Ticket to Ride

I’ve been a Beatles fan since before anything else, I grew up listening to the poetic verses of the Fab Four since a child and it continued onwards through my teens, and into adulthood.  So Liverpool was an obvious choice as a must see destination, it’s so close to my heart.

My friend Dan (also a Kiwi) and I caught the train down to face a wet, blustery day meeting the tail-end of Hurricane Abigail but no rain could dampen our spirits.  Arriving at Liverpool Lime Street Station, we headed down to the underground and off towards Albert Docks.  We needed to figure out where our tour bus was before anything else, as we didn’t want to risk missing it.  After we had a brisk stroll along the dockside we then headed up to the Liverpool One Shopping Centre as I had stupidly forgotten film for my camera, it was like a mad goose chase trying to find the stuff, only to be told that Urban Outfitters, mecca for anything remotely hipster, would have a hefty supply.  Does that make me a hipster?

Since we had wasted some of the morning, we decided we needed to treat ourselves with something to eat… T.G.I Fridays it was to be. Dan hadn’t been, and I think the last time I went was a night excessive drinking in Vienna.  We both used the saying “it’s 5pm somewhere” to justify ordering alcohol before midday and tucked into a wee treat for lunch.  Not realising the time, we had to make a mad dash back to the docks for our Magical Mystery Tour of Beatles history.  Waited in line before realising that everyone had exchanged their online tickets for printed ones to give to the driver… ahhh another mad dash to the ticket booth which meant we didn’t get seats together on the bus like we would have.

12:30pm and we’re off, out into the suburbs with a local guide telling tales about the places we were seeing, only being interrupted by well timed Beatles songs which fit into the stories he was telling.  We stopped at the childhood homes of John, George, Paul and Ringo.  We paused to take pics of the famed Penny Lane, and Strawberry Fields, he showed us the churches which featured in the songs along with taking us on the route which Paul walked to school.  Finally after 2 hours we arrived at the Cavern Club and had a drink within the brick walls which was haven to the original musical gods.  It was packed, feeling like the youngest ones in the club didn’t matter to us, as this place was historic.  No no we can’t stop now, we downed our drinks and headed back to Alfred Docks to go to the Beatles Story (yes this really was an obsession).

The Beatles Story is a museum dedicated to the band and starts where you’d expect it to, from the beginning cronologing their life through their major success and beyond.  There you can see Lennon’s infamous round glasses, Ringo’s drum sticks, Paul’s left handed bass and George’s guitar.  You can see the scribbled notes from Sir George Martin which he made while producing countless number ones.  It’s a great place to go for anyone who’s interested the slightest about the band.  I learnt so much more being there.  Of course, the songs are pumping through the speakers.

By the time we left the museum it was dark, thinking it was later than it was we walked back along the dock side near the water and up to the train station again to head to Dan’s in Bolton.  I’ve promised myself I will go back to Liverpool to see what else the city has to show, its more than just the Beatles after all.

Heading down to the Cavern Club
Dan and I outside Sir Paul’s childhood home
Ringo’s childhood home, currently occupied
Typical touristy pic… there was a queue to take a photo hence the awkward pose
Strawberry fields forever
John Lennon’s glasses
George’s guitar
Ringo’s drumsticks
My favourite photo of my hero

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