Had no expectations when I rolled into this Port town half way on my way to Scotland but I was thrilled to find a city that was small enough to be walked all over and beautiful enough to be really explored.
My accommodations at the Arena House were a fantastic deal at 15 £ a night for a private room with the TV! From there the first thing I did was walk to Matthew Street, an absolute jungle of pubs and live music venues . I went into the Uber-touristy— jammed with people from all over England as well as some from the US and France—Cavern Club where, from 11 am daily, a succession of guitarists led the crowd in shouting out Beatles tunes in ecstatic glee. “Hey Jude” “Love love me do“, “Here Comes the Sun”! And for six hours we did love each other, dance together, hugged and sang sang sang. I met Dorothy and Mark, madly in love, from Somerset, Michael Lynch, a comedian from Scotland who’ll be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, Paul and Charlotte from York, and Sheena and Pat from Wales who rescued me from the flirtations another Mark, a somewhat toasted handsome Physics teacher and widower from Liverpool.
The Cavern Club really is a mire of low ceilinged brick tunnels way down a spiral stair to an underground labyrinth where illegal whiskey was once brewed. Its walls and ceilings are covered with signatures and pictures of famous musicians who’d played there like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Who and of course the Beatles.
I returned a couple nights later and Mark and Dorothy were there and greeted me like best friends Singing here and at Rubber Soul, another pub, to live good singer-guitarists was a total joy and free to boot.
During the day I am immersed myself in culture. Explored the Slavery Museum with its really an incredible collection of Nigerian art and artifacts that revealed how highly cultured and developed the slaves brought through Liverpool were. Sadly this was the center of the slave trade and that story was told with great sensitivity. I took in the hundred or more works of Keith Haring at the Tate and then was most moved by “John and Yoko” at the Museum of Liverpool—immersive with photos, videos, letters, a replica of their Bed-in” for peace—and best of all, a karaoke sound booth where anyone and certainly me could sing “All we are saying is Give peace a chance” and Imagine”—amplified like a star😀😀
The weather was a perfect 70° and sunny making the beautiful harbor and the old brick piers as well as the three story Victorian homes throughout Liverpool look amazingly inviting. The city is a maze of roads mostly only for pedestrians—and you can walk for miles on the waterfront of the Mersey River in which I sailed on a “Dazzle” boat painted all over like a Peter Max cartoon—actually a way WW1 boats were camouflaged.
Spent a day at Speke Hall a wood framed wattle and daub manor house built in 1530 and used to protect Catholic priests when the Crown wanted them all assassinated. It was filled with heavy dark furniture, stuffed game and bronze sculptures in vitrines and a massive kitchen filled with pots and copper pans, butter churns, spatulas and spoons, crock pots and blue patterned crockery all arrayed beautifully on shelves. The Hall was surrounded by rambling gardens and lovely ordered and walked vegetable and flowers gardens.
I also took a train up to the Lake Country and saw Beatrix Potters home and garden. It was an intimate cozy home filled with her treasures and her drawings of dear little Peter Rabbit. Among the many flowers on the path leading to her home were tiny bronze hedgehogs set out with phrases to give Joy to children visiting. The tour included a sail on a lake and rides through steep wooded hills—so very lovely.
Back in Liverpool I got on a Hop On Hop Off bus and surprisingly found myself exploring the Anglican Cathedral in great depth being shepherded around by Terry keen to show me every nook and cranny of this 19th century but Gothic style cathedral that was really a gift from Lord Derby because he donated money for the land it’s built on. Its glory really is the Mary Chspel with its chandeliers and beautiful beautiful Stained -glass windows. I took a tour of aNstional Trust property—a photographers home as well so I could see all the accoutrements of a middle class 1950s family
Liverpool reminds me rather of Chicago both are unheralded really delightful places to visit