A couple of days in a city with football and the Beatles on the menu, and a long lost maritime past.
Liverpool certainly has more to offer than meets the eye, and was a pleasant surprise. I and my son went over to watch football a weekend. The match was in Manchester, at Old Trafford, an hour-long train ride away. Behaving as normal persons, and without flying any colours, we watched the home team beat the visiting “Scousers”. I had sort of expected the train to be full of fans and felt a bit tense about mingling with the crowd, but the journey went easy.
Liverpool has more to it than Manchester, in other respects than football, so I won’t be blogging much about Manchester. But have a look. Anyway we had a couple of days to look around in Liverpool and I will here share my impressions in three chapters.
Liverpool’s past (dubious) glory
Liverpool’s historic hey-days of the 18th and 19th centuries were caused by the expansion of the slave-trade, moving slaves from Africa to America, transporting goods (cotton etc.) back to England and especially Liverpool in a very prosperous triangular transportation system. Even though the slave trade was abolished in Britain in the beginning of the 19th century, Liverpool had put itself on the map now shipping other goods for the expanding industry of the Midlands and also emigrants from Europe across the oceans.
Walker Art Gallery
St. George’s Hall
The Liverpool docklands were vast in size and fast at investing in new technology. For instance the Albert Dock was originally built in 1846 as the first enclosed non-combustible dock warehouse system in the world. The beginning of the 20th century did however bring changes to Liverpool, changes in the shape of decline and stagnation. The decline lasted for the better part of the 20th century.
Since the mid-1990’s or so the docklands and Liverpool as such, have yet again been filled with life and development, but of a totally different character than before. Today the Albert docks which we visited houses museums, several bars and restaurants and many shops. Liverpool together with my home town Stavanger was in 2008 the European Capital of Culture and several areas of the city were also included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2004.
My photos are from the historic past of Liverpool. We did not prioritise museum visits on this trip but they are supposed to be very good.
Albert Dock, Liverpool
In the footsteps of the Beatles
What we did instead was to follow the thread of a more recent development in Liverpool’s long history, that of music. Even though Liverpool is home to many musicians and has for decades had a lively music scene most people would associate Liverpool with the Beatles. In my opinion they are the single most important band in the formation of modern popular music.
We were considering joining a guided bus tour but the hotel advised us to go for another option. For a little more than the cost of the bus, we had a taxi on our own, with a very knowledgeable taxi driver, and an opportunity to spend more or less time at the various stops than following a slow-moving bus-loaded crowd.
Ringo Starr’s childhood home
Eleanor Rigby’s grave
Gate to the Strawberry Field
We were given a fabulous guided taxi tour to the childhood homes of the four pop stars of the 1960’s, to the Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, Eleanor Rigby’s gravestone and so on. It was very interesting indeed. At the end the driver let us off near….
This stadium, featuring the most famous stand of all in the world of sports, the Kop, is a must on anyone’s Liverpool itinerary. Including our.
The glory of Liverpool FC is definitely there to look and feel. The museum inside and the guided tour was very interesting, showing us all what a magnificent past this club has had, and hopefully will have in the years to come. Having said that, we were to become quite content watching them lose the match the following day in Manchester…
Outside Anfield football stadium, home of Liverpool FC
The Kop, Anfield football stadium, home of Liverpool FC