Exploring Liverpool UK Part 1

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Like many it’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to travel so, when the UK relaxed it’s locked down rules, I ventured on a day to Liverpool.

With no time to waste I booked a £5 return ticket with National Express . I had no idea what to expect or if many places were going to be open. I was just happy to get out of the house.

There was only around 5 other people on the coach all the way there, and back for that matter. If I’m honest, I really enjoyed that there wasn’t many people on board, It was the most peaceful journey ever!

If your not familiar with Liverpool

Liverpool is a port city and metropolitan district of Merseyside in the North West of England. The Docklands and many other areas of the historic city centre were named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004. It’s home of the world famous Beatles, Liverpool football F.C, Everton F.C and is an incredible attractive and popular city due to its stunning Albert docks, buildings, museums, culture and it’s witty people.

Whilst I was on the coach, I managed to book myself on a £10 2-hour walking tour of the city on TripAdvisor.

The tour started at 11am and we were to meet at the Beatles statue at pier head. The tour was based around the culture, architecture and of course, the beatles.

We started at pier head taking in the views of the seaport and rich surrounding buildings, whilst listening to the stories and history behind them.

King Edward Vll Monument
Museum of Liverpool
The seaport

As you may or may not know Liverpool played a crucial role in the slave-trade. Our tour guide spoke on Liverpool’s slavery links.It was a topic that often popped up during the tour as Liverpool largely earned it’s first wealth through its links with the slave-trade. London, Bristol and Glasgow were other major cities with crucial links in the UK in-fact, the UK earned it’s first Capitalism through it’s links with slavery.

Links to slavery

The city expanded rapidly during the 18th century due to its trade with America and The West Indies. The profitable trades involved the trading of slaves in west Africa, who were traded for spices, sugar and other plantation corps in the West Indies.

The cities Maritime played an important role in bringing Liverpool to be a global force and power. The trading of slavery made the city and it’s slave traders rich off the back of human suffering. Mersey ships forced almost 1.5million African people traded in West Africa into slavery, who were sent to America and the Caribbean.

The slave ships were often built in Liverpool or repaired in-fact, ‘Liverpool Merchant’ was the first slave ship recorded leaving for sail from Liverpool.

Where the ships would pull in to be repaired

Very few slaves passed through Liverpool but, the slave-trade made this city rich and powerful as Liverpool became the number one port, taking over London and Bristol.

This is very evident in the city as we walk around and have the buildings and streets pointed out. Liverpool is filled with rich buildings and grand houses built with slave money, many of the cities prominent streets and buildings are named after slave traders and merchants such as Bold street, named after Jonas Bold a slave merchant who became mayor of Liverpool in 1802, the port of Liverpool Building which has stone carvings of slaves ships on the facade, penny lane is another, named after James Penny a slave trader and many more.

The port of Liverpool Building
Royal Liver Building
Liverpool Town Hall
Liverpool Train Station

Although it is hugely uncomfortable talking about Liverpool’s slave links, Nonetheless I feel I can not write a blog without mentioning it, especially in the times were living in right now. Despite it’s past history, I find it to be one of the most beautiful, interesting and historical cities in the UK.

Liverpool acknowledgements

In 1999 Liverpool apologised for its involvement and the affects it has had on the black communities.

In 2007, Liverpool opened The Slavery Museum to commemorate and offer education and understanding of the slave legacy.

Should monuments and street names named after slave traders stay or go?

I personally feel the monuments and street names should stay. As bad as the history is, it’s history that can not be re-written. By taking it away, the history will become a forgotten history. This is hugely important in a country that earned it’s first Capitalism through slavery but only acknowledges it’s slave abolition in it’s history books.

What do you think? Should the monuments and street names stay or go? If you’ve been directed from instagram and do not have wordpress, please comment on the instagram post.

I will be speaking more about my day trip in my next blog

Thanks for reading 🙂

Stay safe xx

Zadar Croatia Part 3 Excursion to Kornati Islands

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After booking my trip to Zadar, I did some research and tried to put together an itinerary for my four night stay. This didn’t go to plan, everywhere I wanted to visit seemed rather impossible to get to. Well, not impossible, just a little daunting for me as a solo traveller. For instance, I wanted to visit Plitvice Lakes, to get there it was a 20-minute bus ride to Zadar’s main station, from here 7 buses ran daily covering the route between the hours of 8am and 11pm. According to the information I read the bus ride was between 2 and 3 hours long, depending on which route the bus takes. I’m usually willing to travel but, the low frequency of buses along with the lengthy journeys made it feel quite daunting. Your probably thinking, why didn’t you just book an excursion right? Well, firstly, I like to take public transport to take everything in and get a good feel for the place secondly, the thought of going on an excursion was also daunting to me. You see, there are certain things I’ve had to overcome as a solo traveller such as, travelling alone in the first place, taking public transport alone on foreign soil, eating out at restaurants etc, this for me was just another one of these challenges. I decided not to book anything and thought I’d see how I felt once there. See my last 2 blogs to see what I did once there.

