Monday, 26 October 2015

More from Liverpool

Hi, nice to see you again.

Liverpool certainly lived up to expectations and we've had a ball.

We've eaten in some wonderful restaurants especially the Bistro chain of Francs, Jaques and Pierre where you can get a really good 3 course lunch for £10.50. Another place I can recommend is Miller & Carter Steakhouse in Albert Dock. We had some fantastic steaks and David (aka the Steak Monster) was a very happy man. That was a 10oz fillet on the bone and there was nothing left to take home for Chico

On Friday night Roger and I went to see Joe Bonamassa at The Echo Arena. If you haven't heard of him before he's an amazing rock/blues guitarist. He sang and played for two and a half hours solid, it's a wonder his fingers weren't bleeding!

The big wheel was still doing a roaring trade when we came out of the arena but as I don't like heights I wimped out.

The water in the dock is crystal clear and when the wind drops you can see the bottom and also the shoals of jelly fish that live here.

It was so lovely on Sunday morning that we decided to take David's boat out for a trip through the other docks so he could see the marina and the sea lock out into the Mersey. It was nice to be on a moving boat again, even if it was only for an hour.

After lunch we took the train to Crosby to see the statues at "Another Place". It was very windy and perfect kite flying weather.

The statues have changed a bit since we were here 4 years ago. Many of them are totally covered in barnacles.

It's nice to see that they are still being decorated

even if it is in NHS clothes as some sort of protest

I think I was wearing a few too many clothes to be taken on as a permanent exhibit

This morning we left Liverpool far too early (8am) but at least the sun carried on shining on us as we said our goodbyes to the Liver Birds

It was much windier than when we arrived a week ago and there were waves on the docks

We're now moored back at Litherland Visitor Moorings. The CRT guys who saw us up the locks were as cheerful and helpful as always and I can't praise them enough.

If you haven't been to Liverpool by boat yet then you MUST put it on the list of places to visit. It's amazing.

That's all for now, take care x

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Our Liverpool City Break

Hi, welcome back.

So far we're having a great time here in Liverpool. The weather is being kind to us as well which is nice.

If you'd like to stay in the dock without bringing your own boat you could stay in one of these converted wide beams. There's the Titanic, which I personally think is in very poor taste as it's supposed to depict the liner sinking

or the Yellow Submarine. Prices from £199 a night

Personally I prefer our own accommodation, complete with morning visitor

Yesterday we visited the Maritime Museum

and took the Old Dock tour down into the world's first enclosed wet dock which has been excavated and preserved underneath the Liverpool 1 shopping & hotel complex. It was a fascinating tour which I'd recommend to anyone.

This is the side and floor of the dock. The dock walls were made from bricks which have been painstakingly cleaned, the floor is the red bedrock that Liverpool stands on. It all dates back to 1715 having been re-discovered during excavations in 2001 after being filled in and buried in 1826.

Liverpool 1 was built above it and you can see some of the concrete pilings that hold the buildings up above.

Today we went to the World Museum. It's only small and quite a few of the exhibitions were closed for maintenance which was a shame.

I know the collection and decoration of ivory should be banned, but I can appreciate why they did it when you see things as beautiful as this Burmese chair

It was so intricately carved and just stunning

One new external exhibit needs a bit of TLC

maybe it'll be nice next year?

Liverpool has some amazing architecture all around the city. This is St George's Hall

even the City Tower is spectacular

or how about a Lambanana?

This is the "Dazzled" pilot ship Edmund Gardner which is a permanent exhibit in the dry dock.

Dazzling was a technique used a lot during the First World War in an attempt to camouflage war ships to make them lesser targets for U-boats

This is one of the propellers from the Lusitania, the liner that was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in 1915 and which was a catalyst in bringing the Americans into the war.

This is a statue of a dock horse

 Another horse sculpture, supposedly made from rope

We ended today's walkabout in a new type of coffee bar in Albert Dock. Ziferblat is the latest craze especially with students. All food and drink is free, you just pay for the time you spend in there at 5p per minute.

There's tea, coffee, hot chocolate and an assortment of fruit juices. Cereals, fruit and toast for an all day breakfast

and an assortment of cakes and fruit.

We stayed half an hour but you could easily stay much longer as there are lots of comfy sofas plus board games, a piano and free wi-fi to tempt you to linger longer.......  I can definitely see the attraction and the place was quite busy whereas the Costa Coffee shop further up the street was practically empty.

We had a surprise yesterday when our old boat Two Hoots arrived in the dock.

It's still owned by Phil and Carol who bought it off us 7 years ago, so that makes 3 Crown Narrowboats here.....a good excuse to go to the pub for an owner's meeting don't you think?

See you soon

Monday, 19 October 2015

Into the docks

Hello, how are you?

Once the CRT guys had let us through the main road swing bridges on Saturday morning we had a good trip to Litherland. It's a really good secure mooring beside Tesco so I went shopping while Roger and David went to the pub.

I always knew Scousers had a sense of humour, especially when it comes to pub names. It used to be called The Doric but has recently re-opened and been re-named and even the regulars in the pub thought it was a bit dodgy.

This is the map of our route into the docks, courtesy of Pennine Waterways website

I was very happy to see the good weather holding up for our trip down the 4 locks and into the docks. The last time we were here, four years ago, it was blowing a hooly and we needed life jackets as it was very choppy.

The Stanley Locks are manned by CRT staff as they're padlocked and need a special windlass, to deter vandals.

We haven't seen any other moving boats for days but were joined by n.b.Mimi who had also booked passage and arrived just as we were about to start. They shared the locks with David and we followed behind.

Once down the 4 locks we emerged into Stanley Dock with the imposing site of the Tobacco Warehouse.

It's the largest brick built warehouse in the world and is Grade II listed but is in dire need of restoration.

The warehouse opposite it has been renovated/rebuilt since we were last here and is now The Titanic Hotel and Rum Warehouse. There are new pontoons outside for small boats but we were on a timed passage so couldn't stop. We may walk round to have a look later in the week as the hotel and bar have been highly recommended by a boater we met recently.

At the end of Salisbury Dock is the Grade II listed Victoria Tower, also known as the Docker's Clock. It too is in dire need of restoration.

There aren't many small boats in the docks, maybe this is the reason why?  Graffiti taken to extreme

A small reminder of how old the docks are

The 'new' Liverpool Link, also known as Sids Ditch

Our first glimpse of the Liver Birds

We also passed through three tunnels, the first of which brought us out right in front of the Liver Building

The tunnel underneath the Museum of Liverpool is surprisingly low

Once we'd caught up with David and Mimi we had to wait a few minutes while the CRT guys arrived to let us through the final 2 locks.

The water was still like a mill-pond and it was great to be back, with the same boats in the same places as last time.

So here we are in our moorings for the next week. After being out in the countryside for so long we're having a City Break. The Hilton Hotel overlooks the dock and a city break there would cost us over £100 a night.......we get it for free and this time the electricity is included as well.  Can't be bad eh?

Bye for now, I hope you'll join me when we go walkabout over the next week.