At 10 pm we finally got off the bus and found ourselves alone in a deserted bus station. The sleeping tramps weren’t of much use getting directions to Kristupas’ house. Kristupas was a Lithuanian student that accepted our request on the hospitality exchange website chouchsurfing.org. He lived in a terrace house with his countryman Vaidotad “VMan”. Searching for a city map in the dark of the night we luckily walked across a cleaner who told us – in an original Scouse accent – the quickest way to our desired street. Well, actually he told us the way three times in a row mentioning every traffic light, where to turn and where not to turn.
Simon and I were over the moon when we finally saw the shiny letters 49 marking our longed for place to sleep. Now we would just lie down and take a rest from this wearisome day of travelling. Far wrong! Of course the door was locked and no one answered our ringing and phone calls. Yet after one hour of waiting in the darkness of Liverpool’s fresh night Kristupa’s neighbour showed up saying that he had been informed about everything and unlocked the door for us. We were to place our heavy bags in the comfy living room of this typical English house with its steep staircase and the draughty windows. Then we should make our way to the louche cavern quarter where V-Man, Kris and not less than six Polish and one Greek couchsurfers were waiting for us. The neighbour then switched on V-Mans PC and showed us the way on Google Street View. Every Meter. Every traffic light. Again. People from Liverpool seem to love that.
Off we went trotting down into the city centre passing through this eerie town with its sparely lit streets. As we came closer to the quarter the music grew louder and louder. When we finally walked around the edge with a sign that read “cavern quarter” we couldn’t believe our eyes. It seemed that we just stepped right into one of Hieronymus Bosch’s famous paintings. The narrow street with the two crossroads was nothing but a hotbed of sin. Drunken people of all ages were staggering over the red brick cobbled streets leaning against the walls of the numerous bars or already lying on the ground. Simon and I looked at each other. That couldn’t be Liverpool. That must be Palma de Mallorca or Lloret de Mar. But the cops with their yellow reflective vests and their typical hats looked fiercely British at us – at least when they weren’t taking photos with intoxicated drunkards in front of their buses.
Astonished and baffled we walked up to the Cavern Club where we encountered an approximately twenty-year-old girl ralphing up her dinner in front of a picture of the Beatles sprinkling Paul McCartney’s juvenile face before she sank down on a bank where her shoes suffered the same fate as poor Paul. Aghast we tried to call Kris or V-Man several times, but there was nothing to be done. Knowing that both of them – and the other seven – must be in one of the various booming clubs we left for house number 49 and snuggled up to our sleeping bags that lay on the living room floor, alongside the others. This march had us tortured so heavily that we slept like logs until twelve o’clock the next day and when we awoke we found the others sleeping next to us all over the carpet. One of them a twenty-year-old girl who obviously had a very bad time last night.