Liverpool, The Port City

Liverpool, The Port City

It was our first time to visit the city of Liverpool last week and I have to say, we totally fell in love with the place. It has so much to offer.

Prior to our mini trip, when we told friends and acquaintances our plan for the trip, they would say “Why Liverpool of all places. It is run down”

Peter would say, “too late now, we booked our hotel and the train tickets.”

I am so pleased that we did not listen. Because Liverpool is a very vibrant city, a lot to do and see. One can take away plenty of experiences and new knowledge.

For a Scouse city, I think it is very English.

Old and new buildings married splendidly, giving birth to a wondrous skyline, beautifully scenic especially when spied from a ferry across the Mersey.

Liverpool is of course the birth place of the ultra iconic The Beatles, of John, George, Paul and Ringo.

We visited the famous underground Cavern Club, where the The Beatles played during their early days.

Liverpool is also known for its majestic churches.  The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, is an architectural phenomena in its modernity and simplicity in a vast area. It is a Roman Catholic Church, a must see crypt underneath has a gravity defying ceiling made from bricks!!!

On the other hand, the huge Church of England, Liverpool Cathedral is equally awesome.  It has a very spiritual ambiance.  We thought St Albans was so beautiful but Liverpool Cathedral can give it a run for their money.

While we were in Liverpool, the sun tried to break out from the clouds and Peter was quite happy to go on top of the Radio City, which allows anyone to see miles on end in a 360 degrees.  Apparently you can see the Blackpool Tower clearly if the sun was brighter.  I opted out of the privilege to climb the tower because I felt rather queezy after having an enormous Full English breakfast at the Shiraz Palace near the Britannia Adelphi Hotel, where we stayed.

Another thing about Liverpool is the presence of publican houses everywhere, unlike in London.  I think pubs longevity in Liverpool has to do with the prices.  One can get a pint of beer for a couple of quids (pounds). 🙂  The students who board nearby our hotel patronise the many pubs at all hours.

The famed Chinatown in Liverpool was smaller that what I expected compared to Chinatown in London.  Chinatown Liverpool is the first one in the UK.  Some 1500 Chinese were living in Liverpool as far back as the 1600 and some Filipinos in the 1800.  This is because Liverpool is a port, where seafaring immigrants took advantage of.

They have the most fantastic library building in Liverpool Lime Street.  It was modern and huge in four or five floors, very airy.  It makes you wanna sit down with a book, which I did.  I quickly skimmed Jilly Cooper’s Mount, which is the return of Rupert Campbell-Black and Taggie.

Queen Victoria must have loved Liverpool.  Her beloved husband, Prince Albert’s statue is everywhere and places and buildings are named after him.

St George’s Hall along Lime Street is another must see place.  It has an underground Victorian jail which you can tour.  There was a room with drawings and posters by children which is rather unsettling.  Another prison cubicle has a collage of photos of the prisoners, who were murderers, rapists, debtors, fraudsters.  That was really macabre.  What what spooked me was an empty room at first sight but suddenly you feel a presence which was of a statue of a Victorian woman breastfeeding her baby partly hidden next to the doorway.  Spooky.

All in way, I highly recommend a tour of Liverpool.  Add it to your bucket list!

The Beatles – Liverpool’s Lads

Paul, George, Ringo & John, photo by PH Morton

The Beatles – Liverpool’s Lads

Paul, George, Ringo & John, photo by PH Morton

Over the next few weeks we will probably posting a lot of items such as pictures, stories and little tidbits about Liverpool.

We enjoyed our tour of Liverpool so much.  A must see place, so much to see and experience.  I advise to wear flats for a more convenient and healthier meandering of the city centre.  I am pleased to report that most of the attractions are closed together.

The above statue ensemble of The Beatles was a popular tourists and visitors attraction.  Many wanted to take photos, as we did, and also take selfies with Paul, George, Ringo and John.

We were busy photographing everything that we were late joining the ‘talk’ about The Beatles.

We heard though that Ringo Starr used to live at Liverpool 8, an area in Liverpool which used to be notorious for its poverty and vandalism.

Apparently Ringo when living in Liverpool never had an indoor toilet.  He was from a very poor family.

It just goes to show that when Lady Luck smiles at you, she also grins and have a laugh.  This is so true in Ringo’s case.  He was a replacement drummer for the band originally occupied by Stuart Sutcliffe and even Pete Best.  Ringo was not the best drummer in the world but he joined the band just before it took off stratospherically.

In an interview, Ringo said that he did not really miss anything in Liverpool. 🙂  However, he made used of Liverpool 8 and even made an album about it.  The number 8 is inscribed in the heel of his shoe in his statue.

Regarding John Lennon, his statue is clasping a few acorns.  It appears this has something to do with his and Yoko Ono’s hope for world peace.

Apparently John and Yoko sent a couple of acorns to each of the 123 world leaders in the spring of 1969.  They hoped that the acorns are planted for world peace.

Our tour guide said that only two world leaders accepted the challenge.  They were Golda Meir of Israel and Pierre Trudeau of Canada.

Please, Please Me, The Beatles first hit in England!

 

Liverpool Love Locks

Love Locks, photo by JMorton

Love Locks, photo by JMorton

Liverpool Love Locks

The photos were taken of Liverpool love locks on the dockside of the River Mersey in Liverpool.

