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Welcome to Beatlepool

In effect, The Beatles are the benchmark for pop music. They are a veritable icon, essential to any understanding of 20th-century culture. But, we won’t labour the point, as all the details can be found in Wikipedia and music history books. What we are going to reveal in this post, however, is a list of the places associated with the history of the group’s members during their Liverpool years or where they drew inspiration for some of their songs. The quartet made up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are still a magnet for the new generations and in Liverpool the story repeats itself ad infinitum.

The 10 “Beatles Points”

1. The Beatles Story

A good way of immersing yourself in the Beatlesque universe is to visit The Beatles Story Museum, in the Albert Docks industrial buildings. We went there and were stunned by all the memorabilia we came across relating to the Fab Four. The museum even hosts workshops for children. It is also the starting point for The Magical Mystery Tour, a two-hour bus tour around places associated with the group.

2. The Cavern

Rebuilt brick by brick after its demolition in 1973 is the famous basement on Mathew Street known as The Cavern. It was here that they played for the first time and where they were discovered by the music manager, Brian Epstein. This venue is a must-visit, whether you’re a fan of The Beatles or not. We urge you to go on a Thursday when countless Beatles imitation bands play. Mathew Street is currently abuzz with pubs and clubs where you can listen to live music, notably The Grapes, the pub where they used to meet before their performances.

3. Penny Lane

Lennon and McCartney lived very near this alley in the suburbs and they would walk down Penny Lane daily on their way to school. The barber shop, fish & chips shop and bank that feature in the song are still there. Some years ago, there was a move to change the name of the street, as Penny Lane was a character who had made his money from slavery. However, in the end, the power of Beatlesque support led the proponents to abandon their initiative.

4. Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields was one of the most groundbreaking singles in the Beatles’ career. The song is dedicated to the Strawberry Field orphanage which the Salvation Army ran in Beaconsfield Road, near Lennon’s home in Menlove Avenue. Only the metal gate and the gardens they used to play in still survive. The brick walls surrounding the gardens are painted with graffiti in memory of John.

5. St. Peter’s Parish Church

The Quarrymen was John Lennon’s first band and they used to rehearse in St. Peter’s Parish Church, in the Woolton district. It was there that in 1957 Lennon and McCartney first met. The church graveyard has a headstone with an inscription mentioning Eleanor Rigby, the protagonist of one of the Beatles’ songs. John lived very near there, in an avenue lined with semi-detached houses.

6. Oxford Street Maternity Hospital

Still standing here is the building which once housed the maternity hospital where John Lennon was born on 9 October 1940. He is said to have been born in the middle of an air raid during the Second World War. His mother was attended by his aunt, Mimi, who was appointed John’s guardian.

7. Liverpool College of Art

In 1957, Lennon took up studies at the Liverpool College of Art on Hope Street where he met Stu Sutcliffe, who became one of the Beatles soon afterwards. Some years later in Hamburg he left the group to pursue his career as a painter and lived with the German photographer, Astrid Kirchherr. Stuart died in 1962. Paul and George studied at the neighbouring Liverpool Institute.

8. Jacaranda

The walls of this pub on Slater Street are decorated with paintings by Lennon and Sutcliffe. Its owner at the time, Allan Williams, offered them the opportunity to travel to Hamburg and play on a daily basis in the Kaiserkeller Club. This was the period of the Beat Brothers, with Pete Best, who became The Beatles’ original drummer, to be subsequently replaced by Ringo Starr.

9. The Casbah Club

This venue is where it all started. Before their success at The Cavern with The Beatles, John Lennon had performed live at the Casbah with his first group, The Quarrymen, in 1959. This club, located some 6 kilometres from downtown Liverpool, was originally a cellar owned by Mona Best, the mother of Pete Best. This was also where Ringo Starr’s first band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, played. The Beatles were the last group to set foot on its stage, in 1962.

10. Quarry Bank Grammar School

John Lennon first entered this school on Harthill Road at the age of seven. Here, together with his childhood friend, Pete Shotton, he founded The Quarrymen, a group grounded in the teddy boy look which played rock’n’roll, the music that had stirred up a revolution among youths across the globe.

