Bunnies in Britain (Part I): From Manchester to Liverpool

All Aboard for Liverpool!

All Aboard for Liverpool!

My early grey tea is still piping hot; my sausage bap is starting to lose its warmth.  I am still trying to shake off the stiffness of a six-hour flight from New York to Manchester, England.  Truthfully, I’d be a little more excited if I was landing in London, as I consider it to be one of my favorite places in Europe, if not the world.  But what has brought me 3,000 miles from the Big Apple to Northern England?  Well, alas, it is not for a grudge match between the epic forces of Manchester United and Liverpool.  I am here for a different kind of grudge match.  One that revolves around the savage ballet of rugby league.  And surprise: this one involves my favorite team: the South Sydney Rabbitohs!

"Does this train go to Liverpool Lime Street?"

“Does this train go to Liverpool Lime Street?”

Four and a half months ago, the South Sydney Rabbitohs made history when they broke their 43-year long dry spell by beating the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership 30-6.  Now, fresh into 2015, the Rabbitohs have continued to capitalize on their Premiership success by winning two of the biggest preseason matches in the NRL: the Auckland Nines by defeating the Cronulla Sharks 14-12 in double overtime, and winning the Charity Shield by drawing 12-12 against the St. George Illawarra Dragons.  And now, the red and green faithful have a chance to complete the trifecta of preseason trophies by winning a rare one: the World Club Challenge.  This match-up pits the winner of the NRL Premiership in Australia (the Rabbitohs) against the winner of the European Super League Series (St. Helens).  This intercontinental match-up is big for the Bunnies as this is their first trip to the event.  The first series was held back in 1976, and since the Bunnies hadn’t won a Premiership since 1971, this is a first for them.  And even without two of the Burgess brothers, Nathan Merritt, or Kirisome Auva’a, the Rabbitohs are considered heavy favorites to win this triple-crown of preseason footy.  The game will take place at Langtree Park, an 18,000 seat rugby stadium in St. Helens, located about 10 miles outside Liverpool.

"Reggie's off to Liverpool!"

“Reggie’s off to Liverpool!”

As I said earlier, the reason I wish the World Club Challenge was being held in London was because of how easy it is to get around such a transit-friendly city.  Alas, this is my first time to Liverpool and Manchester, so you can’t blame me for being nervous about coming here on my own.  Still, that feeling of being a stranger in a foreign land is one of the irresistible perks about traveling abroad.  During my train ride, I unwinded with a bap, a British breakfast sandwich of banger sausages and a hot cup of earl grey tea.  My iPod was blasting The Beatles (“c’mon, I’m in Liverpool for God’s sakes!”) and all the while, I am trying to drown out the noise of four noisy blondes who won’t stop laughing like it’s happy hour!

Hungry for a sausage bap?

Hungry for a sausage bap?

Manchester, between Piccadilly Station and Oxford Station

Manchester, between Piccadilly Station and Oxford Station

"Now arriving at Liverpool Lime Street station..."

“Now arriving at Liverpool Lime Street station…”

Once my train pulled into Liverpool’s Lime Street station, it didn’t take me long to locate my hotel; the Holiday Inn  was located just across the street from the magnificent terminal.  Right after checking in, I immediately went to sleep to catch up on some much needed Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

TO BE CONTINUED…

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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