Published: July 24th 2011July 23rd 2011
"Penny Lane", "Strawberry Fields", "Love, Love Me Do", and "Eleanor Rigby" are trapped in my head and they can't get out!!! This is what happens to you when you do a 2 day Beatles tour in Liverpool. Whether you're in the "Magical Mystery Tour" bus, a souvenir shop, the Beatles museum, or the Cavern Club , they're all playing Beatles tunes. It was GREAT!!!!
Liverpool, the Beatles tour, and the Beatles museum were better than we anticipated. Liverpool has been restored to a beautiful city. The area along the waterfront and the Mersey River is exceptionally nice. The downtown area was bustling with people in the pedestrian malls and new shopping plazas. It's a very walkable city with a nice upbeat feeling.
The "Magical Mystery Tour" of the Beatles' early years was a great 2 hour ride down memory lane. The childhood homes' of George, Ringo, John, and Paul were some of the main stops. Then, there was Penny Lane, the route that John and Paul walked each day to school. Strawberry Fields was once an orphanage where John used to play in the woods and climb the trees. Other sights included their schools, the church where Paul and
George sang in the choir, and the music college that Paul established. He teaches classes and workshops there several times during the year. The last stop was the Cavern Club on Matthew Street.
The Cavern Club, on Matthew Street, is where they established their fame. They played there for the first time in Nov. '61. They were the lunch time entertainment! Over the next 3 years they played The Cavern 292 times. The Club is located underground, down several flights of stairs . It literally looks like 3 long caves side by side. The original Cavern Club was closed and torn down in the mid 70's. It was rebuilt to look like the original club in 1984. The famous "signature wall" was saved and is in place at the back of the stage. This has the signatures of all the famous bands that played the Club. The Beatles' signature is in the center of the wall.
The story goes that there were 5 main smells in the original club: disinfectant, beer, sweat, hotdogs, and urine. When people left the club and walked down the street, others they met could tell that they had been in the Cavern just
No, we didn't "Cross the Mersey" on the ferry.
by the smells that lingered on their clothing. The present club smelled much better. For more info about "the most famous club in the world" go to www.cavernclub.org.
With the feeling that we had traveled back to the 60's still with us, we started our trip to Wales. We quickly discovered that train travel was VERY expensive. So, we opted for the bus. This was reasonably priced, but incredibly slow. It did fit in with that 60's feeling. The buses were local buses that stopped on demand and traveled to all the little hamlets and villages. This was an interesting way to travel for the scenery and for meeting the local people. However, it took us 8 hours to go about 150 miles. So, our short drives to Caernarfon and Cardiff were all day excursions.
In Wales, we visited the 3 C's - Caernarfon, Conwy, and Cardiff. These 3 towns/cities have excellent castles that were built in the 1200's by King Edward I. In Caernarfon we were near the island of Anglesey. This is where William and Kate are living while William finishes his tour with the Royal Air Force. The Caernarfon Castle is also a major site
They have the BEST coffee. This one, in downtown Liverpool, was really colorful and very big.
for the royalty. It is the site of the Investiture (naming into a title) of the oldest son of the ruling king/queen. It was in this castle that Prince Charles was named the Duke of Wales in 1969.
Conwy Castle's claim to fame is that it was constructed in 4 years (1283-87) and the castle walls are totally intact and surround the town of Conwy. It was a charming little village and an excellent castle.
Cardiff, the capital, was a pleasant city. We passed on this castle and chose to walk along the Animal Wall surrounding the castle. It was a beautiful day and there was lots to explore in the city.
The bus trip back to London was quick and we felt like we had re-entered the 21st century. It was nice to walk to all the major sights and take a break from the camera. That evening, we met our London friends, Ray and Ruth, and had a memorable dinner at the Templar Knights Restaurant where we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. It was a great way to end a most excellent trip to Europe.
Next on the agenda: PA, MA, and AK. What better
way to beat the FL heat.
'Til then, RPM
There are more photos below