Hitchhiking through England III

 

Day 9: Manchester

I decided to take a bus to Manchester since the ticket is only £ 4 and it‘d be complicated to get there hitchhiking. Even though I was always told that Manchester is ugly and boring, I like most of it. Many industrial buildings with these typical steel staircases in the back alleys. I buy a record by Chick Corea. The photo exhibitions in the Art Gallery are very inspiring. A contemporary art exhibition in the HOME centre is nice, too.

The guy who gives me a lift to Liverpool decides to drive me all the way to Wallasey on the other side of the river and even pays the ticket for the tunnel, since I probably saved him 5000 bucks‘ when I told him about couchsurfing. He wants his kids to travel Europe this summer and is thrilled by the concept, even though his wife won‘t allow it. He then plays a live performance of the future conversation with her on that matter for me.

Spendings in Manchester
£ 4 coach
£ 2,95 calzone
£ 1 sandwich
£ 5 vinyl record

Day 10: Liverpool

My host Neil who lives across the river from Liverpool had nearly 600 couchsurfers staying with him and his house is full of small souvenirs that were brought by his guests. In the living room he has a small couchsurfing table with a list of all his guests, tips on stuff to do, a collection of booklets for Liverpool‘s sights, adapters for foreign plugs and a guestbook. Hitchhiking through the tunnel to Liverpool and back is easy. The city is nice and lively, but unexpectedly it‘s hard to find a rundown alternative quarter like in Manchester or Bristol. In the huge brick cathedral I witness the soundcheck and dress rehearsal of a techno-meets-symphony orchestra concert.

Spendings in Liverpool
£ 9,75 groceries (2x dinner + 2x breakfast) + beer for my host
£ 1 pie

Day 11: hitchhiking isn‘t always easy

Getting a lift from Liverpool to Chester is very, very hard. After at least 90 minutes trying different spots around a roundabout, a driver informs me that most people would use a different route. He drives me to the spot where he used to hitch rides from. Still, no one stops. The nearby petrol station only seems promising until I‘m asked to stop “hassling” the customers by the guy working there. I try it at the next traffic light. Eventually a driver calls me from the exit of the service station. He and assumedly his mother tell me that there is a train and then insist on driving me to the station and paying the ticket for me. I must have had a pretty depressing expression. The lady seems very sorry for me and calls me “darling” all the time. I feel bad but they insist and just place a 5 pound bill in my palm. I will donate it.

It‘s good to see my old friend Julia again, to see her in this environment, even though she is barely alive after last nights “only one pint“ somehow proliferated, again. Amazingly, she still manages to get herself a tattoo, though.

Day 12: Liverpool, again

Day-trip to Liverpool from Chester. It‘s Record Store Day and Liverpool has quite a few shops participating. I find some records in the one-pound boxes. Nice atmosphere, not only in the record stores, but in general. When we leave the Ghanaian restaurant after lunch people are already partying to the fullest in parts of the city. We follow the recommendation of my British friend from Barcelona and are happy to find a nice, less hyper pub with a friendly price list.

Spendings for day trip to Liverpool
£ 7,35 ticket to Liverpool + return
£ 2 vinyl records x4
£ 9,50 ghanaian lunch + coke
£ 1 beer

 

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