We spent the day in Liverpool England. My great grandma Stone was born in Liverpool (her father was a merchant marine before he met my great great grandma). Meanwhile, my great grandfather worked on the railroads across the bay in Birkenhead. My grandfather was born in Birkenhead before immigrating to the US, and it was wonderful seeing where part of my family comes from.
We had a wonderful guide. She had been a librarian before becoming a marketer before becoming a tour guide, and she was caring and passionate and genuine. We started on the pier on a windy and rainy morning, and walked along to St. Nicholas cathedral, which was impressive. A peaceful lawn bordering the cathedral was a mass grave during plagues in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Because Liverpool was a shipyard, it was heavily bombed by the Germans during World War II (2500 citizens were killed), and the cathedral was heavily damaged by bombs, but the minister took two burning embers to form a cross which is still on display today.
We saw the Exchange building, where at one time 40% of all trade in Europe took place, from slaves to tobacco and so on.
We saw The Cavern, where The Beattes performed 292 times in the famous milk bar (the focus was music, not alcohol). The Cavern was two or three stores underground, and the barrel ceilings created wonderful acoustics. I asked the bartender what beer a local might drink and she suggested the British beer Henry James, which was good.
We learned that Liverpool was a fishing settlement before the king chartered it as a city in the early 13th century, primarily beause it was a good launching point for the king’s men if he needed to quell an Irish uprising. The original Liverpool Castle was pulled down in the 17th century, and standing on the grounds now is a statue of Queen Victoria from 1906, who was the longest reigning British monarch (63 years) before Elizabeth surpassed her last year. We saw pictures of the statue following German bombers did their thing during World War II whree all the buildings surrounding the statue were reduced to rubble.
I spent a little time chatting with our guide outside the Beattle Story, since I had no interest in the Beattles’s life stories. I learned she has twin adult daughters and a son who just graduated college. She loves having twins. College tuition has gone from free to 3K a year before jumping to 9K a year. We talked about the nightmare of Donald Trump and the shock of Brexit (“people mainly wanted to send a message but without having to leave Europe”) and how Britain is similar to America in taht it is becoming every person for themselves. Like me, she believes that there should be higher taxes and using that tax money to fund/increase social programs for the greater good.
Wife M, daughter L and I had a delicious sandwhich and fabulous brownie at Cheese & Co., which also had very friendly workers. Following that, they walked along the shopping street like the ones that are found in every European city – a long gray brick street lined with upscale shops.
We had a difficult time understanding people’s accents 🙂
The city was a mixture of new and old, lots of glass but lots of old brick and Victorian era. The people were very friendly. I liked Liverpool, and would like to spend more time here.