On the second day of my trip a lady approached me in hotel lobby, she was selling excursions to kornati islands. Guess what? I purchased one! I put every negative thought to the back of my mind, telling myself it would be fine.

I was right! I had a fantastic time! Don’t get me wrong, there were the odd moments like being picked up for the excursion with a family of nine and no other people but myself. As we walked the 15-minute walk to the port to catch our boat, I thought, surely it’s not just going to be me and this family? They were a lovely family but, I really felt like the odd one out! Lets me just be clear, I was the odd one out! When we arrived at the port I suddenly felt better learning we would be joined by several others. Once we were on board, I kinda felt a little awkward again, looking around seeing people with their families or partners, I also got the odd couple of looks too. The awkwardness soon disappeared when I was handed a shot of tequila, breakfast and was informed of the free flow of wine for our entire trip 🙏🏾.

Here’s the video of the day trip

Day trip to Kornati Islands

Thanks for reading 🙂

Panic moment of a rookie solo traveller

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Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. I try to write at least once a week however, I’ve been travelling during the last week so my schedule has been a little disrupted.

Anyway in my last post I mentioned how there was a little panic moment on the day of leaving Calella. It may not seem as much as a big deal to some but, believe me when your a rookie solo traveller in a foreign country, something small can seem so much bigger.

Moment of being woken up

It’s the day of leaving to travel back home and I’m suddenly woken by the sound of the hotel phone. I answer the phone, it’s reception telling me my bus is waiting outside. I had to ask the gentleman to repeat himself because I was thinking I misheard him. He repeats himself, this time I’m in a state of panic!! I’ve not had a shower, I’m not packed properly and I’m freaking out. I ask the gentleman to ask the driver to wait, and I was coming, in which he said he would. I quickly started to get dressed and pack up all my things and leave the hotel room.

I left the safe key!

I get to the hotel reception and try to check out. The receptionist doesn’t allow me to check out because I’ve not returned the safe key. I try to apologise and tell him the key is in the room in the door of the safe, I’m not bothered about getting my deposit back and I just need to get my shuttle bus.

The thing is my shuttle bus is not directly outside as the street is too narrow for the bus to wait. The bus is actually on the main road which is about a two-minute walk away.

The gentle man doesn’t understand me and begins to speak to me in Spanish But, I don’t understand him either. I figured he was telling me I had to go back to get the safe key. I did this But, it only made me panic more in case the bus left me.

Eventually I returned the safe key and was able to check out and leave.

The bus left me!

I ran down the street, got to the main road, there was no bus to be seen! If I thought I was in a panic before well, that was nothing compared to now!! I was shaking like a leaf and didn’t know what to do!

Now here’s the thing. My flight was at 9.15am, I was told my pick up was at 6am and i would be the last person to be collected. So, I’ve missed my pick up time, the airport is at least an hour away, I’ve only got 40 euros in cash which will not cut the taxi and will need to find a cash point. I was thinking an hour in a taxi! Wow! it’s going to be so expensive!

In my head I was going to miss my flight! I was beyond the feeling of anxiousness in fact, I’m pretty sure this was a moment of anxiety.

Although it was my fault, I still rang the transfer number hoping they could help me. I dial the number several times and I’m either cut off or it’s the wrong number! I take a few deep breaths and try once more and bingo! I get through! While explaining to lady what had happened, she starts to apologise to me and says she doesn’t know what happened and why the driver come to get me earlier. What!! I couldn’t believe it! Here’s me thinking it’s all my fault! Not only that, I’d been in that much of a panic I didn’t even think to check my phone for the time!! Haha

The lady tells me she’s going to contact the driver to see what happened. When she rang me back she told me the driver decided to collect me first but, when I wasn’t ready decided to collect the other travellers at different hotels Wait for it………He had already collected the others then forgot all about me! Luckily he wasn’t too far out and was able to come and collect me. Ahhhhh fewwww!!

Lesson learnt

Now I learnt a valuable lesson here! My mistake was I panicked. If I hadn’t of panicked I would have thought to check the time and spared myself from all that stress!

Advice: Things can go wrong whilst travelling, the best thing to do is stay calm. Staying calm will help you to be able to deal with the situation better, panicking is not going to help you. Panicking adds to the situation and does nothing but makes matters worse.

This is definitely what helped me in the end. As I calmed down and took a few deep breaths I was able to dial the transfer number correctly. It hadn’t been working as I had been dialling the number incorrectly due to my state of mind.

One Last Thing

It was probably a blessing it happened this way because I actually forgot to set my alarm clock!! I can’t even begin to imagine how that would have gone! Haha

Thanks for reading I really appreciate all the support from each and every one of you 🙂

Be sure to follow to read my next blog on my Solo Trip to Salou x