No one questions the fact that The Beatles were one of the greatest bands in the history of rock, and their association with Liverpool is irrefutable. Don’t wait to give yourself over to Beatlemania – check out our flights to Liverpool here.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by The Beatles Story, The Cavern, Wikipedia Commons


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In Summer – A Beach in Brussels

The idea is not new. For some years now, these artificial urban beaches have popped up each summer in Berlin, Hamburg and under the bridges of the river Seine in Paris. You won’t have to cram the whole family into your car, or embark on a long, hot journey to feel the sand under your feet and freshen up in the water. In Brussels, this tropical paradise is known as Les Bains de Bruxelles and it lasts for five weeks on the Quai des Péniches, along the Brussels Canal. It opens from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

True, there aren’t many waves, but some ingenuity has been applied to making the beach as attractive as possible; indeed, it draws an extremely diverse crowd of beach-goers. The 6,000 m² of sand are dotted with deck-chairs, palm trees and coconut palms, striped sunshades and beach bars serving vividly coloured cold beverages. The atmosphere is a family one during the day and sports activities include beach football, volleyball, boule and ping-pong, as well as games for young children. Pedalos and kayaks can be hired at reasonable prices on Sundays. You can also go for a ride along the canal on board the Bruxelles les Bains, which offers various tours – the short one takes 55 minutes; the longest one is a 2-hour cruise, and there is also a “cocktail cruise”, by night – while the harbour’s history and geography is expounded on by a guide.

This chill-out on the beach is accompanied by the Let It Beach festival, now in its third year. A variety of concerts liven up the evening on weekends, while on Fridays the music turns to folk, rock, pop and hip-hop. Jazz and world music take centre stage on Saturdays. The Sunday programmes target the younger set, with workshops, dances and, of course, more concerts. Night reverie is bolstered by free sessions of Croisetteke, every day from 6 p.m. on, in addition to theBoat Club,an exclusive floating club which hosts the liveliest parties in Brussels.

Not Without My Ice-cream!

When the thermometer seems to be driving endlessly upwards, another delicious way of keeping cool is to have an ice-cream. And, for those who can’t contemplate a day at the seaside without ice-cream, here are some of the best parlours in town:

Comus & Gasterea (Quai aux Briques, 86)

A place for trying the newest and most unusual flavours. It features some of the strangest ice-creams in the world, with such flavours as caviar, olive oil, Roquefort, lichi, wasabi aubergine and basil, home-made and free of additives or colouring agents. All you need is to be patient, as queues can sometimes build up outside its doors.

Capoue (Rue de Wand, 112)

Chez Capoue is one of the oldest ice-cream parlours in Brussels and, while at Comus & Gasterea you find the most unusual flavours, in Capoue they make the most daring combinations, notably bounty, blood orange and spiced bread. They are also have them sugar-free for diabetics, or lactose-free for those allergic to dairy.

Il Monello (Chaussée de Charleroi, 31 -33)

While Il Monello opened only recently, it has already made a name for itself in the city for its traditional pastries and homemade ice-creams. They also serve the latter atop a waffle for those seeking consistency (or calories).

Zizi (Rue de la Mutualité, 57A)

Zizi, a veritable institution in Brussels, is the city’s best-known ice-cream parlour. In the sixty years they have been open, they have never altered their manufacturing process. The flavours are natural and free of colouring agents.

Brussels Rules!

Brussels is a refreshing destination this summer, but not only because of its urban beach. Throughout the summer, every Friday from 5 p.m. to 11.30 p.m., the Apéros Urbains or animated afterworks are held in some of the most attractive spots in the city. Also featured is the Midis Minimes classical music festival, with daily concerts lasting 35 minutes from 12.15 p.m. (until 28 August), held in the Church of Saint-Jean et Etienne aux Minimes and in the Conservatorio Real.

Come and experience it for yourself. Come on! Pick up your towel and check out the flights to… Brussels!

Text by Scanner FM

Images by Eric Danhier

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5 Highlights of A Leipzig Getaway

In terms of tourism, Germany is much more than just Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. In recent years, some cities from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) are gaining prominence like any other, having shaken off the dust and deadweight of the Socialist regime they lived under during the Cold War. One of these newly emerging cities is Leipzig, its waxing popularity driven by the art scene, its recent history and the great vitality of its inhabitants. In the following we pinpoint the reasons that make Leipzig the ideal destination for your next getaway.

