We live such busy lives these days and spend so much time looking forward to travelling abroad that we often forget what a beautiful city we live in. Liverpool is a destination thousands of people worldwide would kill to visit and here we are just swanning around, albeit busy being fabulous, taking for granted the fact that we live in one of, if not THE best city in the world. I mean I LOVE it here but I reckon New York might have us off in a fight you know.
I decided to take a little time out and be a tourist for the day in my own city. I’ve been on the open top bus tours in cities all over the world; New York, Dublin, Amsterdam, Barcelona & Paris for example and I love the triple threat they offer. 1. You get to see all the sights without being stuck in a car or on the underground, 2. You get to learn. Rather than be like, “Wow that’s a beautiful building!” you get to learn all about that building. 3. You can actually use it to get around. Travel around a foreign city can be expensive but these buses stop at all the main attractions so that’s normally your transport sorted for the day as well.
We’ve got two big bus companies in this city. One is the worldwide franchise with the pre-recorded commentary (red bus) – 9 times out of 10 this gets out of sync in traffic so it starts telling you about a building when you haven’t even gone past it yet – it can get confusing. The other one is City Explorer (the white and orange bus) which is run by a local company, has an actual tour guide on there giving live commentary with the world famous Scouse humour AND it’s cheaper. No brainer.
I love looking at this city in the sunshine and I even learnt a few things that I didn’t know, so if you’re looking for something to do give this a go.
The Catholic cathedral (top) AKA Paddy’s Wigwam was designed by a Protestant while the Anglican cathedral (Protestant and the 5th largest cathedral in the world) was designed by a Catholic.
The 4 cathedral bells are named Matthew, Mark, Luke & John (after the disciples…for the non-religious) and are outside the cathedral because if they were inside they would shatter the stained glass underneath ‘the crown’.
St Luke’s was bombed in the famous blitz during World War 2 where Liverpool lost a staggering 122,000 buildings. Damn you Hitler. ‘The bombed out church’ was recently almost handed over to developers to turn into a hotel or similar but the local community gathered together and raised enough funds to save it – it’s used as an open air concert space, an art gallery and a yoga studio amongst other things.
Liverpool’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinese settlement in Europe and our arch ( a gift from our twin city, Shanghai) is the largest outside of China. Google “Shanghai skyline Liverpool” and see if you recognise anything….
Our beautiful marina leading out onto the Mersey…who needs Monaco?
Our beautiful Albert Dock – my favourite place in the whole city. It’s hard to believe that in the 80’s this was nothing but a derelict wasteland which Thatcher ordered to be demolished (yet another reason why she’s not very popular here) – Michael Heseltine told her to fuck right off though and the area was regenerated into what it is today; a picturesque mecca of bars, restaurants, shops and even a Tate gallery. In yo face Maggie.
Ah and here’s the little bus that took us round. Visit the City Explorer website here, for £8 adults and £5 kids it’s a boss day out.