Liverpool, England

Thursday August 24th – Liverpool, England


The Plan:

Originally we had planned to take the HOHO, however we to decided to wait  until we get onboard and book “The Welsh Experience: Countryside, Train and Castle.


As described on the HAL website: 


“Visit Northern Wales to view delightful scenery, travel on a steam-hauled rail journey and tour the bastion of an Edward I castle. Traveling via the tunnel under the River Mersey, you’ll cross the Wirral Peninsula and enter Wales. Your journey takes you along Horseshoe Pass, offering some of the most spectacular views in Wales. 


Enter the small town of Llangollen — steeped in myth and legend. Shop for a souvenir in the small stores of the main street. 


The Llangollen Railway was built in 1861 and closed for economic reasons in 1964. The railway has re-opened and is now operated by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who have kept the station, rolling stock and track in excellent condition. Take your seat in the nostalgic 1960s carriage before the steam-hauled locomotive puffs its way out of the station and along the banks of the River Dee to Carrog. 


At Carrog, re-join your motor coach and continue to one of the hotels in the area for lunch. 

The afternoon begins with a short transfer to Chirck Castle. Edward I built this border stronghold on its hilltop site around 1295. Since then, it has been occupied continuously, and the elegant stately home that you’ll visit today combines the styles of many different architectural periods. The spirit of the original structure is preserved in the Adam’s Tower, which has a magnificent dungeon and clearly shows the 15-foot-thick walls. Don’t miss the ‘murder holes’ through which burning pitch could be poured onto anyone trying to batter or burn down the doors below. Now owned by the National Trust, the castle is surrounded by beautiful formal gardens with topiary hedges and many flowering shrubs. Wander through the gardens for fine views of the castle’s bastion exterior. 


Then, commence the return journey, leaving behind the delightful Welsh countryside, crossing the border into England and heading back toward Liverpool.”


The Reality:

The Plan worked almost flawlessly.  By 6 am we were securely secured to the floating dock along side the  waterfront and within a stones throw of downtown Liverpool. 


We boarded coach # 2 of 4 busses and with our driver John at the helm and Atkinson as our very competent tour guide we set off and were on the road by 8:30am.


In the interim before our departure I managed to catch the iconic Mersey Ferry boat as it sailed past our stateroom window.  For the rest to the day, that old 60’s tune by Gerry & The Pacemakers – “Ferry Cross the Mersey”, kept coming in and out of my head!  I used to think that was a Beatles song, as they we a sort of “Beatles Knockoff”.

The lunch that was mentioned in “the plan” was very well and quickly done.  I really appreciated the excellent service and the food was excellent.  No buffet here, as it was all sit down and be served.  No small feat for around 120 hungry tourists.  We were pleased to be joined by our friends and table mates from the 2015 Statendam cruise: Lee and Gayle. I especially enjoyed talking Navy Communications with Lee as he was in Naval Communications as well.

Motoring through the Welsh countryside we were treated to grand pastoral views dotted with numerous sheep and cows, however I think the sheep outnumbered the cows by a thousand to one.` Occasionally our driver had to dodge sheep peacefully grazing along side the road. I was raised around sheep on the farm in Colorado so I was amused to noticed that all the adult sheep still had their tails. We bobbed the lambs tails shortly after their birth.

In the village of Llangollen, we had 45 minutes to “stop and shop” so Barbara and I went for tea and Guinness at “The Bull”.  Gotta get me one of those beautiful Guinness pint glasses.

I am including a few images of our “Day in Wales”


At the Castle 

Jack W Cummings VOV 2017 – Sailing tonight for “The Isle of Mann” 

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