I'm Olivia. I'm a perpetually hungry redheaded girl from New York. I eat, sleep and breathe Korean pop music. I speak French and am studying Korean language and business in school. This fall, I'm setting forth on an exciting and terrifying (seriously I'm so nervous I might pee) solo journey across Europe. Hopefully this experience is full of bright, fun, and exciting as well as ridiculously stupid experiences that I can share with you!
Okay, so this is a little silly because I'm home and I still have blogging to do, but a lot of really exciting things happened in my last couple days! I've got one more entry after this one, and then I'm debating whether or not I should stop blogging until Korea (about a year from now) or blog every once in awhile about my life here in America. It would probably be less frequent, but I do do some interesting things from time to time :P. Anyway, let me know what you think about it!
So, let's talk about Liverpool~
The hostel I stayed in was really comfortable and clean, but when I checked in the guy gave me a pair of earplugs. I really wish I hadn't scoffed and said, "I don't want these!" and threw them away in my room, because the hostel itself was right above a very loud club. It was really only bumpin' on the weekend though, so it wasn't too much of a big deal. That morning though, there must have been a tour group leaving early because there was a sort of mass exodus from my room at 5 am. I thought something was going on because everyone was packing and leaving. Needless to say, I didn't sleep so well that night.
In the morning I ate breakfast in the hostel and walked about 15 minutes to Albert Dock. Albert Dock is right on the Mersey river and has a bunch of restaurants and museums. The dock itself is a historical site. I'm not sure how many of you know this, but Liverpool is the birthplace of the Beatles, so of course it's a Beatles Party everywhere and everyday in Liverpool. At the dock, they had a yellow submarine houseboat that you can rent. They also had a small Titanic (which is a little morbid if you ask me but) I would have liked to see inside them!
I went on a Beatles location tour called (can you guess?) Magical Mystery Tours. The guide and driver had such good senses of humor (maybe it's a Liverpudlian thing) We went to George, John, and Paul's childhood homes. We didn't go inside them, I took a tour of John and Paul's later in the trip. We went to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, and the tour ended at the Cavern Club.
This is Paul's house.
For those of you who don't know, Strawberry Fields isn't a literal field of berries. It's a Salvation Army children's home. John used to climb a tree over the fence in his backyard and play on the hospital's property. He was always chased away by the guards and he would reply with "You can't hang us for it!" Does that sound familiar to anybody?
It was so interesting driving up Penny Lane. Paul wrote the song about the bus ride he took everyday to school in the center of the city. The barber shop, the bank, all the locations and people he sings about were real.
The tour ended at the Cavern Club, which as most people know, is not the original club. It was demolished to build some sort of…other...structure…on top, but it ended up just being a car park. So they rebuilt the club, and there's a constant debate on whether or not it's in the exact same location. The tour people say it is, but that the front door isn't in the same place. Personally, I don't have time to worry about stupid things like that, but they had done a really good job making the inside look like it originally had. The ticket for the tour allowed me to come back into the club free for the rest of the day, so I did, but I'll write about that in a second.
My mom told me about a Korean/Chinese restaurant she found online, and since I love Korean food and want to eat it when any opportunity comes along, I went there for a late lunch/early dinner. The restaurant was called Seoul Love, which made me laugh a little bit. I walked to Bold Street which is right in the heart of the Chinatown, and was a little worried at first because I couldn't find the restaurant where my map said it would be. I did find it, don't worry. Since it was a weird time of the day, I was the only person in the restaurant, but I ordered a Kimchi pancake and ddeokbokki as well as some Korean green tea. It was so yummy and I decided that ddeokbokki is one of my favorite Korean foods. It's made from soft rice cakes, fish cakes, and vegetables and red chilli sauce. Yum!
That night I went back to the Cavern Club to hear Beatles tribute groups. I enjoyed it a lot, and it was really funny to see 40+ men and women jamming like crazy to the music they grew up with. Hey, it's never too late to rock out to your favorite tunes. You should see me in the car…
The Anglican cathedral in Liverpool is one of the largest in Europe. I decided to walk to it the next day and maybe go up inside the tower. I walked to it and around inside, but decided against going up the tower because I didn't want to pay 5 pounds. This church is so unecessarily enormous..but there was a cemetery at the bottom that was actually quite beautiful. My shoes got really muddy, though.
I saw snow for the first time since Switzerland!
After that I wanted to explore the Chinatown more. The Chinatown in Liverpool is one of, if not, the oldest in Europe and also has the biggest archway.
There were so many restaurants on this street it was hard to choose where to go. I settled on a bubble tea café called Café de Pearl. They also had a huge food menu and were really reasonably priced. I had a coconut bubble tea and an enormous bowl of ramen with meat and seafood, and it was all less than 10 GBP.
