|On 8 May we took the Mersey Tunnel into Liverpool, home of the Beatles and parked at Albert Dock with its cast iron columns and 5-story warehouses—a World Heritage Site. Gail waited for me at the entrance to the “Beatles Story” exhibition while I went back for my camera. When I returned there was a line of people waiting to get into the Beatles attraction and “All You Need Is Love” was playing. I came up to Gail and we did a little dance together—women smiled but one man didn’t look too happy about us. Oh well, my missionary work continues ;>)
The Maritime Museum was quite interesting with a detailed display on the Titanic. We popped into, and then out of, the Tate Museum (modern art just isn’t our thing) before heading into town to check out the Victoria Museum with tile everywhere but the ceilings, I think. Our major focus was the Philharmonic, an incredible bar designed by the shipwrights who built the Lusitania; the Phil was filled with etched and stained glass, mosaics, ceramic tiling and, most famously, the men’s toilet (of which we had a private tour)! We had a selection of beers to taste before deciding that Guinness is still our favorite. We met Mike and Janet in one of the Phil’s cozy rooms who were down for the weekend; they gave us suggestions of several places to camp when in their home area of the Lake District.
The next day we headed out to Mashan to check out two breweries: Theakston Brewery which has brewed brews since 1827 and Black Sheep Brewery which was established by a brother when the family sold Theakston’s to megabrewer Scottish & Newcastle. In the spirit of equal opportunity we had a “half” (half pint) in each.
Continuing north into the Lake District we stopped at the 1657 Chocolate House in Kendall for lunch. We ordered the Dungeon and the Aztec hot chocolate drinks and then picked up some mintcake, a peppermint candy popularized after Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay took it along during their ascent of Mt Everest in 1953. Our campsite that evening was in a quarry which had been beautifully planted after the rock gave out. I though it very silly when about 6 pm I heard a cuckoo clock; the next morning at 4:18 I was awakened by the same “clock” but it didn’t have a predictable rhythm and “chimed” more than 12 times—it wasn’t a clock but the BIRD!
South of Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans to keep out the wild Scots, we spent the morning first exploring Holy Cairn I and II and then over to the third largest stone circle in Britain: Long Meg and her Daughters. The Daughters are short granite boulders while Long Meg is a tall, red sandstone slab outside the circle. There was evidence that this circle continues to be an active ritual site and it had a sense of peace and power. We hurried over to Carlisle before the banks closed to get Euros for our time in Ireland. We would be driving through the most southerly part of Scotland on our way to the ferry at Stranraer but there was another adventure waiting for us before we got to the ferry.