Wednesday, August 17, 2011

great-britain trip photo-log part 3: Liverpool and the Lake District

Day 5 - August 3, 2011, Wednesday

It's been really hard to understand people here. Irish people have an accent that is really hard to understand. Hoase for house, dewn for down and other words I could not identify.

Well, it's midnight and we are spending the night at this Days Inn at a rest spot. They have internet here, but it's so late that it's hard to do anything on it at all with a clear mind. I am lucky if I am able to utter intelligible words after midnight.

Ok, by the time we are done with our vacation, I will want to stay away from rotaries, narrow streets, and speed cameras. They have been driving me crazy.

Dean says he does not mind the rotaries so much. Well, if you think about it, it's not really a terrible thing. But I do think they overuse it here. Gee, these people do not know what an intersection is, do they?

oh, another thing that's wierd! There was absolutely nothing telling us that we had entered N. Ireland or Ireland. And while they stamped our passport on the way in to Ireland, they did not do it on the way back into England. I don't get it!

Oh, any way! Let's get to the news of the day:

Today we spent the day in Liverpool. We drove to George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon's childhood homes. Then we walked to St. Peter's Church, where Paul and John first met. I think John was 15, or Paul was...

We walked to Strawberry Fields and drove through Penny Lane. We wanted to see Ringo's childhood home, or the schools they went to bc it was getting late and I wanted to make it to the Cavern Club.

Before The Cavern though we visited the Beatles Story Museum and took the tour. I did it more for Dean than for me, since I pretty much know everything about the Beatles history. When we were done, just outside the Museum we found those Range Rovers playing in the water.

I enjoyed being in Liverpool, being able to imagine what it was like for Paul, John, George and Ringo to grow up there, walking in those very same streets we were.

I am not the kind of person that thinks it's this magical thing to step on the same place SO-AND-SO stepped. I see nothing special about touching the same objects SO-AND-SO touched. It's not magical or special. If I cared about that I would be collecting objects touched by Paul McCartney and be excited just because I was in the same building he was when I tried to get into SNL. But no, I don't care about that. I might tell you that if I shake hands with Paul, I will never wash my hands again, but you bet I am joking.

But I love history and I love thinking about how history happened just because it happened. I love being in places that are historical. I love imagining that so many years ago this Paul I really like was a little boy in those same streets and lived his life there not having a clue that we would care so much about him someday. There is something magical about being in a place of historical value and trying to feel the weight of that history, trying to imagine those lives that once were there.

Paul really walked along Penny Lane. That street was so influential in his life he wrote a song about it. John really used to go to Strawberry Field as a little boy, and he recalled it so well that he wrote a song about it. About 55 years ago those two boys met in that St.Peter's Church backyard and they had no idea how important that meeting was.

To me it was magical being there, in the same places where history happened. Unfortunately I had to keep reminding myself of what was really happening, because I could not grasp it just yet. Maybe when I get home I will. Maybe I will kick myself for not having understood what this meant today.

After the Beatles Story (where I bought a Beatles T and a lunch pale, while Dean used the internet at Starbucks), we headed to Cavern Club and accidentally found The Grapes, the club where the young Beatles would hide from their fans and have a drink (since the Cavern was not allowed to sell alcohol). I took a picture of a picture that was taken in a corner there, but I could not sit in the corner myself, because this fat old man was sitting there taking his sweet time. I was so mad!!!!!

At the Cavern I found out that Paul McCartney went there a few years ago and the place held 300 lucky fans. And I also found a shirt singed by.... PELÉ!!!!

The street Cavern and Grapes are on is called Matthew Street. Everything on Matthew Street breathes Beatles. They really market it.
We had lunch/dinner at a pub in that street, called the Irish Pub and then headed to the Lake District.

Dean really wanted to see small cities in the Lake District, because some of the cities there were listed as the top ten most charming cities in England. So we picked one that was in the heart of the Lake District and GPS'ed it. The city name was Keswick. Unfortunatelly it was getting dark already, but there was enough light to enjoy some of the beauty of that quaint little place. The Lake District is a great place to spend a holiday if you live in England. Just rent a house there or go camping.

I think my grandma would love it there. The houses are made of some sort of greyish stone and they have flowers hanging form windows. The whole place just looks elegantly old-fashioned. A must-do for anyone who loves charming places. I can't quite figure out what to do during the day though. Do you go swimming?

Today we drank Red Bull in order to make it to the motel. We've been on Red Bull since Ireland, in order to be able to arrive places in one piece.

Oh, this morning we had an issue with the car rental.
See, when we left Liverpool to go to Ireland, the rental place was closed and so we just left the keys in the car, right?
They thought we simply had not returned the keys. Well, when we said what we did, the guy was horrified at us. Would you do that if it were your car? As a matter of fact I do that all the time when I leave my car at the mechanic, replied my husband.
Anyway, so they give us again, what we did not ask for - a Corsa. But we ordered a micro! Oh, but we are all out of micros, sorry!

Can I tell you that the experience at the Hertz rental place in Ireland was one bugillion times better than both Alamo experiences so far? I am so pissed at Alamo, it's not even funny! And he was lecturing us on where to leave the keys, when they gave us no instruction as to what to do with them!!!!! And he looked at us and said that a compact car and a micro car get the same mileage bc it's got the same engine!!! Well, congratulations on your amazing thinking! It's a larger car, so the engine has to work harder, but it does not matter, does it!

At Hertz, in Ireland, we were helped by a trainee who told us every little thing we could possibly need to know including what to do about tolls and how to return the car!!!!!

Oh, the fact that we paid for a micro and got a compact was not the only problem! Nor the terrible knowledge of the teller about mileage, or the fact that he lectured us.

The freaking Corsa's gear box is busted. Tomorrow morning we are driving right into Edinburgh's airport, and, before we go anywhere, we are getting a new car from Alamo.

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