Road Rage in Liverpool

The Birkenhead Tunnel is one of two passages under the Mersey River, and the journey from our office to the hotel and back required its usage in both directions. Leaving work in the evenings we blast along the freeway towards the toll, unnecessarily distracted by road side counters reading ‘92 accidents in the past 3 years.’ The Wirral Council clearly have a large budget for signage because just through the roundabout we are further greeted with aggressive banners that almost make you want to pull over and walk the rest of your journey. “Slow down… better late than NEVER” screams at us from a footbridge, whilst “It takes 3 seconds to belt up… dead is FOREVER” voices its doctrine from the following overpass. Three seconds? I pondered whether it could be done in less than one whilst munching a box of 50p cookies in the passenger seat.

Approaching the tunnel’s toll booths, one could be mistaken for accidentally entering into a Demolition Derby. Cars race to find a  free barrier from all angles, six lanes merging into a bare asphalt void of nothingness. We almost got T-boned by a blonde in a purple Corsa, adamant she was going to enter the tunnel prior to us. Perhaps the Council should put some of that advertising budget towards road markings. Once your £1.60 has been thrown in the basket, the red light turns green and the barrier rises, cars screeching off the line like greyhounds out their traps. These six lanes now merge back into the two narrow strips that form either side of the tunnel, a Darwinian dog eat dog scenario that made us feel extremely vulnerable in our 1-litre city car.

3 sets of Golden Arches later we arrive safely at the Crowne Plaza. Liverpool houses a horrifically large number of McDonalds and alternative fast food restaurants, and walking around ASDA that lunchtime it’s easy to see why. Bellies protrude from under tight fitting football jerseys left, right and centre. Guts shamelessly hanging over ever expanding waistlines.

Dumping my bags it was straight to the gym to sweat out the meat feast that had been consumed at the Fazenda Brazilian Steakhouse the prior night. This style of restaurant has servers come round with massive skewers of meat and carve slices directly onto your plate. A pretty Irish girl showed us to our seats, informing us that someone would be over to take our drinks orders and explain the menu shortly. 15 minutes elapsed with no waiter appearing so we took it into our own hands and raided the buffet. By the time we were eventually offered a bread basket and something to drink the plates in front of us were stacked high with numerous salads and cuts from five different animals; mouth as dry as Ghandi’s flip-flops.

Pounding it on the treadmill, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the Scouse goddess in the corner busting out some serious sets of kettle-bell thrusts. Whilst here why not see what other sights Liverpool has to offer? I e-mail a couple of pals whom I met on the Australian East Coast, and are currently finishing their studies in Liverpool, asking what haunts they would recommend visiting. A response came in the form of:

Opting for the second option my buddy then reels off a number of bars and pubs down Seel Street and Slater Street that offer quadruple mixers and alcoholic milkshakes for just £5. Getting up for work on Friday morning could be extremely difficult! As things turned out however the heavens opened, and the combination of getting soaked, having work still to finish and my colleague’s inability to put pressure on his ankle meant we ended up staying in. At breakfast the following morning no tea or coffee was offered with our porridge and fruit, what does one have to do to get served a drink around these parts?

Tired, not having the usual caffeine hit, we headed to the office in otherwise healthy states, apart from my colleague’s supposed ‘gout’. Passing a banner for the Liverpool Echo Newspaper, the tagline read “The best 50p you’ll spend all week.” I however was sceptical about this. Tabloid propaganda would really struggle to beat those mixed nut cookies I’d scoffed the prior afternoon.

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