Right before Christmas, we took a day trip to Liverpool which is where my cousin Tor has been going to university for the past four years. He’s an incredible guitarist and lead singer and has been performing all over Europe for the past few years with a number of up and coming bands. It was pretty cool to get a personal tour from a “local” and he showed us some of the highlights of the city during our quick trip.
Liverpool is on the opposite side of England from where we live so it was about a 4 hour drive to get there. By the time we arrived, we were all pretty hungry so Tor took us to one of his favorite Chinese restaurants; Tokyou. I’m not an expert on anything Asian but from what I could tell and what Tor said, it was pretty authentic food. Right around the corner, we got a picture in front of China town and the largest gate in the UK (or so we think).
Up the road a couple blocks was the Liverpool Cathedral. Tor had done a sound job here a few months past and told us the inside was worth taking a look. It’s the biggest cathedral in Great Britain and fifth largest in the world and was truly beautiful both inside and out.
The front stained glass window had the best light and I was kind of surprised to see a neon sign installation below it. I thought it was cool they mixed a newer media with the traditional stained glass window as none of the other cathedrals I’ve seen have ever had anything like that.
We arrived right as they were starting a Christmas service so we didn’t have a chance to explore past the central space. They had an enormous Christmas tree inside that was dwarfed by the sheer size of the cathedral. It was lit by candles and Christmas lights which put Lena right to sleep.
Next on our tour was Tor’s school, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. The building itself was actually the elementary school attended by Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the Beatles. After being closed for years, Paul McCartney purchased the building and founded the university from which Tor graduated. I’m just a little bit proud of him.
Seeing as The Beatles hailed from Liverpool, there were some great art installations around town in honor of their achievements in addition to many of the other musicians who stem from the city. This particular sculpture took casts of all the equipment and cases the Beatles (among others) took on tour.
The city was also known for the import/export of bananas and lambs. Variations of the banana-lamb cropped up all over town; this one cracked me up as it had the trademark Beatles facial hair.
Our last stop in town was the Bombed Out Church or the Church of St. Luke. It was originally built in 1811 and was hit by a bomb during WWII. So now it’s just a shell with the exterior walls and open windows to the interior.
Tor explained they hold all types of community events there now from movie screenings, to yoga classes, to art shows. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go inside but it was really surreal to see the effects of war so many years after it occurred.
After our sightseeing, we piled back in the car which was packed full of all Tor’s belongings in life and made the trek home. We made a quick stop at Ikea to let Lena run around. Tor tried to wrangle her for about 20 minutes before he had to call it quits. He then proceeded to sleep the rest of the way home while Lena “serenaded” us with her high-pitched screams.