jbright's Travel Journals

jbright

 
What is your traveling philosophy?

Try everything, go everywhere, and take lots of pictures. 'The great affair is to move.'

  • From United States
  • Currently in Germany

British Isles 2010

All the things I've seen, places I've been whilst studying throughout the UK and Ireland in summer '10.

Youll Never Walk Alone (Liverpool)

England Liverpool, England  |  May 18, 2010
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 It is safe to say that going into Liverpool, you'll never know what kind of people you'll encounter! 

(Ok, so to avoid confusion, we actually went to Liverpool on Friday 14th May.)

Liverpool was fantastic. After being there a day, it tops my list of favorite cities only tying with Venice for number one.

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So the first thing we did in Liverpool, was a walking tour with one of the men who works in the International Office at Edge Hill. He had a lot of great information about the town and many of the sites that we saw. As a group, we also went into two cathedrals: the Liverpool Cathedral and a newer Catholic Cathedral. Both were gorgeous in their own way. I really loved that the Liverpool Cathedral, though only built in the early/mid 20th century, still tried to retain an old-world, classic sort of feel. Inside was really brilliant though and I'm a sucker for great architecture--I especially love the old buildings which are just proof of how history can be preserved. Surprisingly I did like the Catholic Cathedral even though it was much more modern than many churches I've seen.

Walking around town was amazing as well. Throughout the city were buildings large and small, each having such amazing character. At one point, we passed a graffiti drawing of a rat. Our guide explained to us that it is a Banksy, which, preserved, is worth quite a bit of cash. Apparently, the artist was well known in his time and was almost a working class hero with his depictions of rats and other images that he would then tag on buildings. In big cities in America, graffiti is quite common, but never have I heard of graffiti art being so highly revered.

The people of Liverpool were just as surprising. It is safe to say that going into Liverpool, you'll never know what kind of people you'll encounter! There are some groups of women wearing curlers in their hair, others who look as if they just came off the runway, and countless children wearing Liverpool Football Club jerseys (go LFC! That's my English team as well :)). Then there are so many street performers, it's almost ridiculous. In the five or so hours that Mimi and I were on our own, we passed at least 2 living statues, 5 singers, and 4 other groups of people: a fire-juggler, an Indian (I wouldn't have guessed they had Native 'Americans' here) playing a wood flute in traditional clothes and a headdress, and two other dancing groups.

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One thing I've always identified with in terms of similarities between Europeans and me is a love for football (soccer). I had the good fortune to be living in Germany when the Eurocup was played in 2008 and it was absolutely fantastic. The way a simple sport could band together so many people was just astounding. And the patriotism was very catchy! There were many songs about nationalism and football and every cafe, restaurant, bar, and pub had the game on a tv. Even the middle of downtown had a huge screen set up so that spectators could watch within the crowd. When Germany won the match against the other country, (I forget which one) the fans went ballistic! People got into their tractors and cars, wrapped themselves in the German flag, and were screaming, honking, dancing, and celebrating for well over three hours afterward.

I felt this same kind of pride walking into the LFC Superstore. I don't know what I had expected, but I was not ready to literally be seeing red EVERYWHERE! It was so overwhelming and fantastic, words just cannot explain. They had everything from baby clothes, to laundry hampers, to perfume and body wash.

Overall, it was a great day. What I loved most about Liverpool was just how surprisingly diverse it was. Within two streets you could see both old architecture emanating with stories of old and modern day people so unbelievably individualistic and different from one another.

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