St. Paul’s Cathedral

The next day (Monday April 3rd) we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral. I had heard about St. Paul’s famous Whispering Gallery when I was a kid. Happily, there wasn’t a lineup to get in, and once inside, we joined a tour that was just about to start. The tour guide was incredibly informative and interesting (much of the same information can be found in the Wikipedia article linked above, especially as it has a famous photo of St. Paul’s surviving The Blitz), and then it was time to climb the stairs to the Whispering Gallery. Wow. It was quite crowded with groups of school kids and tour groups, but at one point Jeff and I were on one side of the gallery, and a chattering group of school children were on the other side, 107 feet away. We heard them as though they were right beside us. After that, Jeff went to the opposite side, and I clearly heard him say “Heather, can you hear me?” Okay, he said it in a regular voice, not a whisper, but I’m sure if the place had a few less groups of people, I would have heard a whisper. Close enough for me!

If I thought we were done climbing, Jeff soon set me right. According to my brochure, the Whispering Gallery is 259 steps up from the Church floor. We then took the stairs to the Stone Gallery (378 steps up from the church floor) and emerged outside circling the bottom of the dome.

Buildings that remind me of Haussmann architecture in Paris

Tower Bridge

An odd shaped building, nicknamed ‘the Gherkin’ by Londoners. Kind of looks like an Easter Egg too.

Jeff made sure his foot was in this shot to help illustrate how far off the ground we were.

But we still weren’t done. We had yet to climb to the Golden Gallery, 530 steps (from the church floor) up spiral wrought iron staircases inside the actual dome – it was more like climbing a ladder than walking up stairs. The view was worth it.

You can’t tell from this photo, but at this point I very much wished I was back at that pretty W.C. in St. James’s Park. Nothing of that sort up here.

Fantastic view of the Thames and the London Eye. We took a photo of the London Eye from St. Paul’s, and took a photo of St. Paul’s from the Eye (much later in the trip).

This is a photo of St. Paul’s from the Millennium Bridge. While we were visiting, they were in the process of cleaning the stone for the first time in its history. I’m not sure if you can tell from the photo, but they disguised the scaffolding with very clever drawings.