Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Little Help from My Friends

Liverpool is brilliant.

While Manchester is definitely cool, I can see why the 'Puddle was chosen for European City of Culture for 2008. It's got character, and plenty of it, providing you can cut through the Scouse.

We arrived (via yet another delayed train) just in time to catch the Magical Mystery Tour of Beatles history. Utterly touristy? Yes. But it's a necessary step in this musical odyssey. Unfortunately, the old 1967 Magical Mystery Bus broke down on the way to get our small group, so we were put on a modern coach instead. To make up for it, we were given free beer at the Cavern pub while listening to #5 of only a hadful of Yellow Submarine jukeboxes ever made. (1-4 went to the original members.)

Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, John & Paul's houses, George's birthplace... all were on the tour, amusingly narrated by one of Liverpool's native sons. We ended at the Cavern Club and met up with Briley and Rachel from TravelPunk for a few beers before heading out to catch some pub food at the Rat and Parrot.

While Manchester is modern and hip, Liverpool oozes charm. But that didn't stop Briley from coming back to Manchester with us for a night out on the town. After a misstep or two (let's just say cheesy chain pub/clubs SUCK) Elena, Briley, Eva and I ended up at Sankey's Soap, probably the only Mancunian club I really wanted to check out. Allegedly in an old soap factory, the place hearkens back to the early days of underground clubbing with good beats, reasonable drinks, and a lot of chemically enhanced people. Oh, the halcyon days!

The night ended with chips and curry and donner kebab, which has been affecting my stomach ever since, but damn, it was tasty. Eva ended up coming home at some point, Briley had to take off early, and for us, a gleaming silver Virgin train to London awaits.

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