This is bound to sound like some sort of bad travel writing, but, LIVERPOOL!
I didn’t have too many pre-conceived ideas about Liverpool, but the ones I did have floating about were not all that favourable – probably centring on vague, half-baked notions of football hooligans, unemployment and a dirty river. I should hang my head in shame, because Liverpool is a wonderful city.
It has this dark and fascinating past – the centre of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, a major port for British migrants to the new world, a global marine mercentile hub. And with this history, came a wealth that has left a legacy of rather beautiful buildings. Today, Liverpool has the highest number of Grade I listed buildings of anywhere in the UK and the docks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Did you know that at it’s height, there was 14 km of docks on the River Mersey? I didn’t, that is for sure.
(At this point, you may be able to tell that we took a very informative river cruise. )
There’s museums and galleries from here to your wazoo – many of them in the now restored and renovated dock buildings – the Maritime Museum, the Slavery Museum, The Beatles Museum, the World Museum. Ahhhh! We chose a quick spin around Tate Liverpool for me and the World Museum for Albie. But we will be back! The World Museum had massive discovery centres for children that were bang on point. We could have stayed there all day.
The highlight of the weekend for me though, was watching Albie make friends with 84 year old Diane on the river cruise. They chatted the whole way like old chums, about the war, about being evacuated to the Isle of Man, about being torpedoed, about walking in the wilds of Scotland, and about how to play lacrosse.
Granted, this Diane lady she had stories. But Albie, bless his socks, also had some very receptive ears.