Liverpool Maritime Museum, Mersey Ferry, Lighthouse


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June 16th 2009
Published: June 17th 2009
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 Video Playlist:

1: on the ferry 16 secs
2: the beach 23 secs
3: walking in the sand 10 secs
4: walking in the sand 10 secs

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On Monday, May 25, I woke up and headed over to the Maritime Museum- the second one I had been to in the UK so far! I had also been to the one in Greenwich 4 days before this. I knew there were 2 presentations I wanted to see at the museum: one was concerning the facts and myths about the Titanic, and the other was a sort of dramatization of what it was like to be one particular guy on the Titanic. I asked at the museum desk where it would be, and so I went up the stairs to what they call the 1st floor here in the UK. The normal, regular floor is called the ground floor.

I found this man standing there with some people around him. I stood there listening to him for probably 15 minutes; he was talking about the facts and myths of the Titanic, but I thought that the other presentation was going to be during that time and that this one would be a few hours later. At one point he told us that if we wanted to go see some other presentation, it was being held further down on the 1st floor, so I went in search of it. When I didn't find anything, I came straight back to listen to him. It was interesting, and he told us about one of the researchers whose footage of the sunken ship (at the bottom of the ocean) was playing behind where he was standing. The area where we all were was dedicated to Titanic-related items. He knew this researcher, and even had this styrofoam cup that the researcher had given him. Ooh, impressive! :P No, see it was one of four cups that the researcher had taken down to the wreckage, and the water pressure had been so high that the styrofoam cups condensed into very small, shriveled cups. The researcher (his friend) had actually given him one, and he pulled it out of his shirt pocket and showed it to us. Everyone passed it around, but somehow I got left out and never got to see it. That doesn't surprise me.

So after his talk was over, I asked if I could see it. He handed it to me, and I began taking pictures of it. He offered to take a picture of me holding the styrofoam cup, so that was fine with me! We talked for a few minutes, and I asked him some questions. He was showing me some of the different things that they had about Titanic and told me that they were all concentrated in that one area of the museum, which was helpful!! I told him I was from Texas and that I was trying to hit up all the Titanic-related sites that I could. He told me he was giving a presentation later (that one that I thought was supposed to be first), and so I planned to go to it.

I looked around the museum (mostly just at Titanic-related things), and I was there a good while, taking pictures. I still had time to kill before the next presentation, and I hadn't eaten yet, so after walking around the docks a little bit looking for a restaurant, I actually just ate in the cafe at the museum. I bought a sandwich, cookie, brownie (yeah, lots of sweets...), and what I thought was lemonade. Not so. It was lemonade soda. Ew, that's not what I wanted or expected.

Afterwards, I sat on a bench for a while right outside the cafe. After a few minutes I ended up asking this man (who had been standing near me for a while, waiting for someone to come out of the bathroom) what time it was. I had my alarm clock with me, but I guess I figured I'd better ask just in case. Turns out, my clock was slow! Good thing I asked, because it was time for me to head upstairs to the presentation! When I got there, there were quite a few people, and pretty much all of the few seats were taken. But there was one empty one that I saw. Perfect! So it was the same guy as earlier, and he was dressed up in a sailor's uniform. He was prentending to be the guy who was in charge of looking out for things in the distance (the lookout) as the ship was sailing, and so obviously people had blamed him for Titanic hitting the iceberg. I think his name was Richard something. Anyway, it was like he was telling the poor guy's side of the story, and it really didn't seem to be his fault. By the way, the lookouts on the Titanic didn't have access to binoculars because they were locked up. What happened was, Captain Smith had rearranged his officers, changed some people's rankings, and sent one guy home. This guy had the keys to the bincoular case, and so I guess he forgot to give them to the guy who was going to take his place. So the keys were left in Southampton, where the ship took off. There's debate about whether that would have mattered or not, and the presenter didn't seem to think it would have. I forget how he explained it (he has a lot more knowledge about these things than I do), but it sounded like they wouldn't have been able to see the iceberg anyway.

I bought a Titanic shot glass in the gift shop, and I should have bought a magnet, too. I ended up leaving Liverpool without a magnet!! I collect magnets from places that I've been to, and so now I'm going to have to buy one online. I'll have to do the same with NYC, because although I bought 2 in NY, I never saw them after the day that I bought them.

I wanted to ride on a ferry across the Mersey while I was in Liverpool, so as I made my way down to the pier, I stopped to take pictures of the former White Star Line office building (the company that owned Titanic). I went in a building and bought a ticket for the Mersey ferry, found out the return times, and asked where to go to get on the ferry. The girl told me something about a bridge and which direction it was, so I started walking. There was a little bridge first, but there was more of what I'd call a real bridge up ahead. I didn't know which was correct, so I walked further than I needed to (surprise, surprise!!), but ultimately did find the correct place. I waited for the ferry along with a big crowd of people. I remember there was a guy on a bike standing near me, and this little kid was asking him questions about the bike. The guy was being nice and answering the kid's questions.

I found a place to stand on the ferry that was as close to the water as you could be and asked a man if he could take my picture. I soon realized that he must have been deaf. By this point, I think I was used to using gestures as I asked people to take my picture, in case they didn't understand English. So, he obviosuly understood me and everything. He tried to take a few pictures, but the sun behind me was making my face dark. Oh well. As you'll see, he actually started to record video at one point, and I didn't realize it until afterwards.

