Hit the Road with Me - Liverpool

by - Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Known as the "mother of the Beatles" and the "New York of Europe", Liverpool is also associated with White Star Line and the most famous ship of our times, RMS Titanic. Coincidentally it was my first destination trip in 2015. So, are you ready for a tour?

"Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start", like my favourite Julia Andrews sings in the Sound of Music. The reason I chose Liverpool. Well, if I'm utterly honest, I didn't choose it, it chose me. Why do I say that? Well, because I had been following Neil Gaiman for a very long time, trying desperately to attend one of his shows/speeches/book signings, so when I found out he was opening Liverpool's Centre for New and International Writing I simply knew I had to be there when it happened. And so I did!

We only stayed for a night, so if you're looking for an informative travel guide loaded with all the attractions you can visit, then you're in the wrong place and may I suggest TripAdvisor for that. What I'll share here is the few things we managed to cram into those two days.

We traveled there by train to Lime Street station and walked to our hotel, the Hampton by Hilton, which is located five minutes away from Albert Docks and fifteen from the city centre. 
Truth be told, you don't get to see much of the city's beauty while walking through its commercial core, but when we reached the wider area of the docks we came across this massive statue. After some Googling we found out its name is "The Great Escape" and it was commissioned to Edward Cronshaw

It is a bronze horse, 15 feet (4.6 m) high and 4 tons in weight, formed entirely from rope in a spaghetti fashion. At the tail a piece of rope extends to the ground where a life-size sculpture of a man steps on it, forcing the horse to rear and apparently unravel itself in a bid for freedom. This scene is said to reflect man's efforts to free himself of slavery. (source Wikipedia)

Liverpool Hampton by Hilton

Relevant to the city's history and the International Slavery Museum just around the corner, it made quite an impression to me. We arrived to the hotel but didn't stay long, our stomachs were craving for food. 

Back on the streets and on our way to a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine that had some pretty amazing reviews, we accidentally found one of the city's most iconic monuments, the Queen Victoria monument on Derby Square, where Liverpool's castle used to be situated in the past. Just a few meters away was Salt house Bacaro, our lunch destination.

Queen Victoria Monument, Derby Square

When we arrived at Bacaro the waitress informed us the restaurant was right between lunch and dinner peak hours, lucky for us since we got to see the non crowded, calm atmosphere of the place.  Now I don't know the quality of the service during busy hours, but we received excellent service from the staff, with plates arriving not long after we ordered. As for the food? Exceptional! 

We decided to go for the Lunch menu, where you get to pick 3 plates for the price of £12,95 (I know, I couldn't believe it either!), along with a glass of wine each. And let me tell you, that was Mediterranean food cooked deliciously, covering a wide range of flavours and colours, plus the right amount of olive oil. 

I can't recommend this place enough!

After our lunch was over we walked around the area for a while before we got a taxi to Liverpool's Guild of Students for Neil Gaiman's speech. I really won't extent on that, but it was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any pictures. 

Walking back to the hotel, we got to see a little bit of Liverpool by night, which was really lovely. I'm a massive appreciator of architecture and looking at all those old but exquisitely made buildings was simply magical. We opted for a night in and that's how our first day ended. 

Morning of day two we dedicated to the Titanic exhibition in Merseyside Maritime Museum at Albert Docks. If you don't know the connection between the ill fated ship and the city, then allow me to enlighten you. The RMS Titanic was part of the White Star Lines ocean liners, whose headquarters where in Liverpool under the direction of Joseph Bruce Ismay. There was a piece of information I found quite fascinating while wandering through the halls. Among the passengers of Titanic were four Greeks, all men, who died that tragic night. I wish I had more photos to show you, but similarly to last night's event, we weren't allowed to take any.

There was one more attraction we would have attended that morning, the Beatles Story, which I was well excited about, but the queue was massive because of two visiting schools, so we skipped the visit all together. Instead we went shopping first and to Maray restaurant for dinner after, before returning back to Nottingham. 

And again, the reviews about the place were right. Friendly atmosphere, amazing music, great food and utterly affordable to everyone. I would suggest the roasted halloumi, veg and pomegranate seeds any day to anyone!

I don't think I've even scraped the surface of Liverpool's attractions and beauty to begin with, a longer visit is bound to happen at some point in the future so I can make most of it and come share it with you all!

Until next time,


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