Liverpool, England (August 20, 2019)

From Northern Ireland we headed 131 nautical miles south and east back to England. We docked on the Mersey River (made famous by the song Ferry Cross the Mersey) right at the city center. I did not know what to expect of Liverpool, but this sophisticated, old (think 1190) maritime city far exceeded my expectations.

We were excited about the forecast of sun and temperatures in the mid-60s since we were booked on a walking tour. No umbrellas and bulky rain coats to tote for the first time in over a week. We immediately regretted our blind acceptance of the forecast however. Rain and wind drenched our optimism parade while we were still in view of the dock. Luckily about an hour into the walk the sun came out.

Our walk centered first on architecture, history, and landmarks. Three huge, old, elegant building known as the Three Graces are front and center on the dock. The White Star Line, builders of the ill-fated Titanic, had their headquarters in town. Houseboats were tied up to docks making up colorful little communities. We passed beautiful bronze statues. One was erected in remembrance of the 4,000 residents who died during the Blitz, another one honors the many who left everything behind and immigrated, and one of a work horse is in appreciation of the valuable contribution to dock work horses provided back in the day. The Umbrella Project had a colorful display of 100+ umbrellas hanging in a small outdoor corridor, and whimsically painted Superlambananas greeted us in the most unexpected spots. An old church had a moving Homeless Jesus statue on a bench in its courtyard.

The second half of our walk centered on the city’s most famous native sons: the Beatles. Our guide’s Mother was a teenager when they were getting started and attended dozens of lunchtime concerts in The place to play at the time, The Cavern. Between February 1961 and August 1963, they played there no less than 292 times! It is in the basement of an old brick warehouse and has low ceilings, interlocking arches, and back then no ventilation. Smoking was allowed; food was served; and dancing was encouraged making it a warm, unpleasant smelling place to spend time but none the less popular. We had a chance to check it out and were surprised by how small the stage is. The Cavern is a music venue to this day.

The Beatles and Merseybeat shone a bright light on Liverpool and it became a much sought after spot on every aspiring musician’s tour. Music was an industry here. Near The Cavern is a large wall of bricks, each with a name of an A-lister who has played here. Think the Drifters, Stevie Wonder, The Who, Queen, Chuck Berry, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, and loads of others. Near this wall is a plaque titled Liverpool’s Wall of Fame which lists all 58 number one hits by Liverpool-based musicians from 1952 to 2001. Beatles’ hits account for 17 of the 58. Add to that Paul McCartney’s two, John Lennon’s  three, and George Harrison’s two. No wonder the city loves the original Fab Four. It seems fitting then that Liverpool holds the Guinness Book of Records title for being the Capital of Pop meaning more artists with a Liverpool origin have had a number one hit than from any other location.

We ended the tour with a visit to The Beatles Story, a museum of sorts. It does a very good job of telling their story and explaining the influence they had on contemporary music. I was glad I used the restroom before leaving the building because it was decorated like a yellow submarine.

Dan and I enjoyed lunch on the ship and then ran back to spend a couple hours in a museum on the dock. It was beautifully done and we could have stayed longer, but we had to be back on board by 4:30. The ship pulled out with Beatles music blaring from speakers on the dock! Liverpool’s pride in the Fab Four is no secret.

Dinner, as always, was wonderful. Walter came up with another cool seating scheme. At each seat was a card. On each card was a beverage. We were to choose the beverage that described a preference of ours. Ronnie’s was Coke, Cleone’s Jack (Daniels), Dan’s gin and tonic, Hettie’s coffee, Walter’s was What cha got? and I was wine. We each took turns asking questions from the Table Talk box and Dan’s birthday cake made an appearance. Late but a surprise none the less.

The evening ended with a lively song and dance revue.

Before lights out we put away our pounds and got the euros back out.


The original Superlambanana was a cross between a lamb and a banana. It was yellow.

At it zenith, Liverpool was the center of seven miles of docks!

The world’s first passenger railway line was built in 1830 and ran
from Liverpool to nearby Manchester. A local member of Parliament was killed
soon after, in the first ever railway accident.

Liverpool was the first city in the world to have a lending library, a school of tropical medicine, and an American consul.

Liverpool’s waterfront is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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