I found myself driving down to Liverpool on Friday night. My partner was working there over the weekend and we had arranged to meet up and spend the Saturday afternoon roaming around the city.
Driving down the motorways from Newcastle to Liverpool isn’t very exciting, especially in a sensible car. The Highways Agency are aware of this and so keep you on your toes and make the journey a bit more interesting, they have developed a method of randomly putting out road cones along the hard shoulder. As it takes a long time to put out thousands of bright orange road cones down the motorway, they make you slow down to 50 miles per hour to allow you to marvel at their handiwork. As everyone is driving at the same speed, it allows your mind to wander and you find yourself thinking ‘how do they get them so evenly spaced?’ and ‘how do they get the lights to blink in order?’ After a while though, you just get fed up of them.
Now, the boys at the Highways Agency must have had some feedback by several motorists regarding how boring driving past hundreds and hundreds of road cones can be, even the green ones. As a result, they created a game for motorists to play. The rules are pretty simple; they put up a sign of a child in a hard hat and he is telling you to drive carefully as his daddy is working here. What you have to do is find his daddy. It’s a bit like ‘Where’s Wally?’ but rather than having to find Wally in a group of people, you have to find the child’s daddy when there is no-one around. It sounds easy, but it isn’t.
You look for ages. You spy a truck parked in-between some cones in the distance and you think – ‘aha, got him!’ but as you drive past, the truck is empty. When you exit the roadworks you form the conclusion that the child’s daddy is either very good at hide-and-seek, or he is not working on the motorways and is in fact lying to his son about where he goes every night.
I eventually got to Liverpool and met my partner at the Novotel. Due to a mix up with the rooms, we’d managed to bag an executive suite. The place does a cracking breakfast too, I can highly recommend it.
The next day, we had a mooch around the city. We did a bit of shopping around the Liverpool ONE and then headed towards the dock. Albert Dock is quite pretty for a dock, I think it’s the large brick warehouses and red columns that do it. The warehouses have been converted into tourist shops, Beatles museums and cafes and it even houses the TATE Liverpool art museum. This is where we stopped for tea and cake; the bakewell tart was lovely, but the scones were disappointingly dry in comparison.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the docks and along the river Mersey. We stopped and admired the Liver building (pronounced lie-ver for some reason) and took some photos. We spent the rest of the day doing more shopping, although we didn’t buy anything.
I’ve only been to Liverpool twice and I’ve not decided if I like it or not yet. The city is nice and the nightlife is good but I’ve never spent more than twenty-four hours in the place. I should return and spend a full weekend there, get my Beatles fix and possibly watch a football match. It might be a while before Blackpool are playing Liverpool or Everton again though; unless there’s a cup-tie. Who knows?