Ferry across the Mersey
Our time in Liverpool was nearly at an end but we had a hankering to take the ferry across the Mersey. Nowadays the ferries only run a commuter service up until 9.30am then they head off on harbour tours for the rest of the day before doing another short commuter session in the early evening. Some early packing and a quick walk down to the ferry terminal and we managed to hop on the commuter service at 9am.
The ferries are painted in the ‘Dazzle Ship’ style that was popular in World War One and is prevalent in Liverpools rich maritime history. It was supposed to confuse the enemy and be difficult to see but they do seem to have the opposite effect and really stand out from everything else on the river.
I am sure there would be a lot to explore across the river but time was against us and we wanted to get a view of the city from the river so literally did the 10 minute sailing over, grabbed a free coffee (all part of the ticket to try and encourage residents to use the commuter service) then took the next ferry back. It had to happen didn’t it! Two ladies sat behind us on the return leg belting out “Ferry ‘cross the Mersey” in true Gerry and the Pacemakers fashion. Ah bless em.
Hello Goodbye Liverpool
After a quick walk around Albert Dock we spent an hour back in the Maritime Museum before loading up our backpacks and heading for Lime Street Station to start our journey out to North Wales. We’d been wanting to visit Liverpool for years and although we’d loved seeing the sights and visiting the Cavern and museums I’m not sure we really liked the city that much. Perhaps it’s just cities and we prefer smaller towns but we never felt totally comfortable.
Travelling back in Time
Our train trip from Liverpool seemed fairly standard with a couple of changes at smaller stations but little were we to know that we would be passing through some sort of time and space vortex that took us back 50 years! To a time when hourly trains were rare, station platforms had facilities and even seats, and timetables were a luxury!
So an easy Metro out to Bidston where we left the train in what appeared to be the early 1950s and an empty, desolate platform in the middle of nowhere. Services cancelled, timetables completely made-up, and absolutely nothing else. A lovely 40 minute wait ensued where we imagined the worst before a noisy barely-working train took us south to Cheshire.
Changing at the very strange Shotton, all we needed to do was get from platform 2 to platform 3. Easy huh? Are you kidding! We had to leave the station and walk through a housing estate to get to that platform where there were no seats or anything for our hours wait. Jo wasn’t at all impressed!
As time drifted slowly backwards we waited and waited but were soon on our way into Wales through places we had heard of like Prestatyn, Rhyl, and Colwyn Bay. All easier to pronounce than spell! Destination, Llandudno Junction. Sounds like an old 50s cowboy film doesn’t it?
Deganwy and Llandudno
Our one night Airbnb booking was in Deganwy which just seemed like a suburb of Llandudno Junction. A lovely little garden room, fairly cosy but perfect for our short stay. all we need is a comfortable bed, somewhere to sit, and a decent shower and this had all of those. Just right.
Quick check-in and chat with the lady owner and off in our hire car to have a look at the beaches of Llandudno. It’s always a bit of a treat for us now having a hire car as we can just jump in and go. I know everyone has a car and it’s really no big deal but we always feel so spoilt having one for a short time. Maybe we’ll get our car one day, who knows? How exciting eh?
We had absolutely no idea before but Llandudno has two separate parts, the West Shore and the North Shore. The West Shore is very quiet and suburban with the North Shore being the resort with hotels and attractions etc. Visitors go to the North Shore so we obviously headed West first being awkward!
The West Shore was lovely and untouched and our late afternoon walk just what we needed after the Bilston-Shotton experience earlier on. Before we headed back we thought we would swerve round into the main North Shore area just for a look to check out how tacky it was. How wrong we were! It may well be the nicest resort we have seen in the whole of the UK. Clean, smart and absolutely lovely. On the stunning Llandudno Bay the sweep of beautifully kept hotels and bed-and-breakfasts were all immaculate with the promenade running all the way in both directions. The weather wasn’t brilliant but we wrapped up and walked round to the Grand Hotel and the Pier.
So we were into Wales and the first stage of our road trip had begun. Over the next week or so we would be venturing further west to one of the largest islands in the British Isles and to towns where English was the second language.
We love a road trip …………………..
26/06 – 27/06/2019