Back in May Grace and I had to head down to Liverpool to extend her visa at one of the (what was formerly known as) the UKBA’s Premium Appointment offices. Why we couldn’t just go to the Glasgow office is a story in of itself.
Despite the frustration involved in the whole visa process, and the fact that we had to travel so far for the appointment, it ended up being a good excuse to visit a city that neither of us had been before.
Liverpool had always been on my list of places to go at somepoint, ever since I made pals with a bunch of folk from around there as a teenager. The attitude to life seems awfully similar to Glaswegians in lots of ways, and I feel more of a connection with Scousers than I necessarily do with other areas in England.
The Docks area in particular was pretty interesting.
There was a bit too much of a focus on the Beatles for my liking. We went to the Cavern Club, but it was pretty dreadful. Lots of music venues who have long histories and reputations have managed to keep their edge, but the Cavern Club had just become tourist-filled, open every night for solo singers doing Beatles covers for loud Americans drinking over-priced beers. It was pretty disappointing, though if I was in the same position I’m not sure I’d pass up the easy money.
The view from our Travelodge hotel room on the top floor. The room was huuuuge, but the layout was exactly the same as every other Travelodge. They hadn’t bothered to do anything with the extra space, so there was all this empty floor… very weird.
I realised that I didn’t know a whole lot about Liverpool before we went. There was apparently a strong link between the city and China, given the docks. There was a Chinatown, apparently home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe – with the Arch at the opening the largest of its kind outside of China.