At last an internet connection that works, sadly we could not get our laptop to connect on the QM2, they're upgrading the system next year which will hopefully solve the problem for others. We arrived in New York this morning and thankfully Hotel 414 where we are staying has Wifi so we are back in business. We have a lot of blogging to catch-up on but a Broadway show awaits tonight so we will try to type a little each day, we may have to complete our blog when we get home at this rate!
Friday 3rd October
Around noon we arrived at Liverpool, going ashore we were happy to stretch our legs and walk to the Albert dock which has many old red brick warehouses which have been converted in to shops and restaurants.
Liverpool was where the QE2 had been designed and used to be Cunard's home port. Because of these strong ties all the passengers had been invited to a Commemorative Concert at the Liverpool Cathedral.
We considered getting a taxi to the Concert but decided instead to get some exercise and walk, as we were both noticing our clothes getting a little tighter
from all the delicious food we had been consuming on the cruise.
The concert program included; The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, The Liverpool Cathedral Choir, Natasha Marsh and Jon Christos, both well known British singers, as well as many guest speakers.
During the performance members of the ship’s company carried the QE2’s “Paying Off” pennant down the central aisle. The pennant was presented to the Lord Mayor who accepted it on behalf of the people of Liverpool. (A ship’s “paying off” pennant is flown immediately prior to the ship leaving service, and is one foot for each year of service. QE2’s at 39 feet, was the longest in Cunard history).
Near the completion of the concert the Band of the Welsh Guards marched in to the cathedral playing “Sailing”, one of the guards told the story of how he and his regiment had sailed to the Falklands on the QE2 during the conflict.
The two hour ceremony closed after some farewell words from the Master of the QE2, Captain Ian McNaught, the “Close of the Day” was played by the Welsh Guards. The concert was wonderful, very moving, everyone agreed the event had been
far better than anyone expected and we felt privileged to have attended.
After walking back through the city centre, Ron and I finished our visit with a farewell drink in the pump-house at Albert docks (another pint of ale for Ron) before getting back on board.
As we pulled away from the dock we watched the fireworks from the Aft deck, the people of Liverpool gave the QE2 a great send off.
As we sailed down the Mersey on our way out to the Irish sea we enjoyed listening and dancing to the Beetles playing on the top deck (well the band sounded and looked like them). What a fitting way to end a fantastic day in Liverpool.
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