Leipzig – A Music Destination

Listen up, classical music lovers! Music is very much in vogue in Leipzig, and I mean goodmusic, largely owing to the city’s past. It is famous for composers of the calibre of Johann Sebastian Bach, who was cantor of the Choir at St Thomas Church, one of the oldest in the world. And of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck, who entertained their contemporaries as musicians and as a couple. For Felix Mendelssohn, Leipzig was where he spent the last few years of his life, while the city is the birthplace of Richard Wagner. The Augustusplatz is the city’s music hub and the site of the Gewandhaus concert hall, a Brutalist-style building which houses one of the most widely acclaimed symphonic orchestras. Right opposite stands the Opera, the third oldest in Europe. Oddly enough, the two institutions share the same conductor.

Leipzig – A Defiant City

The chain of events that led to the downfall of the GDR unfolded precisely in Leipzig. Throughout 1989, a number of masses and peaceful protests were held around the Church of St Nicholas that gradually wore down the old, established regime and led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Stasi, the feared secret police of East Germany, witnessed these events in silence, as, faced with growing grass-roots pressure, they declined to intervene. Leipzig boasted numerous printing presses in the second half of the 20th century and, in order to monitor their activity, the Stasi had their headquarters set up in the so-called Haus zur runden Ecke (House of the Rounded Corner). Today it is a museum showcasing the workings of the former State security, which so hobbled the lives of the GDR’s citizens.

Leipzig – A Trade Centre & River Port

Leipzig has long been a major trade centre and, to provide merchants conducting their business with shelter from the inclement weather – rainy and overcast most of the year – around twenty covered arcades were built. Two of the best known arcades are Speck’s Hof – the oldest in Leipzig, which currently showcases some magnificent paintings and ceramic medallions, and the Mädler arcade with its stylish glass skylight and the historic Auerbachs Keller restaurant, where Goethe overheard the stories that inspired Faust when he was studying in Leipzig. As a tribute to the celebrated writer, there are two statues dedicated to the main characters in this paramount work of universal literature.

Leipzig’s commercial calling is partly due to the White Elster river, a sub-tributary of the Elbe, which numerous canals criss-crossing the city flow into. They also provide a different way of discovering it – from a small boat.

Leipzig – An Artistic Melting Pot

The Saxon city is currently one of the favourite destinations among painters, designers and creators from the world over on account of the lively art scene that has blossomed in the Spinnerei, once Europe’s largest spinning mill. Today it is an unusual, colossal cultural centre where contemporary art is produced and exhibited. It features twelve art galleries, a hundred art studios and over a hundred cubicles rented out to creators who flock to Leipzig to soak up the latest trends and share their know-how with other colleagues. Here, they feel very much at home.

Leipzig – A Grand City

Leipzig is a distinguished city with character and some striking monuments and other buildings. Prominent in the Augustusplatz is the Paulinum, one of the Leipzig University buildings, featuring a facade emulating the Paulinerkirche, the former university church which was senselessly dynamited in 1968 during the times of the GDR regime. Another building which stands out, at least for its height, is the City-Hochhaus, known as the “wisdom tooth” on account of its design. The top floor of this landmark houses the Panorama Tower restaurant and viewing platform. Their lunch menu is very reasonable and the eatery is worth visiting, if only for the splendid views.

The city also features a colossal monument which, apart from being oversized, also has an unpronounceable name – the Völkerschlachtdenkmal– which was built to commemorate the Battle of the Nations in 1813, specifically the defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig by a coalition of nations, namely Prussia, Russia, Sweden and Austria.

Come and discover this German city – check out your Vueling here.

Text by Tus Destinos

Images by Robin Kunz, Michael Bader, Peter Hirth, LTM-Tom Schulze, Nils Petersen


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Berlin, a prismatic city

By Monia Savioli from ilTurista.info

Berlin: Young, lively, trendy but cheap, organized, linked to an important past which doesn’t forget and doesn’t want to. You can’t define the city of Berlin just listing a limited number of adjectives and characteristics. That would restrict its beauty and what the city can offer to people.

Vueling launched the route Florence-Berlin on March, the 22nd increasing its new offer from Florence with furthers routes to London Heathrow, Copenhagen and Hamburg providing 160.000 new seats in addition to the already available flights to Barcelona, Paris and Madrid. There is an efficient bus shuttle service that connects Florence train station to the airport. From the train station, you can reach the airport in 20 minutes and by an about 90 minutes flight you arrive at the Tegel International Airport of Berlin.

