If you are a huge Beatles fan like I am, then I must warn you straightaway – two days is not enough to take in Liverpool and all of its charms. Learn from my bad example.
For our stay, we decided upon the enchanting Embassie Hostel – a beautiful, old, Georgian building on Falkner Square that was once the Venezuelan Consulate. Embassie was turned into a hostel when father and son duo (both named Kevin) decided to give travelers a great place to stay. The hostel has proudly been operating under a great communal attitude for the past 20 years.
Fun fact, Embassie makes an appearance in the Beatles’ video “Free As A Bird”.
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Liverpool Day 1:
Upon arriving, we were greeted by the courteous owner of the Hostel, Kevin (the dad). A 70-something, charming, homegrown Liverpudlian – he looked at us and said “You’re here for one of two reasons, football, or The Fab Four – which is it?”
But let’s be real here, what part of me screams “footy fan” to you?
After we told him that we were primarily there to take in all things Beatles, he launched into a heady string of Beatles-esque trivia. “Do you know that Brian Epstein used to live next door? John Lennon wrote ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ about him”, “What’s the name of the Beatles’ original bass player?”
Turns out, older Kevin himself was an onlooker to the Beatles’ scene back when they were still roaming Liverpool as the Quarry Men. Additionally, his wife knew all of them very well as she used to be a flower delivery girl around town and would run into them often.
As Kevin pointed out points of interest on the map to us, he would quip in side-notes such as “This is the street corner where I saw John Lennon sock some guy in the nose. He was a sad chap in those days.”
My favorite part about Kevin acquainting us to Liverpool was when he introduced us to the night time housekeeper, “Ladies, this is Love, Love, ladies.” (It was her real name, I impolitely asked.)
Within the hour, our map was marked up with sites to see and so we bid farewell to Kevin and Love. It was time to explore.
First stop, Penny Lane.
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer, meanwhile back
Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she’s in a play
She is anyway.
We then headed downtown to Matthew Street to check out some live music and found that there was an open mic night happening conveniently at the Cavern Pub. First up was this Aussie folk dude pictured above. Solid performance, if my alcohol-fueled memory serves me correctly.
The Cavern Pub, opened in 1994, serves its main purpose as being a beacon to highlight the amazing bands that once played across the street at the famous Cavern Club. The entire outside wall of the pub is made up of bricks engraved with the names of these bands.
Liverpool Day 2:
Our second day in Liverpool was largely a self-guided tour based one. Kevin had given us what he called “The Bible” – a DIY Beatles walking tour book that guided you where exactly to go to see ALL of the hot spots.
The Jacaranda, pictured above, was one of these hot spots. The “Jac”, situated at 23 Slater Street, was opened in 1957 by Allan Williams (The Beatles’ first manager). It was a favorite hang out for the Beatles and artwork by Stuart Sutcliffe can still be seen hanging in the basement.
36 Faulkner Street, Liverpool
The site of John Lennon’s first home with Cynthia. After they married in 1962, Brian Epstein allowed the newlyweds to stay in this flat, free of charge.
Strawberry Fields Forever
According to my handy dandy tour guide book, Strawberry Field was a Salvation Army children’s home that opened in 1934. Every summer, John would get so excited at the garden parties held there and beg his Aunt Mimi to take him. Because it was private property, Lennon used to stand outside of the “Strawberry Fields” gates and gaze at the old orphanage in the field beyond. The building has since been torn down however and now it truly is just a field.
Living is easy with eyes closed,
Misunderstanding all you see.
It’s getting hard to be someone,
But it all works out.
It doesn’t matter much to me.
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