Dancing down to Liverpool


Do I need a passport to cross the border?

The thought hit me on the back seat of a minivan after 50 minutes of driving.

No, surely they would not check who crosses the border of England and Scotland, they are practically one country anyway. But then again, I never checked if they would.

After driving by the sign that announced I was now in England without even having to slow down let alone being stopped by border control, I stopped worrying. This was my first time crossing the border. First time in Northern England. I had visited London several times before, but London is London and England is lot more than that. It was high time for me to see some more of the country.

I was going to spend the weekend in Liverpool with my University’s dance team. It was a competition weekend and we were buzzing.

After 5+ hours of sitting in the car we arrived to Liverpool, the city of Beatles. The city where the most famous boyband grew up. That is where the Strawberry Field and Penny Lane can be found. Indeed I heard that the city is full of Beatles related tourist attractions. Unfortunately all I saw was a picture of the four of them hanging in out hotel room. And on the corridor. And on the wall in the reception…

As our purpose of being in the city was dance competition, we spent the most of the time at the competition venue nearby Chinatown. Decorative and colourful gate of the Chinatown, asian shops and Wok and Go noodles surrounded us. However, inside the competition hall we were isolated from everything that was happening outside. We enjoyed the excitement and nervousness while we waited for our turn. We cheered for other teams and admired those who really knew how to dance. And when we were on the stage, we did our best. By the time the competition was over, it was late and we were tired. Too tired to tour the city, but not too tired to go out. So it happened that colourful Chinatown changed to loud and flashing nightclub. Nightlife of Liverpool. Strange faces and lots of fun. It is true that dancers can always dance. Even after competitions it is possible to dance until 4am.

The day of our departure brought the tiredness. It was cold but bright day, and the thought of fresh air felt appealing. We got an hour to walk around the outdoor shopping mall that was very much more interesting and stylish than generic shopping streets in big cities. Glass walls and water, white and steel. Modern. We walked down to piers, where the wind was strong and people zipped their jackets and tightened their scarfs. When I saw ice cream stands on the pier I wonder who on earth would want to buy anything cold right now. My friend did. She drunk a bright blue slush while I shivered and tried to smile at camera that another one of my teammates was actively using.

Liverpool was positive, I thought afterwards. I am sure there is lot to see and do for visitors and maybe it is a very nice place to live. I think I have to go again, with more time and no competitions.

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