Liverpool day trip; Beatles,Docks,Cathedral,Pub

Trip Start Dec 23, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, April 4, 2011

Today started slowly with a leisurly breakfast in the cottage together. Helen gets every Monday off work. Liverpool is the destination and like everywhere else there is more to see and do than time permits. A quick review of the tourist trail city map and three venues are identified which is enough for a day as this leaves room for some spontaneous cafe stops.

Liverpool, originally a fishing village on the river Mersey as early as 1207, has a population just over 484,000. Since the 18th century it's situation has been attractive for European immigration, the Carribean slave trade and cargo import/export. This mixed community somehow managed to produce the most iconic pop music band in history, the Beatles.

We took a 30 minute train ride from Ormskirk to Liverpool and wandered up the hill to the largest Anglican Cathedral in the world, built in a traditional gothic style. We met a guide inside who strolled with us and gave us a personalised tour answering our many questions. To our surprise this building is relatively young. It was commenced in 1904 and completed 74 years later in 1978 spanning 2 world wars, a depression and the Beatles pop revolution (through thick and thin you might say). It was interesting that the architect stipulated there be no burials in or under the building as it is dedicated to life. Beside the Cathederal in the garden are buried 57,000 people in mass graves who suffered through the poor and plagued times over the last 100 years.

We were told and interesting fact; what makes the building a cathederal and not a church is that the Bishop chooses to locate his 'chair', an old plain wooden artifact,
in the building. If he removed it, the building would loose its status as a cathedral. Anyway, it was an enormous gothic cathederal and terrific to see.

The most ambiguous thing I saw there was a few pieces of contemporary art by Tracey Emin, who was a Turner Prize nominee in 1999 for an installation art piece depicting her unmade bed. It looked just like most peoples daughters bedrooms (personal comment: 10 billion parents could just have taken a similar photo). The cathederal funded at least two pieces. One is a bronze sculptue of a small bird on a stick which I am told cost 60,000 and the other 'priceless piece' you will see in my photos; An electric powered pink flourescent cursive statement, "I felt you and I knew you loved me". This slap to the classical senses has been described as 'energized and electrified, pink is exposed, simpering and a little tawdry' (Catherine Pickstoch: Ref: or is it something warming in a stoney place? You decide. As for me, I would prefer to visit during a power failure so I can be awed by the sunlight kaleidascope through the huge stained glass windows but then again, I already know that He loves me.

Gosh Better dribble to the next place....

Yes, yes... we wandered and peered into tourist traps, considered buying a beenie that said 'old sea dog' untill I recalled my potential $300 excess bagage costs just getting here, we walked slowly arm in arm to the wild and romantically windy Mersey riverside - for a minute - and scurried back to look for a cafe. 'Shame' you say? Not really, as that is exactly the cultural thing to do. Ha!

Well we saw the exhibition (at the Docks) it was great and very Beatles 'y. What can I say... well what I didn't know (but I am sure google does, sigh) was that John Lennon was catalyctic in the whole thing with his QuarryBoys band and the Beatles actually had a different drummer originally where Ringo's debut appearance was on Karakas. Apparantly Ringo had never let their long time manager and friend, Brian Epstein off the hook.

Helen dragged (!) me to this amazing historical pub, 'The Philharmonic', that actually runs tours in summer of the men's toilets as they are quite artistic with orange dapled ceramic cisterns and floor and wall mosaics. The rest of the pub was decorated with wood paneling, fine furniture, chandeliers, 15 foot ceilings and huge drapes. Cool. A pint and off home.


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