Somehow, it's been one of the places we've talked about many times of going as a family, but never did. But this time around, as I was planning our UK trip back in March, wifey insisted that we spend a couple of days in the North West. And so we did!
Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I've been a Liverpool Football Club fan since I was a dot on an ultrasound screen. So this was always going to be more than just normal sightseeing trip.
The cheapest way to get there from London was by bus. And so I booked the tickets in advance and got a good deal for it.
The journey which started at the Victoria Bus Station, was comfortable and uneventful but was a tad long at a little more than six hours. And we had to stop at -- the horror -- Manchester. Grr...
There's just so much to see and enjoy around this area. We headed to the Museum of Liverpool and quickly absorbed everything we needed to know about the city. Then we walked around the dock area, which was closed for a good number of years before being re-opened in the late 80s. It now has some really interesting stores and cafes, perfect to just chill out on a cool day.
At this point, my wife was already marvelling at how lovely the city was, and we quickly hatched a plan for Tia to study here in the future, so we could also "tumpang sekaki". Haha.
We had our dinner here at Liverpool ONE, but our favourite store here was definitely the Waterstone's. We simply didn't want to leave!
We went back to the hotel happy that evening, but of course we simply couldn't wait for the main event the next day...
Yes, it was the much-anticipated trip to Anfield!
The plan was to take the Hop On Hop Off bus to get to the stadium, but we were told by the hotel reception that it'd be easier to take the cab. We had already bought the Stadium Tour passes online for GBP17 each (adults).
The next morning, we bought some bread for breakfast at the nearby Tesco Extra and got onto a cab to get to the stadium. The cabbie asked where we were from and I said "Malaysia". He replied: "You came all the way to see Liverpool? My goodness!"
The cab ride took less than 10 minutes, and then it was time to experience the magic of Anfield! I mean, for life long fans, this was a spiritual experience, and then some...
As we were still early for our tour, we went round the stadium ourselves, taking as many snaps as possible in the cold. The new main stand looked absolutely brilliant from the outside, but really, it every step of the way was a blast for us.
Then it was time for us to take the tour, and let me just say that it was the best GBP17 we have each spent in our lives! Our tour guide was a Scouser through and through, and he took us on a wonderful journey to all sections of the stadium that mattered; the dressing room, the lounge, and of course, right on to the ground itself. Seriously, I didn't expect to have that sort of access. Check it out!
I also got to sit on Jurgen Klopp's seat, which was really surreal.
And spending time at The Kop was something else too!
And oh, although we weren't allowed to walk on the Anfield grass, we WERE allowed take home some of the grass they had just freshly cut!
Like I said, this was indeed every fan's golden dream!
As we still had time to kill afterwards before returning to London, we took another stroll around Albert Dock, and also got on the Wheel of Liverpool for a bird's eye view of the city!