|Love Locks at Liverpool River Mersey, Albert Dock.|
Between the shopping and the eating I didn’t get much blogging in during the Christmas week. This year has been a busy one! Mainly because I left everything until the last second (I started shopping for presents at 3pm on Christmas Eve!) but also because I made a last minute journey to Liverpool to visit family. I arrived back in Cardiff late on the 23rd due to cancellations and replacements but we got home in time to kick back, gorge on chocolates and wake up so late on Christmas eve we almost missed the shops!
In the five years that my partner and I have been together, he had never visited my home town. In fact I haven’t visited home enough myself, causing me to almost forget how much I love it up there. I’ve missed you Liverpool. ♥
|Albert Dock, Liverpool, UK.|
Ever since I was a little girl visiting the Albert Dock on school trips, I’d always wanted to live in the Grade 1 listed Dock Buildings. To me, these buildings are the heart of Liverpool and when I’m walking through them I feel connected to my past in some way. It made perfect sense to stay at the Albert Dock and live out my childhood dream. Of course, I would of preferred to stay in one of the stunning luxury apartments in the building but this time around the Albert Dock Premier Inn would suffice (review of that coming up later this week).
The Dock and the Pier Head looked beautiful at Christmas, with ships and boats lit up with fairy lights, and festive food aromas drifting from nearby restaurants, the Liver Birds watching over everyone from high above.
|Lit Up, the masts of a tall ship outside the Pump House.|
The plan was to meet up with family, buy some gifts, head to a restaurant for some Christmas eats and then chill out and catch up. I’d forgotten one tiny factor. Christmas in Liverpool is bedlam! After living in chilled out Cardiff for a while, it had slipped my mind that Liverpool is a city that loves to shop. It was heaving and quickly became too manic for a family day out. So, we decided to go and see the sights instead.
|Reindeer Lights at Liverpool One, UK|
We headed on up Bold Street making our way first to the quirky Grand Central building. Home of Quiggins. A collection of stores selling alternative clothing, home and lifestyle items. One stop shop for Goths, Metal Heads and Pagans. Even if alternative isn’t your thing, I’d recommend a visit to Grand Central for the architecture alone. There are surprises around every corner, on every wall and ceiling.
|Inside the main hall, underneath the tower of Liverpool Cathedral.|
From Grand Central we made our way to the towering Liverpool Cathedral. A beautiful and imposing 101 metre tall Cathedral with a warm atmosphere. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on Cosmic Kick before, but I’m an introvert who happens to have anxiety, but I also love to hang out in a busy city, window shopping and people watching. A frustrating combo! To deal with this inner conflict I now make it my mission to seek out peaceful, secluded places in cities that I can retreat to during moments of input overload. Just 5 minutes of calm can be enough to recharge my batteries for an extra hour or so. This can be a cozy coffee shop where I can close my eyes, sometimes a spacious library, and if you’re really desperate, John Lewis toilets on the Mens or Electrical floors can provide some quality emergency time out.
|Ceiling detail inside the tower of the Liverpool Cathedral.|
My new escape in Liverpool City Center is the Liverpool Cathedral (although maybe not during pipe organ recital!). I’m not a religious person but there is an atmosphere in this building that is so attractive and inviting that once you’re inside it’s hard to leave. Very different to any other place of worship I’ve ever visited. With a bible passage written in pink neon lights at one end of the hall, and a modern restaurant at the center, the new world and the old meld together nicely rather than clashing.
It is possible to go to the top of the tower but there was a gale blowing outside and didn’t fancy a flight over the Mersey, there was Costa seasonal hot chocolate to be had!
After a few hours of wandering around amidst the city center shopping chaos, the only thing left to do was to pop in to Costa and have one of their winter hot chocolates. Delicious!
What I’ve missed most about Liverpool is it’s character. It’s a city that’s not afraid to try new ideas and you can see that in the architecture and style, and Liverpool is also very proud of it’s rich heritage. Don’t ever change, Liverpool.
|Titanic Barge Hotel House Boat at the Albert Dock.|
Was your Christmas well organised or were you flapping around the stores just before closing time like me?