The Zizzler

Living THE life on a shoestring budget. Traveling, DIY projects, general fabulousness.......

Monday, June 05, 2006

Not Really a Beatles Fan

I wanted to write about a project I'm working on, but I ran out of supplies and last night I accidentally gave the rest of my money to a dog wearing a t shirt (and pearls).

So instead we'll venture to Liverpool, where I spent a cheapy weekend once. I was studying in London, and took a 2 hour train ride from Euston Station. Fares range from 22 pounds for advance booking, to 52.10 pounds for day of (roundtrip). A cheaper option which I didn't know about until recently, is Prices range from 1 pound to 22 pounds, depending how far in advance you book. They are like the Chinatown bus of NYC/Philly, pick up on random corners, and are generally for people in the know. But if you can afford it, I recommend the train- the English country side is beautiful, and trains are spacious and comfortable.
I found Liverpool to be a bit strange, pretty industrial, and kind of angry. But I still liked it. I like the Beatles like most people do, but I'm not a HUGE fan, so I opted out of the "Magical Mystery Tour Bus", which ran about 40 pounds a person. Nooooooo thank you. We did however pick up one of their free maps, and hiked the extremely far walk to Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. Really, nothing to see. Strawberry Fields is the gate infront of a home for children, which has since closed. Tons of lame Beatles oriented grafitti. Thats it. Penny Lane is a regular street with regular shops and what not on it. Toward the center of town is the infamous Cavern Club, where the Beatles began. I had a pint of Carling and looked at the memorabilia. Its kind of a dive, just how I like bars to be.
After I got my fill of Beatles' stuff, I headed over to the Liverpool Cathedral. Started in 1904, the cathedral is the largest in Britain. It sits atop a hill and overlooks the city. At the foot of it, almost in a pit below is a really neat cemetary with several mass graves from an orphanage fire of the early 1900s. The cemetary was one of my favorites, very creepy yet serene. The Cathedral itself was very beautiful, but not as impressive to me since it is contemporary, and I'm an agist.
One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Liverpool was to visit the Tate Modern Liverpool Museum General admission is free, with a 4 pound fee for special exhibitions. I caught the Peter Blake show (who incidentally is most famous for the cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's album). They also have a really good gift shop. The Tate is on the waterfront, where I found a cheap hotel for 30 pounds a night nearby. Liverpool's Albert Dock waterfront is really cool, with great architecture. "The Three Graces", which are comprised of the Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building are probably the most recognizable area in Liverpool (free admission). Albert Dock has a lot going on- cafes, pubs, and lots of foot traffic. Very fun to explore.
Liverpool also has the largest Chinatown in Europe, which means tons of good cheap food. There are also many 24 hour bakeries where you can get a spinach pie for 1 pound or something sweet. I think we walked all of Liverpool in 2 short days. I found it interesting that there were so many abandoned houses right next to really nice ones. We also came across several overgrown cemetaries. I love things like that, I love to wonder how they got that way, who forgot about them, andif they will ever get cleaned up.
People in Liverpool were really mean to us. I mean, maybe it was because we have annoying American accents. Maybe not, they seemed to be mean to each other as well?


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