Great bus journeys of the world: To the islands

DSC01407At the far out edge of Greater Liverpool are the islands. Mere hints of land you can walk to when the tide’s out far enough. Today, for the first time, I decide to get there by bus.

The 473 from Cook Street to West Kirby.

The 437 from Cook Street to West Kirby.

It's a beautiful cool, crisp, clear blue morning.

It’s a beautiful cool, crisp, clear blue morning.

And once again I'm at the front, upstairs.

And once again I’m at the front, upstairs.

As we enter the Mersey Tunnel.

As we enter the Mersey Tunnel.

Emerging in Birkenhead, passing Hamilton Square.

Emerging in Birkenhead, passing Hamilton Square.

name

The John Laird Centre.

Passing a 473 going the other way. A bus every 10 minutes for most of the day.

Passing a 437 going the other way. A bus every 10 minutes for most of the day.

Into Claughton.

Into Claughton.

With its handsome bakery.

With its handsome bakery.

Climbing Bidston Hill.

Climbing Bidston Hill.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

Through Upton.

Through Upton.

Down the hill to Greasby.

Down the hill to Greasby.

Through Greasby.

Through Greasby.

On towards Frankby.

On towards Frankby.

Turning west into West Kirby.

Turning west into West Kirby.

In through the back door.

In through the back door.

Here we are.

Here we are.

There's the Estuary at the end of the road.

There’s the Estuary at the end of the road.

Time to get off.

Time to get off.

And leave the 473 behind.

And leave the 473 behind.

All the way along, with its electric hybrid power, I’ve been able to feel the bus cutting its engine every time we stopped. A peaceful way to travel.

Here at ‘Toast’ – in the railway station building, I wait for my friend Greg, who’s walking to the islands with me today. Fortifying ourselves with the inevitable toast we talk about the joy of quiet cafés like this, and find we’ve both enjoyed the lovely Crosby Tea Rooms in the past few days. We talk of founding the ‘Quiet Café’ movement.

Then we walk out into the estuary, in companionable peace.

Then we walk out into the Estuary, in companionable peace.

To the first island, Little Eye.

To the first island, Little Eye.

To the islands26

Looking back at West Kirby.

Looking back at West Kirby.

The second island, Middle Eye.

The second island, Middle Eye.

To the islands29

Looking across at Redrocks

Looking across at Redrocks, Hoylake and Waterloo and Crosby beyond, across Liverpool Bay.

Up and across Middle Eye.

Up and across Middle Eye.

To the main island, Hilbre.

To the main island, Hilbre.

The far end. Gazing out at infinity.

The far end. Gazing out at infinity.

We sit for an hour or so, talking about life, and sometimes not talking at all.

This is a wonderful place, on a beautiful day.

This is a wonderful place, on a beautiful day.

Miles from anywhere. And close to home.

Miles from anywhere. And close to home.

We are watched over by a small hawk.

We are watched over by a small hawk.

Time passes.

Time passes.

Clouds gather as we walk back.

Clouds gather as we walk back.

And we watch the rain falling on the North Wales coast.

And we watch the rain falling on the North Wales coast.

Only a few drops fall on us, but we are rewarded with a rainbow anyway.

Only a few drops fall on us, but we are rewarded with a rainbow anyway.

Then, after a late lunch in another quiet café, The Aubergine.

Time to go home.

It’s time to go home.

Down the hill into Claughton, with Liverpool Cathedral across the river.

Down the hill into Claughton, with Liverpool Cathedral there across the river.

Almost home.

Almost home.

A quietly beautiful day.

See all of the ‘Great bus journeys of the world’ here.

2 thoughts on “Great bus journeys of the world: To the islands

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Gerry, sometimes I’ve thought walking to the islands is boring, always the same. But I see that’s more about a noise and restlessness in me. In fact if you’re quiet and still and watchful enough then the walk is always different. The light, the sky, the sand and the water are always changing. And you can never take the same photograph twice.

      Reply

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