Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool

“When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.”
― Rita Mae Brown

Do you recall the first time you stepped into a library? I do. I felt like I had entered Nirvana. All those books, and I could borrow them for free! I would pick out a stack of books to take home to the farm, read them and the next time we came to town, return them and bring home another stack. I must have borrowed most of the books in the children´s section of the old Medicine Hat Library.

The Old Medicine Hat Library

A new modern Medicine Hat Public Library was built in 1964 which was very exciting. This is the library I took my children to. My grandchildren and great grandchildren now visit this wonderful place. I still get that happy-all-over feeling whenever I enter. I had the pleasure of doing a presentation and book reading there. I felt I had gone full circle.

The current Medicine Hat Library
Dream come true, doing a presentation at my home library.

I was lucky that my love of libraries started early in life. I have since frequented many over the years. Everywhere I have lived, the library is one of the first places I visit. Here are a few that are dear to my heart.

The Vancouver Public library

The Vancouver Public Library, located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, is my all time favourite. This building, designed after the coliseum in Rome, opened in 1995, not long after we moved to the Vancouver area. It is often found on best libraries to visit lists. Every time I walk into this library, I am filled with awe. I always felt it was a place of refuge in a busy metropolis. I was invited to present workshops for the summer book camp at VPL four years ago. A great opportunity I will never forget.

The main branch of the Vancouver Public Library

Calgary also has wonderful libraries and I have spent time in many of them. The newest Central Library opened in 2018 and it is state of the art. The new library was recognized as one of “The Worlds 100 Greatest Places of 2019” by TIME magazine. I was delighted to find copies of my Amanda Travels series on the shelves.

The newest downtown branch of The Calgary Public Library.
Family friendly and interactive
With a North American Bison created out of letters of the alphabet
The most exciting thing for an author is to see her books on display at a library

I try to visit libraries when I travel. They are the heart and soul of the city. When I visited Liverpool, I stopped in at the central library and was very impressed. The reading room was straight out of Harry Potter. In fact two children came running out of the room wearing Hogwarts robes!

A list of popular books on the path to the entrance of the Liverpool Public Library
I could live in this reading room.

The library has a fabulous collection of vintage books including a 1611 copy of the King James Bible.

And a handwritten draft of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.– Albert Einstein

I´d love to learn about your experience with libraries and about your favourite one.

I found music and love everywhere I turned on my recent visit to Liverpool. I fell in love with the sing-song accent of the friendly Liverpudlians and found this city a delight to explore.  After all, this is the home of my teenage heroes, John, Paul, George and Ringo and they have left their mark big time. Landing at John Lennon airport, with a yellow submarine in front, is just the start.  They are everywhere from The Fab 4 Restaurant, MacArtny´s Bar, The Beatle´s Story Museum, A Hard Day’s Night Hotel, The Magical Mystery bus tour and bronze figures of the famous foursome who defined a generation strolling down the waterfront. I couldn’t help but hum Beatles tunes the entire time I was there. Then there is the ferry that takes you across the Mersey River made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1964. A statue of the charming Cilla Black stands in front of the original Cavern Club. The city loves its music!

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The Fab Four – forever in our hearts and on our lips!

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Where it began all those years ago

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Cilla Black in front of the Cavern, where she worked as a coat check girl before being discovered

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ferry ‘cross the Mersey cause this land’s the place I love and here I’ll stay, Gerry Marsden, now 76,  still lives in Liverpool

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Fabulous views of Liverpool from the ferry

Liverpool is a port city and home to the Cunard and White Star Lines. The ill-fated Titanic and Lusitania were Liverpool ships. Excellent displays of both can be seen at the Maritime Museum. Liverpool is the port where over nine million people have left from to immigrate to Canada and the United States over the years. In fact, my great-grandparents, who boarded a ship in Hamburg, Germany, made a stop at Liverpool, no doubt to pick up more passengers, before crossing the Atlantic.

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A sculpture commemorating the many families who left through the port of Liverpool to immigrate to the Americas and start a new life

The once busy docks have been cleaned up and now house trendy restaurants, interesting shops, the Tate Art Gallery and a number of excellent museums.

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The Albert Docks

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The famous Liver Building with the Liver birds on top, the official mascots of Liverpool

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One of many superlambananas placed around Liverpool during the city’s European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.

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We had our lunch of fish finger butties in this old bus. What fun!!

Many excellent museums, art galleries, amazing architecture and great shopping make this city an ideal destination for someone like me. Apparently, it rains a lot there but we had some wonderful sunny days to explore.

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St. Luke’s Church, bombed in 1941 was never restored. It is now a place for relaxation and remembrance. The scent of burnt wood still permeates.

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The Liverpool Cathedral, Britain’s largest cathedral and the largest Anglican Cathedral in Europe, can be seen from almost everywhere in Liverpool.

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Inside the stunning Lady Chapel

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One of many stained glass windows

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I discovered one of the best graveyards ever behind the church with the original mortuary above

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A welcoming library with the names of well-known books listed on the walkway!

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Inside the library, a Harry Potter-like reading room. I was in heaven.

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A typical Liverpool scene. The Cunard building is in the background.

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A juxtaposition of the old and new. The excellent Museum of Liverpool on the left.

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The mythical liver bird keeping watch over the port

I am so glad I got to visit this amazing city! Have you been to Liverpool or know anyone who may have immigrated from the Port of Liverpool?


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