Our stay in Liverpool was coming to an end. Our mooring, in Salthouse dock has been superb. Water, free electricity and rubbish collection and a night time view from the boat like this our has been the icing on the cake.
During our last wander around the city on Sunday we came across the poignant and moving memorial to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
With one thing and another it was to be a very late Sunday lunch for us (we’ve been eating just one meal a day at mid afternoon this week) and this time we found another charming establishment called Dr Duncan’s.
It’s remarkable, when you to stop to think, the enormous pleasure the Victorians must have had in showing off their many achievements. The interiors of some non-municipal buildings are astonishing. The inside of this pub (originally some kind of apothecary but haven’t had time to investigate) is a celebration in ceramics!
Not shown is a splendid painted ceiling with wonderful tiled and decorated friezes and the present fittings and furniture are first class. The food – Doug had his ‘Scouse’ again and James had pie and mash, was excellent and good value.
A week in Liverpool is not nearly enough to experience its delights and, although this is our fourth visit (it’s the first time we’ve brought “Chance” into the docks) there’s plenty more to do next time. The Albert Dock, although right on our doorstep as it were, was to be last on our list to visit before we left. Its four colonnaded sides house food outlets, shops and a plethora of historical exhibitions.
Our final Sunday had an exciting event in store for us – the Tri-Liverpool (triathlon). We were around to watch the final “elite men’s” event. It started with the swimming which took place in one of the docks.
When the starting gun fired the water erupted into a foaming white mass as about sixty very fit young men surged forward from the starting line.
As spectators we had to run to keep up with them!
As they powered from one dock, under the bridge and into the next we, as spectators, had to negotiate an assault course of barriers and road crossings to get to the next exciting viewpoint ……..
……. where we watched them turn the corner into the final stretch.
We raced round to watch them adroitly manage the exit pontoon and run towards their next event - the cycling.
During the run to their bikes the contestants were cleverly divesting themselves of their wetsuits ready to climb onto their wheels.
The cycling was followed by the running and, finally the finish line. We’d seen the finishing line before the event started and so managed to take this rather deserted shot before they arrived! We didn’t stay for the cycling or the run as we had to get back to the boat ……
……. to meet up with Simon and Luke who had promised to pop round to see us. Luke is another ‘Doug’ and the two of them together was a bit tiring for Simon and James! Nice to catch up with you both though!
Well, 8 o’ clock leaving time on Monday morning arrived all to quickly so we untied the ropes and moved quietly across the very calm waters of Salthouse dock.
We passed under the bridge and into the Albert dock on our journey out of the city.
The city’s great landmarks, which had greeted us on our entry, were just as impressive again as they bid us farewell this time.
Looking back, as the Liver Building receded into the distance, we caught a glimpse of the the very upmarket cruise ship “Seabourn Quest” at the terminal.
We passed back through ‘Sid’s Ditch’ which is part of the remarkable new “Liverpool Link”, which now joins the east and west docks, and allows our little narrow boats to reach the heart of the city. Both the old and new technologies looked down at us as we finally left the docks behind and passed back up the Stanley lock flight. Again, we were cared for and helped by the wonderful CRT employees Paul and John.
Heading back the way we came, we passed back through Maghull where we again enjoyed the lovely houses and gardens which are so well cared for by their owners.
And finally back to ‘breast up’ (that’s two boats side by side!) with Debbie and Danny’s boat “Tickety Boo” where Debbie and her mum Mavis were waiting to give us refreshments.
Having had problems with their TV reception, we’d suggested to Debbie that she got an aerial similar to ours (which never fails to work and which, most of the time, we leave lying in the well deck!). When we got there the new aerial had been delivered and Doug, who can’t resist getting involved in things, got to work on the installation which was going to save Danny a job when he got in from work. As with most technical things a bit of chaos ensued (with Mavis taking photos on her iPad just in case there was to be any future litigation! Teehee) but it all worked out well and they now have first class TV reception.
The main reason for calling on Debbie and Mavis, of course, was the refreshments which consisted of a lovely variety of cheeses and nibbles and a wonderful coffee cake made for us by Mavis. The aerial installation and the eating, drinking and merrymaking were all over and done with by the time poor Danny arrived home from work though! Here’s Doug (far too close to the camera!) Debbie, Mavis and Danny.
And this is a lovely ‘family’ photo – thanks to Danny!
It was very kind of D & D to invite us to stay breasted up with them for the night but we decided to use a very nice mooring on the towpath side of the canal just 100 yards back up the canal so it was a quick reverse and a sad farewell to Debbie, Danny and Mavis. We’ve had enormous fun with these three guys. Although Debbie and Mavis had read the blog for years, we hadn’t actually met until we arrived just over a week ago. Adding to this week’s fun, it was a complete coincidence that we turned out to be “neighbours” in Liverpool docks! Thank you, all three of you, for your kindness and friendship – we look forward enormously to the next time!
We very much enjoyed our week in Liverpool. Nothing prepares you for the pleasure and excitement of entering the city by narrow boat. It has to be done to understand how awesome it really is – it’s by far the best approach to a city we’ve experienced. Well done Liverpool for your generous, and complementary, accommodation and the wonderful feeling of welcome from everyone we met up with or had dealings with. London has an example to follow here with its waterways management. And with that, it’s onwards we go ………