Still “following the sun” in England, I had a “ticket to ride” to Liverpool. The town by the Mersey, home of THE BEATLES, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! “Money may not buy me love” but it sure got me the Magical Mystery Tour. And, no, they don’t have “eight days a week” in Liverpool but seven is plenty enough.
My train from Reading took me to the Lime Street station in Liverpool. I took a connecting train to the James Street station, a 5 minutes walk from Albert Dock. As soon as I got out of the station I was greeted by the English weather. It was raining “here, there, and everywhere”. I had forgotten to pack an umbrella and I was drenched by the time I got to the hotel. As soon as I got changed, I “felt fine”. “Here comes the sun” and “I am as happy as can be”. I got acquainted with my surroundings, Albert Dock, Salt Dock, the Mersey River and walk along the Mersey to Pier Head.
Next, I headed for The Beatles Story. The ticket was good for two days and included The Beatles Hidden Gallery, John Lennon’s White Feather Exhibition, and Fab4D at Pier Head.
If you are into Beatlemania, then this is El Dorado!
We are reminded that the British Invasion of the 60’s was a return favor by the Liverpool lads after years of absorbing American rock and roll culture. The Beatles grew up wanting to be Elvis and in turn, a whole generation in America wanted to emulate The Beatles.
The next day I took a “day tripper”, a “one way ticket yeah, it took me so long” on the Magical Mystery Tour bus to the Cavern Club.
I suspect the tour route meandering through the suburbs of Liverpool must have closely followed John Lennon’s path playing truant from school. We covered all four Beatles childhood homes. Ringo’s home is abandoned and slated for demolition but the people of Liverpool are saying “wait”, “we can work it out”! George Harrison’s is a well kept private home. Paul McCartney’s and John Lennon’s homes are national trust sites.
The “long and winding road” took us to one of rock and roll’s most historic sites, the church yard John Lennon first met Paul McCartney. Then we swung by “Strawberry Fields (forever)” which is the gate of an orphanage, “Penny Lane” with its famous barber shop, and finally at that famous grotto in Beatledom called The Cavern Club.
“Something” in the way the Cavern Club feels speaks of the urgent brilliance of the early Beatles performances there. I just had to be seen “standing there” with a pint of the Cavern’s own brew in my hand. One more pint and I would have been “twisting and shouting”!
I had a late lunch just up the street from The Cavern at The William Gladstone. Their summer special was fish and chips with a pint of beer for only GBP4.99! The sweet young lady was very patient with me while I tried to figure out “mooshed p’s” and “ar’den p’s“. After repeating herself several times, I opted for the safe choice of ar’den p’s. Give me ardent over mushed any day. I also requested for a glass of wine instead, which she happily obliged.
Appetite satiated, I went to “please, please me” with some shopping. Downtown Liverpool has a vibrant shopping district. That funny vehicle is the Yellow Duckmarine Tour.
What was I supposed to do when I saw Clarks shoes on sale? “All I’ve got to do” was find my “Old Brown Shoes”. I’ve got the 60’s in my head and so I opted to buy a pink polka dotted umbrella to go.
“Good morning, good morning” to a drizzly day. Not to be deterred, I headed up Pier Head after breakfast with my pink polka dot umbrella. I had to take the Ferry Cross the Mersey popularized by Gerry & the Pacemakers. As though on a queue, the song came through the loud speakers as I boarded.
That’s my pink polka dot umbrella in my backpack to match my t-shirt. Pretty cool eh? 8)
After the ferry ride, I went to visit the brand new Liverpool museum that talked about the history of the place. Yes, Liverpool is not just about the Fab4. It was the major port of embarkation for many English emigrants leaving for America and Australia in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
I explored the public buildings that formed Victorian Liverpool when it was one of the busiest ports in the world. Liverpool ONE is a refreshing urban renewal project in the old city providing state of the art shopping.
That was a wonderful visit and as the Fab4 would put it, “I’ll be back”.
Still in my Beatles vein, here is a simple cake using the ever popular British biscuit, McVitie’s Digestives to make my “White Cake Album”. After a taste of it, one might sing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and have a “couple of kids running in the yard”!
- 1 cup (240ml) whipping cream
- 1 tsp powdered (icing) sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 12 pieces McVitie’s milk chocolate digestive biscuits
- Chill bowl and beaters for at least an hour in the fridge. Line a 9”x6” pan with parchment paper.
- Remove bowl and beaters from the fridge and attach beaters to electric mixer. Add cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to chilled bowl. Beat till soft peaks form.
- Spread cream over 2 biscuits on the side not covered by chocolate. Attach the side with cream on one biscuit to the chocolate side of the other biscuit. Place them standing on the lined pan. Continue attaching the remaining biscuits to the two biscuits to form a log about 5 inches in length. Spread the remaining cream over the entire log evenly. Place in the freezer overnight.
- Thaw in fridge for an hour before serving.
No, I did not meet Paul or Ringo!
For the first part of my travel to England, please check out Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!