So I'm back in the U.K. And although I've explored London plenty, I want to see some other English cities to really get a sense of what else Britain has to offer. It's only fair, after all. I feel like if someone was going to visit the U.S., and only spent time in New York, they would not really get the full American experience. So I decided to take some time and explore Liverpool, which was the European Capital of Culture in 2008, is home of the Beatles, and is really, really into their football (soccer) teams.
As the city is a bit of a tourist destination, hotels in Liverpool
are easy to find. I stayed by the water, which is the area that gives Liverpool it's distinctive feel, as well as UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
There is a cluster of six buildings that have earned the UNESCO designation, and collectively they are known as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, which includes Pier Head, (the three graces, three buildings that while incredibly impressive are surprisingly young by British historical standards; they all were built in the early 20th century) Albert Dock, (the first non-combustible warehouse system in the world, actually more interesting than it sounds) and William Brown Street, a road more notable for it's cultural feel than any of the many cultural institutions residing there.
Of course, when one thinks of Liverpool, one thinks of football, and Liverpool has both the mighty Liverpool FC and the not-quite as mighty Everton FC calling the city home. Definitely catch a match if you can, it's pretty intense and it's hard not to get caught up in the action, even if your not a big football fan.
Liverpool is also the former home of the Fab Four, and as a result there are a lot of Beatles kitsch around. But there is also a Beatles museum which I had to admit was pretty cool. Although they went on to far bigger and better things, its hard not to smile at pictures of the boys in school.
Finally, I saw one of the coolest things I've ever seen a guy-with-so-much-money-that-he-had-to-invent-new-ways-of-spending-it build. This tabacco merchant, named Joseph Williamson, built a massive system of tunnels under the Edge Hill section of the city. Here's the best part: nobody knows why he did it. This was around 1840, and Williamson was a rich guy who just seemed to want a project. He hired a huge work force from Liverpool to do it, providing jobs and income to lots of manual laborers. What a great, although maybe crazy, guy. That's how you create jobs. Nobody is trying to "Occupy" the Williamson tunnels. That's the 1 percent looking out for the 99. C'mon Warren Buffett, how about you build a maze?