This post has also a special soundtrack, enjoy it as much as I did!
It was music in English I listened to the most as I grew up, give it to my older cousins. I remember AC/DC, and the Dire Straits were my favorite ones, then Guns n’ Roses, Roxette, Queen, Bon Jovi, U2 came along among others, in the process and consistently all along were The Beatles. Strange as it is because I had no clue what I was listening to or even worse, what I was singing in English (or attempting to sing more like), for back then I only spoke Spanish.
So when I was living in the UK, and realized that my 4 months were going fast I decided I had to somehow travel to Liverpool. I made a crazy plan to visit Manchester, Liverpool and York in 3 days. Yeah crazy! you might be thinking. But as a student I did not have that much time, and as an overseas student I had not much time left in the UK.
The first train from London took me to Manchester, where the visit was rather brief and consisted mostly on visiting the Old Trafford Stadium. I used to follow football leagues back then, the Spanish League was my favorite and Barcelona was my team, but I also liked the Premier League and of course Manchester United! There you go, another thing I bet you were not expecting about me!
Manchester is quite lively, full of young people, and I must confess I enjoyed the nightlife. However I was more excited for next day’s visit to Liverpool.
It was still dark, freezing and incredibly quiet when I made my way to the train station, from time to time the sound of other steps on the pavement joined me, no cars in sight. I wanted to arrive as quickly as possible to Liverpool. Thankfully the train ride collaborated and after only 30 minutes I was there! stepping out of Liverpool’s Lime Street station.
After London and Edinburgh, this is probably my third favorite view outside a train station. The beautiful St. George’s Hall welcomes the curious new comers and introduces them to the nice architecture of the city centre. My favorite route (because I have been there twice, but the second time will be part of another story) to go from there to the docks is between Central Library, the World Museum and St. John’s Gardens, to then follow Churchill Way that becomes Dale Street and then Water Street, a straight way where you can see the nice buildings of Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Town Hall.
Stop along the way for a coffee and keep walking, until the sound of loud seagulls announce your arrival to the Port of Liverpool. There The Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building, know as the Three Graces, compete for your attention, photographers paradise, trust me! It was mind blowing, so much I could not stop taking pictures for a long while!
Once I regained composure, I kept walking, appreciating the light of the sun illuminating the water in the horizon, as if signaling the route to the Beatles Museum in Albert Dock. Once in the museum I let my self enjoy for a long time, listened to every single story and read every single piece of information, while their iconic songs played on the background. Memories of little me singing ‘She loves you’, interesting how I could like so much their music without knowing their language, interesting how music transcends the language barrier, because it is not only what the lyrics say but also what the rhythm makes you feel, isn’t it?
When I left the museum I knew I wanted to go to the Cavern for a pint, then… something called my attention, it was a mysterious presence in the horizon, rising stunningly from the roofs, massive! I don’t know if I am the only one who had that feeling, but I could not stop looking at it, and of course I wanted to go see it closer, after figuring out the way on the map off I went, to the Liverpool Cathedral, as if attracted by a magnetic field.
I kept walking until I left behind the noise of the docks and the tourists wandering around, until it became silent in the streets were I could see no-one, suddenly something stopped me, I was close to the cathedral but for the first time I did not feel confortable being on my own, call it gut feeling, call it tiredness, but I decided I had to go back to the centre, and so I did.
The Cavern was the perfect place to warm up and relax, live music, people form everywhere enjoying the moment, as we shared the same space where famous bands and singers had performed. Joy again, maybe the kind of joy that buzz brings but then again, joy for the realization of being in such place, that little moment when I was fully aware that I was far away from home jet having the time of my life… until the infamous clock demanded I should go back to the train station.
There I was on my way to the third grace of this trip, York! After a well deserved night rest I was ready to explore the city centre, surrounded by Medieval Walls, and rich in history. The centre is like taken form a fairy tale, narrow streets leading to small shops, cafes and pubs. Without doubt York Minster is the star, an impressive building of Gothic Style that one can see from everywhere in the city.
Another thing that reminded me of the good old times of my childhood was the easiness to travel by train, here in the UK it was incredibly easy, so no wonder why I decided to visit the National Railway Museum, not far from the York Railway Station which is one of my favorite train stations in the UK. Did you know York was and still is an important railway centre?
Sitting on the train back to London, I reflected on the three days that had passed, I had experienced so much more than I could think of, from the modern Manchester, to the old York, through the charming Liverpool, my three graces achieved in a weekend trip. As the train arrived to London King’s Cross Train Station I felt proud of myself, for having another trip in the bag, for collecting more new precious memories, and for planning it without much help than my own curiosity. I was learning something about traveling alone… Would I test myself in a last trip before I leave the UK?…
Hasta pronto! See you soon! Auf Wiedersehen! A presto! Au revoir!