Fresh off the plane from Canada, I had but a few days to recover after Christmas before I was squashed into a car and driven to the north. Not quite as far as Stirling (though I’d be making that trip just the following week!). We were off for a festive visit to my grandparents in Warrington and thought we’d do a little exploring of Liverpool while we had the opportunity!

I should stress that all I really knew about Liverpool before visiting was that it was the birthplace of The Beatles. While that claim to fame can be spotted all around the city, there was a lot more to be seen!

As they were already familiar with the city, my parents were essentially giving my brother and I a guided tour. We were staying fairly centrally, a stone’s throw from Liverpool One, a massive shopping centre, and there was some impressive street art along the way.

Now and then we would also come across Superlambananas! These are installations that were placed all around the city back in 2008 when Liverpool was named the European city of culture. The 125 sculptures all have different designs and are dotted all over the city in buildings and on street corners.

Our first official sightseeing stop was the ruin of the Church of St. Luke.

This church was terribly damaged during the 1941 Liverpool Blitz and now stands as a roofless memorial to those lost during the war.

Walking up a hill, we reached the incredibly impressive Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Or, ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ to the locals…

Inside was incredible. I’ve never seen a building built to bring so much light and colour together in one room. It was a treat to photograph.

A quick stop for lunch in the wonderful Philharmonic Dining Rooms (aka Victorian style pub!) and then it was on to Liverpool’s other ‘proper’ cathedral. All I could think of while looking at it was of the Red Keep from A Game of Thrones – the cathedral was almost exactly how I pictured it.

Inside wasn’t far off what I had pictured either! The strange reddish tint to the brick gave the cathedral an entirely different feeling to any other church I’ve ever been in – almost oppressive. It was difficult not to compare it to the much more… optimistic feel of York Minster.

We then walked briskly in the cold down through Chinatown to the docks.

Just in time for sunset!

We scoped out the Tate Liverpool in the Albert Docks before heading to dinner. We were back the following day to see the Andy Warhol exhibition (no pictures!) and then visited the Museum of Liverpool.

The museum went from prehistoric times right up until Liverpool’s present day, covering so many different aspects of the city’s history. It also has a great view of the Three Graces. You can see the liver birds on the top of the buildings. According to the legend, the female bird faces out to sea, watching for the seamen to return safely home, while the male looks towards the city, watching over and protect the families of the seamen (or the alternative version, making sure the pubs are open!).

Liverpool was an unexpected and pleasant surprise after such an amazing time in Canada. New Years Eve was nice and quiet (the way I like it!) and allowed me to reflect a lot on what I accomplished in 2014 and what I want to accomplish this year. Hopefully ringing it in within a city I had never been to before will be a good omen for travel in 2015!

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