Thursday, July 20, 2017

Iron Men looking out to sea

We left Derwent6 at 11.00am and walked up to central station where we got the train towards Southport.
Al had always wanted to see Antony Gormley's  Iron men at Crosby Beach just north of Liverpool, so it was a good chance to see them.
The train took about 20 minutes and was only £3.00 return to go, so it was a no brainer for us..
We were a bit silly really because we went out there in summer vests and to be fair it was a bit cold with the north wind blowing in our faces.
We were surprised that the sand was very soft and could see why this spot had been picked by Antony Gormley. There are 100 of these sculptures spread over 2 miles and they go about half a mile into the sea.
Some of the statues had been clothed by members of the public and looked very real with the real people walking along the beach.
After about half an hour we had to get a coffee somewhere and found a Leisure centre which did a five star rated hot chocolate.
We then walked back to the station and got the train back to Liverpool city centre. We did some shopping at Liverpool One before stopping off for an afternoon tea and heading back to Derwent6.
By this time the sun had come out and it was very nice sitting out the front with a few nibbles.. Mark and Sian came back a bit later and we chatted about what we had done and what we will do tomorrow.. This was going to be a dry day and an early night, I'm sure we will be back on it tomorrow..

Maritime and Marinated and Music

We surfaced a bit late and when we did we went to the Maritime Museum first thing. It gives a bit of information about the docks and also about the ships Titanic and Lusitania. There is also a section on slavery and it is quite moving.
Afterwards we did a bit of shopping and ended up extending our data on our dongle as our contract had run out...
From there we went on to a Brazilian restaurant that had been recommended by Chris (Mr Laminate) called Fazenda which turned out to be one of the best restaurants we had ever been in. It was a little on the pricey side, but boy did you get your moneys worth.
Its as much as you can eat and the meat is brought out to your table. You have a card with green or red on it and if you want more meat just leave your card on green. The Salad bar is top quality, but don't eat too much too early, you have to pace yourselves..
We came out of there very full and called Mark and Sian for a meet up, in a pub of course.

We ended up watching live music all night till 1.30am and got back to Derwent6 at 2.00am full of food and drink.
We should sleep well!

Ferry Cross the Mersey

We had a bit of a lay in, and the sunshine woke us up through the window. It seemed a nice day to take the Mersey ferry as Al had got some cheap tickets using her Tesco's vouchers.
We got the midday ferry which takes you over to Seacombe which has a spaceport, and a U Boat tour at Woodside/Birkenhead. The round trip takes 50 minutes and gives you a great view of Liverpool and also you learn a lot about what the buildings are along the Mersey. Oh and yes! you get to sing "Ferry cross the Mersey"
We didn't fancy the spaceport but stayed on the ferry till we got to Birkenhead. The U Boat Story was about U-534 a German submarine which was sunk during the war and resurfaced and brought back to the UK.
The only disappointing thing for the boys was that it had been broken into four pieces and you couldn't walk through it, but they had glassed the ends so you could see through it..
It was still worth the visit and good to see..
We then walked up to Birkenhead and the gardens at Hamilton square, well worth a walk.
We ended up having lunch in some lovely tearooms with great food, we had jackets and a BLT.

We walked back to the ferry as the heat was getting to us a bit and jumped on the 2.30am ferry back to Liverpool.
We spent the afternoon chilling on Derwent6 with a ice crush and a cake taking in the views, people watching..
In the evening we went back to the Cavern, as it is free to get in on Monday Tuesdays and Wednesdays still with loads of live music.

The Crew depart

We got up early and Al walked over to the shop to pick up some food to cook a full English breakfast on Derwent6..
Things had been full on for a few days and Maxine and Graham fancied a nice chill out morning watching the jellyfish, before they had a train to catch back to Kent. It was lovely to see them, we had just a great time..

We fancied a late afternoon drink so went over the road with Mark and Sian to Bierkeller and then found one of the best pubs in Liverpool, the Ship and Mitre.
We finished the day by walking over to Albert Dock and having a good curry (for a change) at East is East, the perfect end to the perfect day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Recovery Day

Sunday we were a bit worse for wear, but it was bacon rolls again before we headed off to the Williamson tunnels of Liverpool. It just seemed a good thing to do when you have a hangover, and to get out of the bright sunshine light. We arrived by taxi (which was only three quid) and stepped out into what looked like an old farm.. The guy took our money and then put on a hat to be our tour guide.. He spent more time talking and oddly only took us about 50 foot to show us some brickwork and artefacts, it was rubbish! but gave us a laugh!
We got out in time to meet Paul and Sam in Tom Hall's sports bar to see the tennis and the Grand Prix. It was hair of the dog time, and it all did us the power of good..
We then took Paul and Sam back to Mowgli's, an Indian tapas type restaurant we can thoroughly recommend..
We said our goodbyes to them both and walked back to The Baltic Fleet..
It was a nice evening so we got back to Derwent6 and chilled in the cratch, playing cards till the early hours.

