Long day today.
Dawn and I got up early to go to Euston station to get our railcards and then buy our tickets to Liverpool. There were trains there basically every hour so once we got the cards and tickets we didn't have to wait too long until the next train was there.
It was about a 2.5 hour trip. Not too bad. The train was very nice. High tech and new. It was very smooth and comfortable. Much nicer than Amtrak, although my opinion may be skewed by constant exposure to underground trains.
Once we got there we tried to find maps or tourist information but all we could find were transportation maps. So we went outside and wandered around looking for sign posts.
Liverpool reminds me of Rochester a bit. It is the 4th largest city in the UK (3rd largest in England) but it doesn't feel that large, much like the Roc. It only took us 10 minutes to get from the station to the Albert Dock (where there were a lot of attractions).
First we walked around Albert Dock (basically a large square with shops, museums & restaurants on the perimeter and water in the center) a little bit and got some much needed lunch. Then we made our way to the Beatles Story. This was basically a museum of the history of the Beatles. It was very nice and had a lot of information that seemed much more relevant actually being in the places referenced. An audio guide was included with admission, which was nice. The problem was that there was frequent audio and video throughout the exhibit so your audio guide conflicted and competed with that media at times. Fortunately for me, I knew a lot of what the guide and the placards were telling me so I tuned them out and looked at the memorabilia. A section was included at the end about each of the Fab Four's solo careers which was pretty interesting. Once again I did not buy anything at the gift shop (nothing was that special or anything that seemed unique to Liverpool or even England for that matter. It all just looked like stuff I've seen before).
So then we went to a few shops and wandered along the shoreline just looking around at the buildings. Then we went to Mathew Street. A.K.A. Where it all happened. This is where the Cavern Club is (as well as some new additions including the Cavern Pub and some other spinoffs). This was awesome (I try to avoid using that word but in is quite perfect in this situation). Now this is a recreation but some elements, including the stage, are original and it all matches the historical pictures perfectly. It is really something. You do feel like you're in a cave down there. I can't imagine being crammed down there with 300+ people, all shrieking like mad. It is a very funky place and it's quite obvious why it became such a hot spot for the Beatles (and since then many big acts have performed there). There was a man there playing Beatles music (Of course) for part of the time we were there. Here I did buy some souvenirs (I mean I was in the Cavern Club after all). Nothing big, just a mug and some postcards. Once we exited I felt like my task was complete. I had come to England, made it to Liverpool and descended into the Cavern. I can go home now (except obviously I have much more of the country to explore but still, I'm a Beatles girl).
After Mathew Street we were pretty much beat (having been walking for 4+ hours at this point) so we made our way back to the train station while searching desperately for an ice cream or dessert shop. No such luck. We had to resort to McFlurries at McDonalds (which are much fancier here with minimalist decor and furniture).
Then we got back to the station and were able to get on a train right away that was leaving for London about 30 minutes later. We made it back to London around 8:00, came back to the flat, cooked up some snacks and then I caught up on TV shows from last night.
Well it's been a hard day's night (get it?). I am going to sleep in tomorrow and then work on my essay (ugh another one already?!?) for the remainder of the day.