This is my big day in Liverpool – the Beatles’ fan’s Mecca. Woke up a little before 9 a.m. and left a little before 10 a.m. with Dr. Morrison and Aunt Pauline (I guess I’ve adopted her as well!) The first thing we did was take the legendary Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey (a tribute to Gerry and the Pacemakers and their famed song.). Actually, Dr. Morrison drove his car through the Tunnel Under the Mersey while Aunt Pauline and I rode the ferry. Granted, it was a touristy thing to do, but it was fun and worthwhile… and honestly, how can you not be all touristy when you’re in the birthplace of the Beatles?
When we got across, Dr. Morrison picked us up and drove us to Albert Dock, which reminds me very much of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, though on a slightly smaller scale. Just a few years ago, this was a very depressed and unsightly area full of abandoned buildings. However, those buildings were renovated and turned into small shops and a Liverpool museum. The result is wonderful. It really gives one a different impression of a city that many people simply avoid because of its reputation, when really there’s little difference between what I saw an many other big cities I’ve visited. Sure, there were run-down areas, but I discovered that the city had much to offer… and not just for Beatles fans.
At Albert Dock we went into the Mersey Maritime Museum. Of particular interest there was the Immigration Musuem, which brilliantly explained how a person would immigrate to the United States… many of whom came here before boarding a ship to America. Following that we went to Mathew Street… the location of the famed Cavern Club, where the Beatles played many of their early shows. On Mathew Street we visited The Beatles Shop, which in a word was “bliss.” I bought two record albums that I needed: “Magical Mystery Tour” (with the full booklet included) and “The Beatles” (The White Album). Also bought a cool mug featuring the Blue Meanies from the movie “Yellow Submarine.” I had to be careful not to blow my whole budget right here and now.
We then ate lunch at an Italian restaurant on Mathew Street, which was excellent… I still can’t complain about any of the food I’ve had. We then took a quick look into the Cavern Club, passed by the Eleanor Rigby statue there (very lonely), and another statue of The Beatles.
That was all nothing compared to the Magical History Tour we took… a small tour bus that took us around to many of the important Beatles sites in Liverpool. We visited the homes where John, Paul, George and Ringo lived when they were little, the schools they attended, where Lennon and McCartney first started writing songs together, the hospitals where they were born, the pubs they were kicked out of, and of course, Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Needless to say, I took a lot of pictures. I was afraid Dr. Morrison and Aunt Pauline would find it boring, but it was quite the opposite… they found it almost as interesting as I did. I guess they never really thought about taking a tour of a place so close to home until an American showed up on their doorstep.
After the tour, we went back to the car, took the tunnel under the Mersey and dropped Aunt Pauline off at her home. We headed back to the house, where after eating dinner, Sean, Stewart, Duncan and another friend of Glen’s, Vicki, invited me to join them on a trip to The Thatch, a pub that dates back to the 17th Century. It was located in the middle of what I can best describe as “nowhere.” The Thatch was quite crowded but an experience I enjoyed, being in such an old place, mingling with the locals. Afterward, we went back to Vicki’s house for coffee (of course) and a little more chatting. Returned home later and sacked out.
I now know what one of my articles to The Snapper (the Millersville University student newspaper) is going to be – “Clearing up the Misconceptions of Liverpool: City of the Beatles and So Much More.” Cheers!