverpool was that it’s where the Beatles are from! Jay took us to Mathew Road where the Cavern Club was located. This club was down a few flights of stairs seemingly under the rest of the buildings.
It’s here where the Beatles first played and the pub is loaded with all sorts of Beatles memorabilia. It was pretty amazing standing in the same pub where they got started, listening to their music and just taking it all in. “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields” are just a couple songs that are about their hometown of Liverpool, but I’d imagine there are dozens more.
Liverpool is located along the coastline of the Irish Sea, making it a major port for many of the cities. River Mersey opens up at the port in Liverpool and goes all the way through Manchester. Port cities always grow large due to the trade and the job infrastructure that goes hand in hand. Our next stop in the city was to check out all the docks along the port. The buildings here were massive and as beautiful as the cathedrals we’ve come across. You always hear about the castles and the buildings over here in England, but seeing them in person blows the pictures out of the water. At one time not so long ago, they offered tours on the Yellow Duckmarine which was an amphibious vehicle which would take folks around the streets of Liverpool before heading straight into the water for a tour of the ports. The boat/car was based on the Beatles song “Yellow Submarine,” but unfortunately they just recently went out of business.
After walking a bit more through the city we decided we wanted to visit the top of the Radio City Tower. This tower was built in the late 60’s and it stretches 138 meters into the sky. Originally you used to be able to enjoy a meal located in a revolving restaurant at the top of the tower. This is no longer the case, but it’s still open for visitors to check out the city from a bird’s eye view. At the top you could see all of Liverpool just by walking around the perimeter of the observation deck. With the iPhone’s new ability to take panorama I was all set! We spent a long while up there just observing the city. We even played eye spy for a good bit. Check out how huge the Liverpool Cathedral is compared to the rest of the buildings.
We went back to Jay’s house for a great dinner he prepared for us. Again, I found myself eating much more than I should have, but it was so good! After dinner we went to the coastline to hang out on the beach and watch the sunset. Being from the East Coast, I don’t often get to enjoy sunsets on the beach, but when I do they are always spectacular!!
The following day was to be a day mostly filled with travel back to Sean’s home in Nottingham, but before departing we had to eat some local fish and chips from West Kirby. England is known for its fish and chips, but if you want to do it right you have to find a coastal town that carries the freshest of the foods. I’ve never been a huge fan of seafood, but in the past few years I’ve been working hard to become more open to all foods. I’m not positive on the type of fish I ate, or what exactly was loaded on top of it, but it was so good. I think I had mashed peas with vinegar and salt on my “small” sized meal. There was nothing small about this meal and I wasn’t able to finish it, but I highly enjoyed the experience and may never have fish and chips as good as those!
Leaving West Kirby, Jay pointed out to me a golf course which has played host to the British Open a few times. I would have loved to check that out a bit, but we had to get back into town so we could catch the train that would eventually take us back to Nottingham. There were a few delays and one cancellation, but we made it back in one piece. In the evening, Koren arrived and we set about planning our next day together!