Chris's Laminate, Messy, very messy

Today was one of those days we had been looking forward to all year. Chris had done a laminated pub crawl for anyone who turned up as he knew Liverpool very well.
We had a bit of a lay in and had bacon rolls for breakfast trying to line our stomachs for the onslaught. There was eight of us and the first booking was the Panoramic 34 at midday, a cocktail bar on top of a tower. No it wasn't cheap but the cocktails and views were out of this world..

It was while we were here that we received an unexpected text. Friends Paul and Sam from Surrey had decided to take a weekend break up to Liverpool and while looking round the docks noticed Derwent6 on the pontoons. "Where are you? they said, catch up with us was the reply we would love to see you, but warning it might get messy" After our fifth pub they found us, it was just so fantastic to see them..
We're not going to take you round the tour but here are some of the pics we took in most of the pubs. Chris did a brilliant job giving us all the history and also including some great food in some fantastic restaurants..  Thanks again Chris!

The night finished in Flanagan Apples where live music is played on three levels, very messy!

Disney at Liverpool

So our first morning in Liverpool and we decided to go out for breakfast and left it to Graham to sort out where we were going, and we ended up at a Turkish restaurant called Shiraz, which did a brilliant full English for a fiver. From here we went to the Cavern, a must in Liverpool, where we watched a guy singing Beatles tracks. Loads were in there from the Disney Cruise Ship that had arrived this morning, including a professional singer off the ship who cried living his dream of singing in the Cavern. The Cavern was well worth seeing, almost a mini Hard Rock with so much more history.
It was then on to do some sightseeing, and we thought it might be a good thing to see the Disney ship and we then wandered round the docks and ended up going to The Liverpool Museum of Life. We then got a call from Marky to say his mate Chris had turned up at the Baltic Fleet, a fantastic pub in the docks.
This pub used to serve all the sailors at the docks and had its own Brewery underneath in the cellars. It even had a tunnel linked to the red light district of Liverpool where the girls could get to and from the pub safely with their sailor of choice!
We then went back to Derwent6 and chilled on the bow for a few hours, looking across the Dock.

We all fancied eating Mexican and went over to China Town, of all places and found one, Sapporo, and the food was superb.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Amazing Entrance to Liverpool

We set off at 9.00am as we had to be at Hancock Swingbridge at 9.30am. 
Two other boats set off with us and we all arrived in a convoy at the bridge just before the time asked for by Canal and River Trust (CaRT). They class this as the passage into Liverpool and they check us in, and then check us again at swingbridge 6.
We are then told if you want any provisions to stop at Litherland, and if a pumpout is required to do it there. We were lucky and the pumpout was on Pause which allowed us to clean out the tank. You can fill with water here as well and there's a handy Tesco.
You are told to leave by twelve at the latest and then make your way to the Liverpool canal Link which starts with four locks going down to the docks.
We left at twelve and arrived at 13.02 just in time to see the two boats in front of us go down the first lock, perfect!
We were helped by two guys as we dropped down to sea level, and the first thing you smell is the salt water.
A small bridge at the bottom warned us that the chimney might get in the way so we removed it as a precaution.

This took us out into our first dock with an old tobacco factory, and loads of old factories with a 1800 clock tower in front of us, it was amazing!

We turned left at the clock and followed through another dock into Sid's Ditch, this was a cutting just for narrowboats which had a bit of weed in it but it wasn't a problem considering what we had been through.
After this we went into two other docks which were lined by buoys which guided us into a lock where the guys from CaRT were waiting for us.

This dropped us down into a tunnel which took us towards the Liver building. The tunnel looked dark as we entered it but once inside it was quite light. As we exited the tunnel there were brilliant views of the Liver building, with the liver birds at the top watching our path.
Another tunnel and a exit lined with people waving like they had never seen a boat before. You could hear music from the local stands and also see the museums.

Another lock approached and we dropped the eight inches required to get into another dock.
We turned right here and then right again to another dock before turning left into Albert Dock.

This was also amazing with it's pink pillars and the buildings on top of it. A right turn here took us into Salthouse  Dock where you see all the narrowboats lined up. It was a bit windy but we managed to back in Derwent6 on to the pontoon, and the CaRT guys were at hand again to make sure we were all ok.
A plug in onto shoreline and a top up with water and we were ready to enjoy ourselves. This City is Amazing!
We took a quick look round just to get our bearings and then waited for friends Maxine and Graham to arrive.. They had a train delay, so got to us at 5.00pm, amazed as much as us about Liverpool.
It was a lovely evening so we sat out in the cratch till 6.30pm. We had booked some tickets to see the Pierce Brothers in some old recording studios 600metres from Derwent6.

They didn't let us down and we had a fantastic night drinking singing and dancing, and finished the night with an old school disco place, where we got very drunk..
We all got back to Derwent6 at 2.00am, and crashed into bed..