After I moved to the UK, I couldn’t really afford to travel abroad straight away, of course. But on our long weekends, we always tried and still try to just get out and explore another city in the country. I still have few on my list, such as Edinburgh, Bristol, Wales and I heard about a small city down south called St. Ives, where you feel like you are not even in England anymore… To be honest, I’ve been living here in Manchester for 4 years now – and counting – but I still didn’t really see it with the tourist’s eyes… Maybe it’s time to explore Manchester too?! I often find articles on traveling websites saying Manchester is the best city to live in blablabla – I could argue with that but I’m not gonna… I will just pick a day in the near future and go see what’s all the fuss about!
… I knew that it’s coastal, which means Vitamin Sea, so it was fine by me anyway….
So we chose Liverpool. I heard nothing about this city, only the Beatles, and I knew that it´s coastal, which means Vitamin Sea – even if it’s only a poor English version without palm trees and coconuts – so it was fine by me anyway.
Maybe if we were lucky enough to have some sunshine that day, maybeee if we were lucky enough to arrive when it´s high tide…then maybe yea, it would have been beautiful.
So our first destination was Crosby Beach… We were walking from city center all the way to the beach, well if you ever planning to go there, then take a bus from the train station to the beachside, because it is sooo far away, and let’s face it there’s not much to see outside of the center.
The only interesting thing I can tell you about Crosby beach is that it is a piece of art, like literally. There are 100 metal sculptures – in shape of a naked human body – scattered around on the beachside.
… they are watching the world go by… …
They are facing the sea and placed closer and closer to the horizon. So if it’s high tide many of the sculptures are fully underwater, yet few of them just till knee high, or not covered at all. Interesting composition. At first when I saw it from far away I was like: ´oh nice the water must be warm, if people are in it´ and then when we moved a bit closer I thought: ´some of these people look very depressed or suicidal, just staring to the middle of nowhere standing in the water´ … and then I realized they are metal figures… oh well. It has a very interesting vibe, I’m not gonna lie. I tried to google what the artist meant to show or tell with it, but I couldn’t really find anything specific. Many people were writing different things about the figures, but in my opinion, they are just watching the world go by… low tide … high tide … dusk … dawn… or maybe they are waiting (?) I don’t know let me know in a comment below what you think…
´The next stop is Formby Beach, the doors are opening on the left-hand side´
So Formby. It was a trip for another day, but it started much better. It was sunny, to begin with. The same train trip to Liverpool, but lesson learned from before… we took the bus from the station to the beach. Well as close as it was possible, cuz it is not just a beach, it’s like a National Trust area too, so there are no roads after a while, all you can do is hiking through the sand dunes and pinewoods. (which is cool if you planned ahead that you want to hike for a good hour, – and a half – and if you are not wearing white sneakers… Anyway. In these woods, if you lucky you will see the rare red squirrels running around. The beachside was much more pleasant… (maybe because of the sunshine?)
… it was ice cold so even though I brought my bikinis only my ankles got wet …
When we arrived we were actually impressed with this beach, more than we were before with Crosby, because well… it was sandy, not muddy. This was a huge plus. But again we caught the low tide, so we had to walk like 100 miles to reach the water, which was ice cold so even though I brought my bikinis only my ankles got wet. What else can I say? Not much.
First time in London, I was very excited about it, but it was a big fat mess, and we ended up with -78£ each ( and counting). I will give you a storytime about this situation later on. So we were 100% sure about going to London for few days, and it was around Christmas, so we thought it will be just perfect, with the Christmas Market and the lights and… it will be everything. We booked our train tickets, not the cheapest option from Manchester, but definitely the fastest. Return tickets are on sale between 50 and a 100 pounds, depends on many things. There are buses too, for like 10£ return… but it takes 5 hours + (one way) which is a slow death for sure.
So the day has finally come, we started our journey.
… Get the London Look …
Storytime part 1: I’m not gonna leave any cliffhangers here… We left our tickets (including the return one) on the train. We checked in to the hotel, started packing and getting ready to go out for some sightseeing, and I remember I asked my Bestie:
´ hey, where are the tickets? ´
´donno you have ´em´
´…no, you have them´
And then we gave each other the telepathic look…(or should I say: The London Look) and… Fuck.
We quickly felt relief because we ordered it online so we got the email with all the codes and stuff, so we thought we will reprint it or whateva, like come on, probably we are not the only one on Earth who lost tickets before … everything will be just fineee… So we just carried on with the London buzz. Well, at least we tried to keep up with that, because of the subway system, the trains the busses… Sweet Mother of All that is Good and Pure. Or should I say: Oh my fuck!?… It was a huge mess… We got lost million times… But at least we arrived in the center, saw the Tower Bridge from far. Bestie lifted up the phone to take the first fucking picture in London and dropped it to the frozen concrete. Thank you.
Broken screen: check. Lost tickets: check. Oyster mess: check. Such a great start isn’t it? And I don’t want to make a huge spoiler here… but it is not over just yet, for crying out loud.
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds, red phone boxes, and buses… blablabla there’s not much to mention about it, 10 million blogs already wrote 9.5 million times about the same thing so I will just leave some pictures here:
But the best part of all – well at least for me – and I have to mention it… The Shard. My favorite building ever in London, it’s unbelievable with the height of 306 m – which equals 95 floors.
I mean… Please.
For like 30 pounds you can go up to an open-air deck on the 72nd floor (244 m).
Fuck London Eye (135 m) and Sky Garden (160 m)
Please for the peace of my soul, if you are in London choose The Shard, and if you are as crazy about night and city lights as me, then definitely book your ticket after sunset. Of course, a picture is not gonna give back the live view but… Let me show you why I’m begging you to go:
Storytime part 2: it was about time to catch our train back to Rainchester, we decided to go a bit earlier so we can sort out our tickets, reprint or do whatever needs to be done. So we tried to explain what happened to Cruella De Vil, but she had no sympathy whatsoever. Said it cannot be reprinted… and: ´ Bitch NO, the email with the booking numbers, the codes, and the seat numbers are not okay either, like what on Earth are we even thinking?!?! But: We can buy the same tickets for 186 pound each´ – she finished with a smug smile.
mmmkay ´How about a few hours later Miss 5 star customer service?´
After 20 minutes of negotiating with the Devil, we got new tickets for 78 pound each and managed to get home. Yay.
Long story short, it was an expensive trip altogether. lol
Now, this day was much better. It was nice and sunny, so that’s like 10 extra points straight away. The beach of Blackpool – or the other name of it is Pleasure Beach – is not far from the city itself, no sand dunes, no pinewoods, no hiking… Which is again, an extra point.
…according to Wikipedia it is inspired by the Eiffel Tower…
We caught the low tide again, but why are we even surprised?! But altogether it was a nice seaside resort, you could walk all the way on the coast next to the sea. There is a big amusement park too and many other major attractions and landmarks. First of all the Blackpool Tower. We were excited about that one, cuz according to Wikipedia it is inspired by the Eiffel Tower. I have to warn you it is not true. It’s not gonna be the Eiffel Tower… Well, a tower… yea. The Central Pier is nice, it has many shops around, and a big wheel, like Blackpool Eye, we decided not to buy a ticket, but I think it has some amazing views, especially when it’s sunset, and the sun sets in the sea. And the list could go on.
…Well, what can I say? England is beautiful in its own way… I just left my heart under a palm tree on an island somewhere in the middle of the ocean… probably.
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5 thoughts on “Lost in the UK”
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Lots to compare with you – but UK – eeeeeck!
Loved your travel stories. I do think, after the ticket loss, you need a new bestie – on the other hand, it’s also good to have someone to blame your troubles on