From the 23rd to the 25th of January, ESN Imperial spread their wings and flew the London nest to visit Liverpool and Manchester! After some good old Union grub (and ale) following Friday lectures, the multilingual-chatter-filled 5 hour coach journey to Liverpool commenced. Some of the students hadn’t met previously and this was the perfect icebreaker. After a very quick turnaround at the Liverpool YHA, that evening President, Lauren Anders, a Liverpudlian herself, introduced the society members to the nightlife of this fantastic city. We headed to Fleet Street, first to Cava for some tequila, then to Baa Bar. Students experienced the wonder that is a night out that doesn’t drain your overdraft! Relative to London, the prices were nearly as decreased as the length of the average mini-skirt (despite the very chilly breeze!), and there was much more of a student feel to the place. The ESN group definitely made the most of it.
Blessed with sunny skies not common in Northern climes, and armed with stomachs stuffed with Full English Breakfast, the group spent the next day exploring Liverpool. Following a walk along the Albert docks, the students visited The Royal Liver building (the ‘i’ as in ‘alive’, not as in ‘Liverpool’), one of the first buildings ever made from reinforced concrete. On its two clock towers sit the Liver birds, and legend has it that, should they fly away, the city of Liverpool would cease to exist. During their Saturday stroll, the group also came across a Superlambanana sculpture, a cross between a lamb and a banana, of which 125 were designed by the Japanese artist Taiso Chiezo to celebrate Liverpool’s status as European Capital City of Culture in 2008… Other pit stops for the day included (of course) the Cavern Club, St. George’s Gardens, the Eleanor Rigby statue, the Museum of Liverpool, the International Slavery Museum, Central Perk and the Walker Art Gallery.
We travelled to Manchester by train on Saturday evening then, after checking in at their next YHA, hit Deansgate Locks for some well-earned beverages. Almost all bars required an entrance fee, which rendered the bar crawl plan pretty expensive. But luckily we had Fabian on board, who managed to blag the group of 30 into a bar free entry. Impressively, all group members made it to the hostel breakfast the next morning!
Sunday was reserved for culture vulturing. First stop was Manchester Cathedral, of which we were given a tour by a (very) expert retired literature professor. He first showed the students, in a style not unlike that of an academic tutorial, the Angel Stone discovered in the wall of the cathedral's south porch, evidence for the presence of an early Saxon church built in 700AD. He then explained that the flat wooden ceiling is what distinguishes this Cathedral from most other European varieties. A visit to the stunning gothic John Ryland Library, first opened to the public on the 1st of January 1900 after ten years of construction (the final results were just a little more impressive than our own Central Library), was followed by an essential recce of the Old Trafford stadium. The students explored the players’ changing rooms and the VIP lounge, before walking out onto the pitch in double file. It was especially impressive to hear how much effort goes into maintenance of the grass…
The Addison-Lee coach returning to London on this Sunday evening was full of very tired, but very content ESN Imperial members, following a weekend full of British culture and socialising with other students from all over the world.
We’re very much looking forward to our next trips to Dublin, Cambridge and Brighton! If you’re ever in London, why not come along to one of our weekly events? We’d love to have you! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook.
“Without this trip I probably would have never left London and would have missed this awesome opportunity. Besides the fact that it is the ideal possibility to find friends from all over the world.” – Alex Schulte
“I really liked the possibility to discover some parts of the UK outside of London with an international group for such a bargain price.” - Yannic Vaupel
“Awesome weekend! Great group of people and flawless organisation by the ESN committee made the trip a perfect way to taste the atmosphere of two nice cities and get a real feel of British (night)life outside of London. Really enjoyed it!” - Fabian van Luyn
“Great opportunity to experience the differences between UK cities, was really awesome!” - Thijs Lengkeek