We tented near Formby arriving mid afternoon, and then drove down the coast to see the "Another Place" Antony Gormley statues. The tide was going out, and ever more statues changed from heads poking above waves to full figures which were able to approach and examine, and we played games with them for Katie. Oddly Katie, now three and a half has rarely visited the seaside and she was like a captive animal being returned to the wild running, leaping, dancing, shouting, waving and dashing in and out of the waves. I have seen detailed film of the statues on TV but the real life version combined with a happy family outing is much more rewarding.
On Wednesday morning we drove into Liverpool early for my 10:00 am passport appointment (advised to be there ten minutes before). With the car parked we had a good value breakfast at a café in the Capital Centre and arrived at the passport office at 9:40 and I was seen at 9:50, ten minutes early! Well, it costs £128 for this fast-track service so one would hope it works efficiently.
A walk to the splendidly developed docks waterfront took us to the main museum. We then had a longer trek to see the new library and the adjacent Walker Art Gallery. The new library has been cleverly built inside the old 1860s building with a stunning spiral central theme going through the floors to a roof-light, and impressive integrated staircase. This is one of the most imaginative architectural venues I have visited and definitely a must see - worth a special trip.
Upstairs parts of the building have been left as original 1860s with beautiful wood panelling and glass fronted bookcases containing the most eclectic collection of rare books, some of huge proportions and others superbly bound - a few titles at random: German Incendiary Bombs, Flowers of the Brazilian Forest, An Account of Indian Serpents (two volumes), Fine Bird Books, 1790 to 1900, Chiaroscuro Prints by John Skippe. I could have spent hours browsing at this lot, unfortunately, and wisely their glass fronted cases were locked.
By this time we were flagging resulting in a lightning tour of the well worth a visit Walker Art Gallery which would certainly be worth returning to. We caught a bus back into the centre to pick up my new passport.
Liverpool has magnificent old buildings and lots of modern architecture which seems to combine well with the old, and with the added attraction of a now superbly developed waterfront There is a distinctive ambience about this characterful city, and for my money I would prefer to see it win the battle for the supposed, unofficial Capital of the North against its rival Manchester.
|Note my orange tent - more of that in the next post|
|K spiralling at speed in the new library|
|Looking up to the staircase and roof- light in the new library|