My friend Ella from back home finally visited me in Liverpool this weekend, and just by chance it was the night of the Christmas light switch on in Liverpool One. A 30m high tree was erected in Paradise Street and is said to be the tallest Christmas tree in the UK. The Switch On wasn’t until 6pm so I gave her a rough tour around the main attractions of Liverpool. I took her to the Albert Dock and got soaked due to storm Abigail having an impact on Merseyside. So we went to Yo! Sushi for dinner instead. We then made a second attempt to go to the Albert Docks and watched the sunset. I shared the knowledge I knew about certain buildings and the history of the docks, which I regeritated from my Geography lecturers when on fieldwork in the city. We then walked around the main shopping district and explored other Christmas activities going on around the city centre.
We waited close to the tree to watch the light display. The weather turned very cold very quickly and I regretted not bringing my coat with me. Luckily, the rain held off for the show. Thousands gathered as Liverpool One was crammed with thousands of people. The lights were turned on by Santa Claus on top of John Lewis as he wielded a flame thrower like contraption. The light show was enhanced with the addition of confetti and fake snow. Christmas tunes played and people began to cheer and sing along. It was a very friendly atmosphere and the community spirit was high. Christmas brings out the best in people.
In the morning we walked to Penny Lane as it was a 30 seconds from my house, before heading back into town. While the Weeping Window was still up from Remembrance Sunday last week, I thought Ella would like to see the amazing tribute to those who have fallen in the World Wars and other conflicts. While it was a rushed visit of just 24 hours in Liverpool Ella really enjoyed her short stay and wants to come back. Which is great for me as there is still so many parts of Liverpool I still wanted to show her.
I’m glad I went this year to the Switch On, and I wished I had gone last year, but I’m really glad I was able to take one of my best friends with me. I was able to show her the best parts of Liverpool and why I love the city.