Eurotrip 2019 - London and Liverpool
While driving around Europe is great and (mostly) convenient, the ability to get from one amazing city to another in a few short hours on a train is fantastic. Plus, traveling from Paris to London, you gain an hour and have even more of your day ahead of you!
We were staying in Marylebone, which is a gorgeous area with lots of old brick buildings. I want to stay in this neighborhood again. It’s also near the Baker Street Station - so, being the nerd that I am, I decided we should go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Be warned that the line can be pretty long. The museum is small so they only let a handful of people in every 10 or 15 minutes, which makes the line move pretty slow. Luckily (or unluckily?) they have lots of silly souvenir shops along the street, so you can window shop (or actually shop if you’ve got a friend to hold your spot in line) while you wait. There’s even a silly Beatles shop with lots of cute stuff inside!
Once we finally made it inside, we got a little spiel from one of the workers. Because Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, everything in there is just antiques from the era that Sherlock Holmes was set in. The house isn’t even set exactly where 221b should be along the street! The top two floors have wax figures depicting scenes from some of the stories. They are kind of frightening! This was a very silly museum, but it was a lot of fun and if you like Sherlock Holmes and you’ve got some free time, I think it might be worth a visit.
That evening we went to dinner near parliament, so we decided to walk along the Thames for a little bit. Unfortunately for us, Big Ben (I mean Elizabeth Tower) was COVERED in scaffolding. Not sure what they’re doing, but hopefully it’ll be down by the next time I get to visit. I can’t believe how much scaffolding there was every place we went. Every country, every city, every street…almost 😜
The next day was solely committed to seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It’s two plays and we saw them both that day, which I think is the right way to do it, even though it’s a LOT of sitting in a theatre. We took our time getting ready in the morning so we could sleep in a little bit and not be too stressed trying to get something else done before the play, and to give us time to get our tickets from will call. The play is in the Palace Theater which is a gorgeous brick building. I had read the screenplay just once right when it came out, but not since, so I still felt like the experience was new for me, and any new Harry Potter experience is welcome for me. I know that a lot of people have issues with the plot, but, seeing as I have no control over any of that, I deided to just sit back and relax and to go in without too many expectations. Seeing magic choreographed on stage was so lovely, and the music (all Imogen Heap) was really cool. Is it my favorite Harry Potter story? No. Would I go see it again? YES.
The next morning before we left London, Nathaniel and I went to Abbey Road, and, like the tourist I am, I had him take a picture of me walking across the crosswalk.
We then went to Paddington and picked up a car - Nathaniel got to drive on the wrong side of the road in the wrong side of the car!! He was such a trooper and we made it to Liverpool just fine. The car itself had a great camera system, which showed you EVERYTHING around you, which helped immensely. Our next car will have this (hopefully 💸).
We drove to Liverpool and checked into our hotel - which had bunk beds! 😂 We walked downtown, with no real plans, except to see a couple Beatles related things. As we were walking along Albert Dock (go here!), we saw a carousel, so I decided to ride it, and it played Beatles tunes! We walked along the water as much as we could for a bit, and we kept seeing these funny dog statues (just Googled this and apparently they’re supposed to be lamb banana hybrids?), all seemingly painted by different artists. We got to the Beatles statue of the four of them walking near the water, took some pictures, then made a turn away from the water.
We walked by a church, through some pretty streets, then made it to our next Beatles-related stop, the Eleanor Rigby statue. I was very surprised at how few people were there, but it allowed us to get some nice pictures with no one in them!
While walking through town, we stumbled upon a ruined church that lost its roof in the Liverpool Blitz in 1941. It’s crazy to see ruins like these. The way most things get rebuilt, it’s easy to forget just how devastating these historic events were. I think it’s good to keep some ruins around to remind us of the past.
After dinner we started walking back to our hotel, and I somehow convinced Nathaniel to ride the Liverpool Wheel with me! It offered a fun view of the city at sunset. It’s right near the water, too. We were able to see some sort of a water obstacle course from above - we did NOT do it. I’m way to clumsy for stuff like that, but it’s a cool random activity to have in a city 🤷🏻♀️
The next morning before we left, we made two stops. First we went to the Liverpool Cathedral. We decided to go there because as we were driving into the city, it was GIANT. It’s visible from almost everywhere (you can see it in the Ferris wheel pictures above, and we could even see it out the window of our hotel room), and kind of stands guard over the city. As we drove up, we realized that it’s not quite as big as it seems, but it stands so tall over the city because it’s built on a mound. It was free to go inside (and free parking if you don’t stay long), so we went in and looked around. They were having a small local photo exhibit, which was fun. There is also a HUGE organ - I love organs. There was a cafe and a gift shop, which seemed a bit odd to have in a church, but we found out that this is a fairly modern church, so maybe a cafe is just a modern touch.
Next we went to Strawberry Field - and at least when we went, it was easy to miss the right spot to park as we drove up. There’s just a little pull-over spot big enough for three cars. There was a HUGE group of tourists coming up as we were arriving, but they were the quickest moving, most efficient tour group I’ve ever witnessed at a spot like that. Props to them for not holding things up too much! We took some pictures by the beautiful gate, and that was it, but now, according to their website, it’s actually open to the public and has displays, a cafe, a shop and more! If anyone goes, let me know how it is!!
Our time in England was short and sweet (and filled with Harry Potter and Beatles). I’d definitely go back to Liverpool and spend a couple days there. But because we had to get to our next destination, we had to hop in the car and drive north!