The UK Tour Part 5: Liverpool

Alright I’m calling it. Ready?
Liverpool, you are my favourite UK city to date!! Congratulations – I am in love! You have everything. A little something for everyone. I was blown away at first sight as I was welcomed by St George’s Hall, the World Museum and the Central Library. Their historical architecture was so beautiful and inviting. I knew from that moment I was going to enjoy my time here. But I really had no idea I was about to fall in love…
Liverpool is filled with culture. They have Museums galore! And for those of you that know me well then you’ll know I’m usually not a fan. But in Liverpool I felt intrigued. I wandered through five levels of the World Museum, where I learnt about Ancient Egypt and dinosaurs. We admired art work in the famous Tate Museum, where Tracy Emin’s ‘My Bed’ was displayed. I explored the central library, where modern walls seemlessly adjoined the pre-war architecture. And I strolled along the beach with my feet in the sand as I passed the 100 iron men of the Antony Gormley sculptures; Another Place.
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My mind was challenged each week with games and puzzles. The usual escape room crew came together in Liverpool to break out of two of their hardest rooms. Not to mention in close to record times!! But the greatest (and most exciting) challenge of all was participating in the Crystal Maze in Manchester. Now as most of my readers are Australian many of you will be asking yourself: “What is this Crystal Maze?” I know this because I asked myself the same thing.
Well, the Crystal Maze was a British game show from the 90’s hosted by the hilarious Richard O’Brien. The aim of the game is to solve physical, mental and skill based challenges to win crystals. The more crystals you’re awarded, the more time spent in the Crystal dome where you jump about catching golden tokens. We honestly felt like we were in the real game show. We climbed through tunnels, solved riddles, rock climbed walls, dived through ball pits and slid down slides to win ourselves 10 crystals. It was an incredible day with friends that I’ll never forget.
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Anyone on tour knows that as soon as I reach a new destination the first thing I do is look up the local cafés. Surely it’s the Melbournian in me. How thrilled I was to discover a long, long list of cute and quirky cafés in Liverpool that actually sold decent coffee! Thank goodness for that! So each day therefore included at least one cafe stop, where I would catch up with friends, write blogs, plan travels and complete work. These cafés were basically my daily office!
And now for my highlights! Here I was thinking: “When I get to Liverpool, I’m going to lay low. Stick with early nights. Save money by not going out.” But this was almost impossible to stick by. And to be honest I’m glad I didn’t because these nights hold some of my happiest memories of the tour so far.
First up there was Ghetto Golf; a mixture of late night mini golf and R’n’B music. This was followed by my first Euro Vision experience, where Abigail and I watched the finals from a local bar. I watched live music at the famous Cavern Club, where it’s claimed that the Beatles first began (although after my walking tour I learnt that the original club was actually knocked down and rebuilt next door in mirror image). We celebrated birthday’s in sneaky speak easy bars, ate delicious vegetarian tapas and enjoyed Sunday summer beers in outdoor bars. But my all-time favourite night goes to Bongo Bingo.
We had no idea what we were in for. Before arriving I knew three things. It involved Bingo (obviously), it was well known amongst local Liverpudlians and it was difficult to arrange tickets. Lucky for me my friend was onto it and booked us a spot. We walked into the dimly lit warehouse which was packed with an excited crowd. Giant inflatable bingo balls hung from the ceiling and lights flashed around the room. We were about to experience a bingo night like no other.
Suddenly the host of the night entered the stage with his costumed assistants and the crowd went wild! I looked around and witnessed everyone climbing up onto their seats, where they started waving their hands from side to side and singing what sounded like some kind of opening theme song. We followed the crowd and looked at it each other with the biggest grins on our faces. That’s when we knew we were in for a treat!
There were six games, each with three opportunities to win. Crazy and hilarious prizes were awarded to each winner including Henry the Hoover, giant fluffy unicorns and rideable toy ponies. We didn’t win a single thing but couldn’t care less because we truly had the best night. There were actions and sayings to be cheered when certain numbers were drawn, dance offs to be watched when two players drew and mid bingo dance parties where glow sticks were thrown into the crowd. It was one crazy, hilarious and fun night and all I can say is: thank goodness they’re bringing it to Melbourne because I want all of my friends to experience it!
Like I said, Liverpool has been my favourite UK stop so far. If you’re moving to the UK or planning a holiday then I encourage you to go. There is something there for everyone to enjoy and I only wish we could have stayed longer.
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Lisa Jane.

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