The only clashing point is that the German airport is not connected directly to the city by underground, although the net is constantly increasing. It’s possible to reach the nearest station by taking a bus from the airport. You can ask for more information about the bus within the airport, where people speak English if you don’t know German (bus and taxi drivers often speak only German). If you want, you can also take a taxi since rates are cheaper than the Italian’s ones. The bus that brings you to the city is the 128 and leads to the “Kurt-Shumacher-Platz” underground station and the course lasts about 15 minutes. Once arrived to the underground station, you can use the same ticket to reach Friedfrichstrasse, the core of Berlin and the shopping road par excellence. There, you can take a room at the Melia Hotel, just close to Spree river and to the Metropol Theatre. Friedrichstrasse is a strategic point to chance upon the famous “Unter den Linden” boulevard, going into the core of the city visiting the main Berlin places that you should see in a 2-days-trip.

If you prefer walking, you can also visit the city with your own feet or you just ride the several bikes for rent. There are also buses for scenic tour working up to 6 p.m. that let you get on and off to visit the main important places.

One of these places, is “Charlie”, at the Friedrichstrasse. It originally was a checkpoint between the Mitte and Kreuzber districts. Mitte belonged to the East Berlin, run by Soviets in the past and Kreuzber to the West side of Berlin, run by Americans. The name of the place, Charlie, is pronounced as the third letter of NATO phonetic alphabet after “Alfa” and “Bravo”. Nowadays Charlie checkpoint is a bar where you can taste delicious drinks or drinking beer sitting on beach chairs with you feet on the sand. The headquarter of the old Gestapo is on the Niederkirchnerstrasse where you can find few empty tiled buildings. It’s situated next to a portion of the Berlin’s wall that is ruined and constantly reduced because visitors often steal pieces of wall as souvenir. In that place now there is a permanent photography exhibition called“Topography of terror” about Nazism. So it’s evident how the old and the young Berlin are living together, to bearing in mind a past that no one can’t forget, fixing it through feelings felt due to the almost holy silence you can find in those places as a sign of respect.

These are the same feelings and sensations you can feel within the Holocaust Memoirs, in the Cora-Berliner Strasse, where there are 2.711 anonymous grey stones with an irregular shape that are arranged within a field characterized by several bumps that gives you the feeling of a dark choking and light-living feeling at the same time.

The East Side Gallery, an almost 2 kilometres of the Berlin’s Wall on the Mulenstrasse (ex East Berlin) is now the longest open-air art gallery in the world and show you several visions about the years of the split of Berlin. The murals realized by international artists offer alternative points of view by illustrating characters and symbolisms of that period as the Trabant, the famous old Berlin car, drawn as it would break down the wall.

For the aficionados, it’s also possible to rent a “Trabi” to drive around the city or take one of the odd vehicles situated along the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of a reunified Germany and the access gate to the Tiergarten. This is a former shooting ground of the royal palace where you can find the Victory Column and the famous zoo.

There are also several nice flea markets along the boulevards where you can buy an endless quantity of stuff during the weekend, from jewelleries to art masterpieces or, for instance, mother-of-pearl-made spoon for enjoy your caviar. Is not all. Berlin is also the city of museums: from the biggest Hebraic museum in the world to the Egyptian museum, the National Art Gallery and several other ones.

Berlin is also the city of the big palaces, churches’ ruins as the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche, whose ruins keep the recollection of the Second World War bombing alive. At least, but not the last, Berlin is the city of the shopping centre as the Come KaDeWe, “Kaufhaus des Westens”: the most famous shopping mall in Germany and the biggest one in Europe with 60,000 cubic meters that are branched in 7 sector floors for products except the last one where you can eat at the self service restaurant. Other way, downstairs you can eat in several buffets as the one managed by one of the most famous international chef, Paul Bocuse. There is also a Lafayette store section. But the real fun, actually, is getting lost among the little shops and the street markets. Berlin offers also a lot of night bars, international top level restaurants, pubs, night clubs and alternative locals assuring fun to every kind of target of people.

Thrill-seeking people can even try bungee jumping from the top of the Hotels in Alexander Platz. In order to finish your trip, you can have a long and relaxing boat ride across the Spree river from where having a wide vision of the German capital to realize that Berlin is not just a touristic destination but a real city with its beautiful places and also its difficult realities as homeless people sleeping in sleeping bags along the streets of this great but cold city.

Por Monia Savioli de ilTurista.info


Why not take a trip to Berlin? Have a look at our flights here!


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