Yet another three-year anniversary…today in 2017 we were in Liverpool, England, and it was terrific – highly recommended. Liverpool is named either after the many eels in the Mersey River (Elverpool), or from the old English words for lifer, meaning thick or muddy water, and pol, meaning a pool or creek. So much of the city’s life and livelihood come from its ports and the river. You have heard the term “Liverpudlian” for a resident of the city, but even more popular for a resident is “scouse,” named after the city’s very popular stew, which appears on most menus.
Visiting the city means a walk along the Mersey, with the Maritime Museum and all the shops and other museums along the way. The first photo shows Pier Head, and it, along with the entire system of docks, is part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site. The second photo is the Mersey, and it was rather nostalgic walking along it…see the ferry in the background? A favorite song from the 60s was the wistful Ferry Cross the Mersey by Gerry and the Pacemakers. It brought back memories of the musical British Invasion of the 1960s. We walked over to Albert Dock, seen in the third photo. A hundred years ago, it was a major port, grimy, and hard work for stevedores loading and unloading ships. Today it has been re-purposed as a tourist center, with museums, shops, cafes, and restaurants….and even a carousel. We were told the renovations were mostly funded by the European Union (EU). As we traveled around Britain that year, Brexit was the hot topic of conversation. We found the people of Liverpool felt they had been helped out greatly by the EU, more than by the British Government, which they felt only cared about London and Westminster. Needless to say, they were very much against Brexit.
Another nostalgic moment was seeing a Mr. Softee ice cream truck, which was very popular with everyone in Jan’s Pennsylvania hometown during the summer in the 1950s and 60s. The jingle would play (which she can still sing!) and all the kids would surround the truck with their dimes. The logo is the same one from way back then!
The next three photos are the inside of the town hall; the beautiful entrance to Philharmonic Pub, where we enjoyed an excellent lunch with a couple we had met on a cruise several years earlier (who called themselves pie-eaters, from the village of Wigan); and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. What a gorgeous facade! It was dedicated in 1967.
The story of Liverpool is about trade, the Mersey River, culture, many things. Yet the one thing you cannot escape its musical history. It is the birthplace of the Beatles, of course, and over the years Liverpool musicians have produced 56 No. 1 hit singles, more than any other city in the world. In the museum, named The Beatles Story, which was very good, there was a yellow submarine, a Sgt. Pepper’s display, and photos and info going all the way back to their beginnings at the Casbah Club and the Cavern Club. It was all very well done, lots of photos and letters and some of their original instruments. The story is told very well. And, of course, music was played. We sang Yellow Submarine all the way back to the hotel! Look at the final photo of the Fab Four, after the Eleanor Rigby photo….it is made of????……Jelly Beans! Unbelievable! They aren’t cut in any way, either. The next day, in the following photo, we visited 10 Mathew Street, the location of the original Cavern Club, which hosted the Beatles before the entire world knew their name and songs. As you can see, it was a rainy day, as was true for much of our time in the city. It limited what we could do, but gave us a reason to return.
The final photo is of some of the dishes from a Moroccan restaurant we enjoyed on more than one occasion, the Kasbah Cafe Bazaar. Moroccan food is based around tagines, couscous, rice, great bread and soups, and liberal use of dates, figs, raisins, and almonds in the meat and vegetable dishes. We look for Moroccan cuisine whenever we are in a new city. Put Liverpool on your list if you ever visit London. It is just 200 miles from the capital, an easy driving or train trip.