It was cold, and it was windy. I really couldn't hear the commentary, which was unforuntate since I bought the ticket that was supposed to be the sight-seeing ferry. I figured maybe I could hear it on the way back. At one point I had to scoot over because I was almost standing on the rope that they used to anchor the boat, and they needed to get to it. It's neat watching them lower the...hmm...the door to the boat? I don't know what it's called, but in any case, I could see that it takes some effort to enable passengers to get off of the boat.

I had to make sure that I got off at the right place so that I could get to my final destination on the Wirral Peninsula (which is where you end up when you go across the Mersey). I wanted to go to New Brighton, to a place called Perch Rock, specifically. Here, there is a lighthouse, which was in the movie Across the Universe. On the way across the Mersey, I was so busy taking pictures of these cool-looking houses that I nearly missed seeing the lighthouse in the distance. It was really cool to see it in person. Still, I wanted to actually go there- not just see it from a distance. I got off the ferry at a stop called Seacombe, and then I asked them which bus I would need to get on to go to New Brighton (which is just an area on the peninsula I guess). They told me, and I caught it right outside. Of course, I didn't really have any idea at what point I needed to exit the bus! The bus driver wasn't extremely helpful. I didn't know if he was going to tell me when it was my stop or not.

We drove along, and after a while, I turned around and asked the older man
Hartley BridgeHartley BridgeHartley Bridge

for you, Tiffany :)
in the seat behind me if we had come to New Brighton yet. We chatted for a minute, and he was really nice. He told me that I would get off the bus at the stop after him, and we talked about me traveling by myself, etc. After he got off the bus, we waved to each other. That was a pleasant encounter with another local person.

Luckily, Perch Rock was close by my bus stop. I walked on over there. I guess the main attraction right there is the fort- it's called Fort Perch Rock- but I was pretty much going to see the lighthouse. I had read that there were Titanic-related items in the old fort (it's a museum), and if I had time, I was going to go in there. It was really cool seeing the very familiar lighthouse, rocks alongside the lighthouse, and the beach. I didn't expect it to be like a beach, but it was! I figured that's also where a character in the movie was sitting during a couple of scenes as well. I walked along the rocks, and I really wanted someone to take my picture, copying a scene from the movie. The guy I chose was definitely no photographer, but it's good enough. Once I was down off of the rocks, I asked this couple if they would take a picture of me with the lighthouse. They were both really nice, and we chatted a little. They lived 12 miles away, and the lady had family in the U.S. The man was really trying hard to take some good pictures. It surprised me at how precise he was being and how much he was trying to get a good shot. He was directing me on where to stand, and paying attention to the sun, and the angles, and my position in relation to the lighthouse. I was like, "Are you a photographer?" Yet another pleasant encounter.

I decided to walk down the beach, closer to the water. Little did I know what was going to happen! As I got closer to the Mersey, my shoes began to sink into the sand! I haven't been to a beach many times at all, but I didn't expect that. The beach was just not firm as you got closer to the water, even if it looked like it would be. My shoes were becoming really dirty, and naturally my extra-long pants were, too. I took off my shoes and socks, and rolled up my pants a little. I didn't plan on having my unshaven legs exposed to the public that day, but oh well. It's not like anyone would be paying attention, they weren't THAT bad, and I would never see these people again. I dipped my feet into the water and tried to clean off my shoes. I discovered some jellyfish lying there on the sand. Ha, good thing I noticed them with my eyes first! They were actually kind of pretty.

Nearer to the lighthouse, there was a dad and his sons obviously searching for and catching some type of creature, and I asked them if they could take a picture of me. One of the boys, responding as if I had asked him to braid my hair or something, was like, "I don't know how!" It was like a "Not me!" type of response. Then the dad (obviously not really wanting to) took my picture. Uh, thanks for being so nice about it. Sorry to disturb you.

I really enjoyed being there on the beach, looking at the lighthouse. I was going to see if I could go back there before I left Liverpool. I still needed to see another filiming location on the peninsula anyway. I stayed on the beach for about 1 1/2 hours, and I didn't have time to see the Titanic exhibit. I had to get back on the bus and go to the pier, then take off on the ferry back to Liverpool. Lucikly, I knew exactly where to go to catch the bus this time, and I knew exactly where I needed to get off the bus, too. When I got back to Liverpool, I walked to the hostel. It really wasn't difficult to get to and from the docks (where I was).

I walked around, looking for a place to pick up some food. I found this place that claimed to have real southern fried chicken, and I had to smile to myself. We'll just see about that. I had to just get a water and 2 thighs even though I wanted some side dishes. I believe I wanted coleslaw, but they didn't have it, and they were out of beans. On the way back to the hostel, I stopped by good ol' Tesco Express and picked up a container of strawberries, a Coke, and a chocolate bar. Had to get in a good, balanced meal. That night I talked to two of my roommates who were from Paris. One of them, Christina, had the bunk below mine. They had been working as English teaching assistants in Kent, England, but were in Liverpool for a few days- the same length of time that I was. I believe it was that night when they invited me to go with them and our 2 other (male) roommates (an American and an Italian) out somewhere. Eh, I passed. I just stayed at the hostel and made good use of my expensive internet pass.


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the description of the 2nd presentationthe description of the 2nd presentation
the description of the 2nd presentation

ok, so his name was Robert...and he was a quartermaster


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