A love lock or love padlock is a normal small padlock, which is  locked to accessible  bridges, fences, gates, or similar fixtures, by lovers, sweethearts and  friends, to symbolize their love. The sweethearts’ names or initials are typically inscribed on the padlock.

To further symbolize unbreakable love, the padlock’s key is then thrown away. How many cast away keys now reside at the bottom of the the River Mersey? 🙂

Love locks originated in Serbia  100 years ago from a sad Serbian World War One (WW1) story.

This expression of undying love then spread to many countries. Some authorities regard them as a nuisance, health hazard etc., and remove them. When the padlocks  get rusty over the years, a poignancy is seems to be added.

Dreams Down The Drain

Virgin Toilet, iphone photo by PH Morton

Virgin Toilet, iphone photo by PH Morton

Dreams Down The Drain

On our way to Liverpool last Tuesday, Peter spotted this on the toilet at the Virgin overground train travelling from London to Liverpool.

The notice tickled him so much, he said he had to take of photo of it.  Well, he is globalgranary’s very own intrepid man of the lens 🙂

I must admit the notice is witty; appealing to the funny side and forming a bond with users of the toilet bowl.  It is a man of ill-humour who would then flush nappies and hard mashable items on the toilet.

As a quick review of the Virgin train, I have to admit, it was a comfortable travel, left London and arrived at destination right bang on time.

The toilet is clean and refreshments such as juice, coffee, tea are available.  Little cakes and sandwiches as well.

We chosed Coach A because it was supposed to be a quiet zone, and it was.  Coming back to London from Liverpool with the same Virgin train was another story.  Though not really much trouble for us, it was delayed coming back for at least 7 minutes due to signal failure around Watford.  The coach A was packed and people were busy little beavers talking on their mobile phones and not only that, a elderly woman right in front of us started snoring.

I have to say my hope and dreams of a quiet return to London via Virgin train went down the drain.

 

Embutido Recipe

Sliced Embutido, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Embutido Recipe

Embutido is usually served at special occasion such as Christmas, New Year, Fiestas, anniversaries and milestone birthdays.  It is a much love food for its taste and its appearance.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs minced pork
1/2 cup finely chopped ground ham
2 raw eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup sweet pickles
3 hard-boiled eggs
3 Vienna sausages, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons raisins or sultanas
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method of preparation:

Using a large bowl, mix together the minced pork with the bread crumbs and bind it with the beaten egg.

Add in the onions, sweet pickles and sultanas or raisins.

Season with salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.

Lay a large sheet of aluminium foil in a flat surface.

Spread the minced pork mix on the middle of the foil and flatten.

Arrange the boiled eggs and sausages along the length of the minced minced pork (like making up a sushi).

Roll the minced pork to enclose the boiled eggs and sausages, forming a cylinder (please bare in mind the this meaty cylinder will be steamed, therefore, the size should fit the steamer, if steamer is not to big, make three or more rolls stuffed with boiled eggs and sausages each.).

Use the foil to wrap the embutido roll securely, including both ends.

Cook in a steamer for an hour.  Ensure that there is always enough water in the steamer.

When cooked, let it cool down and then slice and serve to impress your guests and fellow hungry diners.

Enjoy!

Tuna in Creamy Mustard Sauce Recipe

Tuna in Creamy Mustard Sauce, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Tuna in Creamy Mustard Sauce Recipe

This tangy mustard sauce goes perfectly well with these succulent pieces of plump tuna belly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced finely
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inches length
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and quartered and then cut into slices
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground (use mortar and pestle to grind)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 pounds tuna belly, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Parsley to decorate

DIRECTIONS

 

1. Combine the mustard, soy sauce, ginger and lime juice. Set aside.

2.. Slowly stir in the olive oil.  Mix well.  Set aside.

3.  Steam the green beans (string beans) and carrots until tender.  Set aside.

4.  Using a casserole pan or even a wok, heat up the mustard mix and simmer for 3 minutes.

5.  Carefully set the tuna belly pieces in the  casserole pan or wok and let the tuna soak in the mustard sauce.  Cook for a minute or until all sides have turned opaque white.

6. Gently stir in the steamed green beans and carrots.

Serve the tuna belly pieces and pour the delicious creamy mustard sauce all over them.

Decorate with a small twig of parsley!

Enjoy with salad or a small bowl of freshly boiled rice.

Baked Salmon Recipe

Baked Salmon, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Baked Salmon Recipe

Ingredients

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Wash the salmon to remove any debris of bones.  Drain thoroughly.
  3. Using a large baking sheet or tray, line it with a sufficient amount of aluminium foil.
  4. Arrange the salmon fillet or steak over the foil.
  5. Sprinkle the fish with salt,  pepper, and dill all around the salmon.
  6. Spread the soften butter all over the fish.
  7. Then drizzle the juice from a lemon or lime.
  8. Carefully wrap the salmon steak with the aluminium foil.  Ensure that both ends are securely tucked in.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for half an hour.  Check that the salmon is cooked by using a fork to gently flake the fish.  It is done cooking if it can be flaked easily 🙂

Lovely served with fresh green salad.

Enjoy this healthy delicious baked fish!