Driving in Britain has been an experience. I should say that I haven’t actually driven because our rental is only for one driver, and the fact that I can’t drive stick. With that being said, here are some observations. A lot of roads in Britain would probably be illegal in Canada. Tiny country roads with blind corners are everywhere. Roads that are a bit better but still really windy and narrow often have a speed limit of 60 mph, which is faster than you can drive on highways in Canada in many cases. While sometimes I think these roads are a little ridiculous, I think Canada could learn from Britain. They appear to trust drivers more and let drivers drive at speeds they are comfortable driving at. Speed limits are almost uniformly higher than on similar roads in Canada although they do have a lot of speed cameras to keep you under them.
After eating some food we wiggled our way out of Birmingham and headed towards Liverpool. As we then wiggled our way into Liverpool we cranked some Beatles and eventually found a place to park. Downtown Liverpool is pretty cool which an interesting mixture of ultra-modern, post-WWII and considerably older architecture. Our main destination that day was the Beatles museum.
The Beatles Museum was interesting, but it doesn’t utilize the fact that you are there in person in any meaningful way. I feel like watching a documentary would have worked just as well. There aren’t many original items that are particularly interesting. Still, it was worth a brief visit and if you are a big Beatles fan probably worth it for the novelty factor alone. As a fairly big Beatles fan it was pretty cool to just be there.
We had lunch at a nearby pub where I had my first English fish & chips experience. It was good, especially the massive chips, but oily fried fish isn’t really my thing.
And then it was onwards to Scotland. The drive from Liverpool to Scotland was going to be about 4 hours so we decided to stop roughly half way and take a look at a part of the ruinous Hadrian’s wall. For those who don’t know, around 120 AD, Roman Emperor Hadrian ordered a wall to be built from coast to coast near to the present day border of Scotland. This wall allowed the Romans to hold the conquered southern lands easier but also signified in some sense defeat. These walls remained Roman controlled, most of the time, for around 300 years.
This small segment of the wall was interesting, and the view from that area was stunning. Because it was late however, we couldn’t visit the more impressive remaining portions.
Onwards we went towards Glasgow. This country is really beautiful, but it is fairly repetitive. Rolling hills with fields of sheep and stone walls are everywhere. Towns of brick buildings centred around a church is the norm. It’s a little weird when you are from British Columbia where you can quite quickly go from a sandy beach to grassy wetlands to snow covered mountains to a semi-arid dessert.
Our admittedly brief time in Glasgow was pretty underwhelming. Other than the place we stayed which was a “budget” hotel only in name. It has a massive glass shower and a towel warmer. A budget hotel had a towel warmer. If you find yourself in Glasgow I recommend checking out Queen’s Park Budget Hotel. We also had delicious Indian food nearby. I ordered Naan bread which was massive and fresh. Definitely the best Naan I have had. We then walked downtown to a pub which was pretty mediocre. A drunk Scottish teen came up to use, after running away from some other guys who looked like they wanted to beat him up. He went on and on, with only a small portion of it being comprehensible to us, about how he has our back if anyone gives us a trouble. It was all a little odd.