We left wonderful Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Capital hotel after spending two nights there. We headed out on the road with Liverpool being our final destination. The drive through Scotland was beautiful. Surrounded by small mountains in the green countryside, fields of sheep everywhere, colorful streams flowing through the fields and hills with wild flowers growing alongside the river. At one point we stopped along the side of the road and watched a farmer on a tractor herding his sheep with his two dogs. The dogs ran around the group, keeping any small groups from straying. At one point, one sheep started running away and both dogs ran for it at once, jumping on the sheep. The sheep quickly ran back to the group after that. The dogs looked like they were having the time of their lives running around fields and chasing sheep. It was amazing to see this because it isn’t something that the average person sees in his/her life.
While we were driving along, we came upon this point where we were high up in the mountains. Very tall mountains called “The Devil’s Beef tub”. It reminded me of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It’s weird because a lot of this drive has reminded me of Colorado, except greener. I loved it here. The mountains are indescribable. They are something that you would have to experience for yourself. Our next stop was Gretna Green. It was our last stop in Scotland before heading back to England. It wasn’t very interesting unless you wanted to elope and have a blacksmith marry you. There were a couple of shops and a restaurant or two. We had an hour there but Billy Boroski and I were bored and boarded the bus early.
We all drove back to England and towards Grasmere. It is a mountainous region and has many lakes. This particular area, with its windy roads along the mountains, lakes and pine trees, reminded me of Washington State. Grasmere used to be the home of a poet, William Wordsworth. We stepped off of the bus and wandered through town. Billy and I found the grove where William Wordsworth is buried. There was another William Wordsworth who died 30 years later, buried close by. Grasmere had some nice buildings, but not much to do. Everyone was so surprised by how amazing Scotland is, that England didn’t seem as nice. We all came here with a low expectation of Scotland, but it is much better than England. Nobody knows what to expect of Ireland, but we all hope that Scotland doesn’t make Ireland seem lame in comparison.
We drove a few hours until we arrived in Liverpool, the city of Beatles fame. It was kind of like Bridgeport. It was exactly how I thought it would look with crappy buildings and the sky was filled with gray clouds but no rain. Liverpool is the city with the lowest household income in all of England. We stopped at our hotel Adelphi, which was where very old and rich cruise ship passengers used to stay. I believe that the rooms are $500 to $700 per night. Our room was spacious and also had a couch.
After settling in, we boarded the bus for a tour of the city. Our tour guide who was a life long Liverpudlian, brought us to Liverpool Cathedral, a modern cathedral started at the turn of the century and completed in the 1970’s in a neo-gothic style. It was the biggest cathedral we have visited so far.
We drove along Penny Lane and saw all of the places that were named in the Beatles’ song of the same name. We also saw where John Lennon went to school and where Paul McCartney and George Harrison went to school. I was disappointed that we couldn’t go and see Strawberry Fields and John Lennon’s house on Menlove Avenue, but we got to see the Cavern Club where the Beatles performed almost 300 times. We didn’t get to go inside, but instead went back to the hotel for dinner. We later learned that our female tour guide had dated George Harrison in the mid 1960s and wish we could have asked her more questions about the Beatles.
After a nice dinner some of us with the chaperones went over to The Cavern to go inside and also see the other Beatle monuments, like one to Eleanor Rigby. On the way we saw lots of women dressed in crazy group outfits, which is the tradition for bridal parties on a night out. When we went into the Cavern it was far underground and a lot smaller than I expected it to be. It was still amazing though to imagine that the young Beatles played here. It isn’t the original club that they performed in because that was demolished. A new one was built in almost the exact location to be just like it was when the Beatles were there, made out of brick. It was an amazing experience and a must for all serious Beatles fans. After we visited, listened to the Beatles era music being blasted, and had a toast to the Beatles, we went to the hotel y despue’s we went to sleep. Tomorrow we go to Wales for a while and then over to Dublin, Ireland.
By Kevin Henri