My Pilgrimage Part 1

Good Day fellow Reds! I’m seeing people all over Social Media these days saying how that they wish they could go to this place or that place. Everyone is sharing different links to different destinations and saying things like, “Add another place to my bucket list.” I think that’s awesome. Everyone should have a list like that! Those are goals! They are what get us through everyday life. They give us something to look forward to, and more importantly in my opinion, something to work towards. There comes a day though, where the rubber has to meet the road. When, you wake up one day and say “Screw it, I’m planning my trip today!” That is how my trip to Liverpool came about. I kept pushing it off, making excuses. Then eventually, I realized that there is hardly ever THE perfect time to make a trip like that. Things happen. Life happens.

One day I was talking to a co-worker I had at the time, and she was getting ready to go on something like a two week trip to Europe. Through our conversations, I saw just how doable a trip like this could be. She was going to something like four or five different countries. I was just trying to make it to one city. So I started doing research. I was going by myself so I didn’t need the worlds greatest luxuries. Just a way to get there, and a spot to lay my head at night.

The Saga Begins

It was around September or so when I started planning my journey. Looking at what matches I would like to attend and the days they fell on. Then it  happened! We drew Porto for the round of 16 on a Tuesday night, and the Saturday before, we had Newcastle United at Anfield. I would be able to catch two matches, including a European night! Now I just needed to get there and find a place to stay. During my planning, an opportunity arose. A company called Quest Sports Travel was putting together a trip to go over to see the Porto match. It was awesome! Included were match tickets, a stadium tour, and numerous meet and greets! So I said to myself, “Self, this is it. You NEED to make this trip now!” So I did. I signed up and was guaranteed three glorious days in Liverpool.

Logistics

The group would arrive Sunday, and depart Wednesday morning. That part of my trip was done. Now I just needed to book my first four days on my own. I found a great place to stay called “The King Harry”. Its a hostel on the corner of Blessington Rd, and the famed Anfield Road(Where we once watched the King Kenny play). It is on that corner that the team coach would turn, and make its final trek to the stadium. I believe the course has now changed due to the different construction and redevelopment going on around Anfield. I would be in a room with six beds, and not knowing another soul that I would be rooming with. Which is why I made this trip, not only to see The Mighty Reds, but to completely step out of my comfort zone and be forced to meet new people, and make new friends. So with tickets and lodging squared away, the last and biggest fish to fry remained. How would I make the trip from Pittsburgh to Liverpool?

WOW Air, that’s how. The only problem was they didn’t fly to Liverpool or even Manchester. So it looked like my only option was to fly six hours from Pittsburgh to Reykjavik, layover for an hour or so, then take another three hour flight to Gatwick Airport just south of London. Then from London, a three hour train trip with two connections along the way to finally get me to Liverpool.

Getting Squared Away

The next couple of months were filled with nailing down every detail so that I knew exactly where I had to go and what trains to take so I didn’t end up somewhere in Siberia! Packing for the biggest snowstorm that had hit Liverpool in years, which turned out to only “dump” around two inches of snow the day before I arrived. I had my vacation approved from work. I was packed, with only a back pack, and a carry-on bag in tow. The Jerseys and scarves were ready to be held high during “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.  I was set. I was on my way to the airport. My Cell phone was charged. They called my flight for boarding. I sent out my final texts. “About to take off, I’ll you guys know when I land.” The carry-on was stowed. Back pack put under my seat. I said hello to my neighbors for the flight. Wheels up! I was off on an adventure of a lifetime!

Stay tuned for part two- my first three days leading up to Match Day-

Thanks for reading everyone!

You’ll Never Walk Alone                                                                                                             -Hooch-

 

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