You better believe I ate everything in that bowl.
I walked around a little bit more after that and saw a cool bookstore. I only took a picture of the front but didn't go inside.
I don't think I did too much that night because I don't really remember anything important to talk about. The next day I bought a new purse because my backpack's straps broke. One thing I'm really going to miss from the UK is Primark. It's such a great store but they don't have an online store that ships to America. Sigh…I also got this sweet pair of shoes that I totally didn't need. I got my sister a Christmas gift but I can't talk about that on here. :x
I ate lunch in the hostel and went back out to the International Museum of Slavery on Albert Dock. It was free admission, and small enough where I wasn't extremely overwhelmed by what was inside. They talked a lot about Liverpool's own part in the slave trade and had a lot of personal accounts from slaves. They also had an exhibit on inspirational black people from around the world and throughout history, as well as a temporary exhibit on African Dance.
Here's Liverpool at night~
I ate in the hostel to save money again, and probably spent that night doing something unimportant like sitting on Tumblr.
The next day I took a tour inside of John and Paul's homes. In John's house, they had a lot of the original doors, bookshelves, and fireplaces as well as tons of personal photographs. They also had the all of the pages of his passport on display. The apple tree in the backyard is the same one from when John lived there, so the guide had taken an apple and cut up pieces to share with us. That was pretty adorable. You couldn't take photos inside, so I took one on the outside and of the whole house.
This plaque was in a really awkward spot and was thus difficut to take a photo of.
Paul's house was about 5 minutes away by bus, and was the last house he lived in in Liverpool. Because the McCartney's were more working class, they had taken the ends of carpet rolls at the store and sewn them together in order to make a floor rug. There was a piano in the room that the whole family would crowd around and sing. Paul's brother's photographs were framed all over the house, and there was a famous picture of Paul and John writing Love Me Do. Tons of famous songs were written in this house, including When I'm Sixty Four, which Paul had written for his dad. Paul's mother died of cancer a couple months after they had moved in, which is one of the reasons why Paul hasn't been inside the house since he lived there.
This tour was really amazing, I'm so glad I had he chance to take it. Even though it was kind of expensive, it was almost a once in a lifetime opportunity because chances are I probably won't come to Liverpool again. After that I was craving some fish and chips and walked to this pub called the Monro. They had a two course deal for 12 pounds (which was a really good deal!) I had smoked salmon on toast and fish and chips. Their wifi didn't work so I was awkwardly sitting there the whole time, but it was really cold outside so she put me at a table right near the fireplace, which was nice.
The area I was walking around in had some interesting graffiti and artistic…installations…
Am I in War of the Worlds???
That night I was craving sweet foods like nobody's business, so I walked back to Bold Street and went to a teahouse and had some chocolate cake. I also went to a Chinese bakery and bought a slice of cake to take back to the hostel. I also stopped again at Café de Pearl for a strawberry bubble tea. It probably wasn't a good idea to drink cold bubble tea because my hands were already frozen, but I have no regrets.
This had me laughing so hard.
The cake I got at the bakery was smushed by the time I got back so I didn't take a picture of it. On my last day in Liverpool I went to the Beatles Story museum. I was walking up to the entrance, and a guy with a huge news camera asked me if I wanted to be on television. I shrugged and asked what I needed to do. He told me I had to walk down the stairs to the entrante, turn around, walk up the stairs, and walk away. Why not? So I did it, but I think it's really obvious I'm trying to not look at the camera…anyway, I wonder if anyone saw me on TV! The museum itself had a lot of interesting information about the Beatles, and it was also a realy fun and interactive exhibit. They had a giant yellow submarine you could walk inside, as well as a replica of the Cavern Club and Brian Epstein's record store. They also had the original drumset from the Quarrymen and a couple of the Beatles' suits. They had tons of interesting memorabilia, including a pair of Beatles stockings. I also met a really nice woman from Boston who was living in Manchester. She gave me her card and told me if I was ever back in the UK I could stay with her. What a nice person!
After that I walked more on the docks.
For dinner I went back to the Chinatown again…okay I know I am obsessed with Asian food but the restaurants were all so reasonably priced. I went to a noodle shop and had spicy Korean pork…but I don't know what was so Korean about it? It looked more like typical Chinese food to me, but it was still delicious.
On the main shopping street there was a sort of Christmas market and there was a candy shop, so I bought a bunch of candy.
That night I met a really awesome woman from Scotland and we stayed up talking for a really long time. I'm sad I met her at the very end of my trip because I had to say goodbye to her the next day. If I ever get back to Scotland I really hope to see her again! I walked to Lime Street station the next morning and got on the train to Nottingham.