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Road Trip Final Stop: Liverpool

Six-time Champions League winners!

overcast 14 °C
View World trip 2019 on mslaurajade's travel map.

I do have to say driving down the east coast of England was much better, 3 lane freeway all the way! Done with the farm traffic! I arrive in Liverpool with enough time to pop into the city center for a look around before it gets too dark.
I make my way down to Royal Albert Dock, which was opened in 1846. But what is unique about this dock is that it was Brittan's first built from stone, cast iron and brick. No wood was used for any of the structural components! This meant that the warehouses were non-combustible, very valuable commodities such as brandy, cotton, tea, silk, tobacco, ivory, and sugar could be stored safely. Of course, as time passed and technology enhanced building larger shipping ports, the Royal Albert Dock was continued to be used for storage. In WWII it was used by the British Atlantic Fleet but was badly damaged in the air raids of 1941. Post-war times its continued decline lead to its closure in 1972 until in the mid-'80s when it was revamped as a tourist attraction and is now part of UNESCO and the Maritime World Heritage sites. It was surprisingly quiet there this afternoon but I was happy to have it to myself, most of the ground floor of the square is restaurants and shops. A lovely spot for a glass of wine!
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On the outside of the dock square is a large anchor monument and a hammer?? Not sure how it fits being a wood-free construction or maybe that's just it!
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Apart from being a working-class area and shipping port, Liverpool is also famous for music particularly The Beatles! Every souvenir shop is filled with Beatles tat! Just behind the dock is The Beatles Story Exhibition, I'm sure it's filled with all their music accomplishments but I didn't go in. I'll be sure in a few years maybe it will be one on the English Heritage pass list!!!! But I did go to see the bronzed statue of them on the other side of the dock which was pretty cool I have to say!
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Towards Pierhead there's a magnificent building right on the corner of the river, it's called the Royal Liver Building. I was probably drawn to it for its name first but once I saw the size of it I had to learn a bit more about it. Built in the early 1900s from reinforced concrete it once was the tallest building in Liverpool, currently still the 4th. Apart from beautiful, I was interested in the birds the top, recognising they are everywhere in Liverpool and the symbol of the city, much like the bee was in Manchester. The Liver bird (hence the building name) is a mythical creature and protects over the city. Bella and Bertie are the 2 on the top of the building watching over the sea and city. Probably most famous now as the emblem of the Liverpool F.C. One legend has it that Bella watches the sea to ensure all the ships come in for the night and Bertie watches they (people off the ships) get home safely. Another is that the birds face opposite to each other so they never mate and fly away if they did the town would be flooded.
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A lovely day exploring the city and now off to bed, exciting day tomorrow of to Anfield, home of the reds!

Confession time! I have become addicted to sausage and bacon buttys for breakfast! Today I went into a local cafe and had the best one yet! Although she did look at me funny when I ordered a latte, she gave me a black coffee with a single UHT milk! Not so fancy...
After brunch, I make my way to Anfield, home of Liverpool F.C. I haven't been a dye hard fan forever (unlike the bulldogs) but have followed them from a distance the last 5 or so years since I've been a member at Melbourne Victory back home. When I was in Manchester I watched them win the European Champions League for a sixth time and now I've come to see the history of the club and get a sense of what a proper English football club is all about. Such a shame the regular season is over I would have loved to experience a live match! Once again this tour is self-guided with an audio tour so you are free to take your time and photos. You start at the top level of the grandstand and are told of some of the clubs history. One thing that was fascinating was that originally Anfield was Everton's home field. A dispute between Everton's board of directors and John Holding, who was the Anfield Landowner, saw Everton pack up and leave Anfield and go across the town to Goodson Park in Walton some 3kms away. It was then that John Holding had a pitch with no team and so he founded Liverpool F.C in 1892 and the rest they say is history! Liverpool F.C. is today one of the richest and most succesful clubs in the competiton.
The tour was amazing! Going up the race onto the pitch, well sort of it was covered for an upcoming event, sitting on the bench, the rooms, players function area, and even the media room. Couldn't resist giving a quick press conference and my thoughts on the Champions League win!
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After the stadium walk through it's off to visit the museum and the silverware! As well as some of the biggest wins, Liverpool has also suffered great tragedy and loss. The Heysel Stadium disaster, where escaping fans were pressed against a collapsing wall at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels, with 39 Juventus fans dying, after which English clubs were given a five-year ban from European competition. Then in 1989, the Hillsborough disaster where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing. I spent some time afterward at the shrine located outside the stadium as it had recently been the 30 year anniversary of these deaths. You'll never walk alone, RIP.
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I absolutely loved the tour! Something I will treasure!
Well, that's it for Liverpool and the road trip!
Back to Manchester to drop off Cleo, head to Birmingham and then London town!

Northern UK you were stunning, everything I expected and then more!
I hope I can come back again soon!
Much love,
L xx

Posted by mslaurajade 11:57 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged buildings birds football road_trip england history travel driving heritage tour adventures uk liverpool blog loss anfield

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