Saturday, 20 April 2013

Big Night Out

Friday 19th April 2013

We had a full day to explore today and one of the special things that we had wanted to view were the statues in the sea at Crosbie.

On our way into Liverpool last week we learnt of the SaveAway tickets which allowed all day travel after 9:30am (on weekdays) and all day on the weekend – we find them good value.

So today, armed with out travel everywhere tickets we headed off – the three of us.

Banjo’s first steps off the boat (or rather non-steps) were into thin air and he fell straight into the water – it was harder for him to miss the pontoon than not.

His swimming is getting better; Diane was a bit concerned but when I took my time responding she just knelt down and dragged him out – at the same time avoiding the shake and spray of the wet dog.

Roughly drying off the stupid mutt; a change of coat; a further bit more drying and we could now leave.

It was necessary to check and make sure of the low tide times at Crosbie beach to make sure that the statues would be visible – 12:40pm for today.

But first we would take the train to Southport – we had been there before, but wanted to visit again – it is a lovely town, very elegant and definitely with the tourists in mind for the summer months.

Onto the platform, no problems (even with Banjo); onto the train, no problems – apart from Banjo wanting to be picked up – but the smell of eau-de-wet-dog was too much – so he was relegated to the floor.

A bit of a wander around Southport; coffee; Diane needed to get some shopping as soon as she saw a Morrisons – there are just some things that you can only get at certain places so you take the opportunity.

These two pictures I just had to include

No chance of parking here

don't go for the peas and carrots - see the
two menu items including Homemade Meat,
and Potato(e) pie (and gravy) - the peas and
carrots will cost you 2.30 pounds

Back onto the train – love this unlimited travel – and we headed for Hall Road station.

It was just a short walk to the beach area and Diane had yet again made a good choice of location to get to – the statues seemed to start their guarding of the shoreline here and extended down towards Crosbie.

The tide was definitely way out – mmm we can read tide tides – so we were able to venture out over the sands to see some of those further away.

Problem was that you needed to be careful where you tread – first Banjo and then I plonked our feet into thick mud – for Banjo it was 2 pairs of mud socks and for me a pair of muddy boots – it was not at all easy or successful to clean it off.

Banjo - aka "socks"
This was a real beach with real sand and no rocks, so walking along was easy and in the sun was really enjoyable.

Diane just wanted to point something out -
I think she was a bit preoccupied

much more dignified
Lunch by the seaside seemed appropriate; chatting with a couple of locals; people walking; running; cycling past – appreciating the warmer weather.

We reached Crosbie – about 2-3 miles on from where we started – all along the way the statues maintained their omnipresence over the sands – staring out to sea – what were they searching for?

pick out the real people from the statues

Now time to return to back to the city – which station is closer – we naturally chose the further one – it gave a chance to walk a bit further and see more of the townscape.

church at Crosbie
Where we started was of a socio-economic status not the same as the area where we finally boarded the train – an insight to the area around Liverpool in a small way.

By the time that we arrived back at the boat, via Boots to pick up Diane’s prescriptions, we were a bit exhausted – Diane will tell you we had walked 100 miles but probably closer to about 5-6 miles. Even the dog was tired – Banjo was flat out asleep on the train and dropped off again once we made it back.

We had arranged with Paul and Elaine that we might venture out this evening and show Leonie and Ray (nb Fire Fly) a little of Liverpool and get to know them a bit better, so about 6pm it was time for more walking.

Paul needed cash from the ATM and obviously
"Charlie's 'grannies'" provided the protection
Drinks and dinner at one pub – remember it is a Friday night, after work – so it was quite full, but the dining area was a bit less busy.

As I have tried to do on many occasions, it is important to embrace the local culture and cuisine – a bit of the old “when in Rome..” – so when the menu gave the option of Scouse, this had to be the option to choose.

It was really nice – a thick stew of lamb, potatoes and carrots – the taste was wonderful – I suspect that it may not necessarily have been the same 100 years ago.

We felt it time to move on and seek out a another pub – this one being the Victoria Cross – this one with some live football – Hull v Bristol City and the other an FA Youth Cup semi-final – we had a bit of a sport fix that we needed – well at least Paul and I (maybe Diane as well).

Ray and Leonie (nb Fire Fly)

Elaine and Paul (in natural pose with beer in hand)
By the time the match ended it was certainly way past my bedtime but we headed off for a bit of a nightcap – so back to The Pumphouse, which was busy as usual.

Some people left, we found a few seats; some more left; we took over one end of the table; our neighbours were very polite and it transpired that they were from Sweden – two brothers each with their son (cousins, of course) – they were here in Liverpool because of their love of The Beatles and this was their first trip here together to see the sights and sounds of the band.

Luckily their English was better than our Swedish – lovely guys even if the guy that was talking to us the most was a bit on the side of inebriation – but he was enjoying his trip here for the weekend.

So a bit before midnight we decided that it had been a lovely evening and just a short walk down the ramp and we were home – it didn’t take long before we were asleep.

No travel today

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