On to Paris

After 8 days in London Suzanne and I are now sitting in St. Pancras station awaiting our Eurostar train to Paris. Unfortunately Suzanne has caught a nasty cold she feels “Terrible”. Also there is an adorable baby next to us in the station and he’s just making noises and giggling and it’s the best.

I don’t know what I was expecting from London. I guess I just thought about it as being the first stop. A grace period or something I wasn’t really expecting to love so much about the place. Thursday I climbed up over 500 stairs to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral and looked out over the city that has really taken my breath away.

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if you want to see more about St Pauls go to https://www.stpauls.co.uk/visits/visits/explore-the-cathedral where this image was taken from

If you ever get the opportunity to go into the Cathedral take it! If it’s between that and Westminster do St Paul’s. It’s a beautiful old building with so much history and so much beauty. The day I was there was the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo so when I got there it was actually still closed at 2:40 in the afternoon because Prince Charles and his wife were there for the memorial so when I got there I had to wait outside for a while but once I got in I was in awe. Unfortunately there were no pictures allowed. The basement is a crypt that isn’t nearly as extravagant as Westminster but it’s much more organized and personal. The main floor has amazing architecture and stained glass while the back area is all gold and colorful. There’s a large book that honors American and English soldiers who died in World War II. The book actually moved me to tears. After looking around I decided to follow a random corridor where they asked for my ticket again. I showed the man and he let me pass through the archway and into a huge stone spiral staircase. I just kept climbing not really knowing where I was going. After 257stairs there was a very narrow hall with low ceilings and pipes that led to yet more stairs. Once up those stairs I looked out over a railing down to the floor. I was at the base of the dome right below an amazing mural on the dome. I sat there for a few minutes taking it all in. It almost made me cry again. I then saw a sign that said up. I followed it. Sensing a pattern? It led through a door that was no more than 2 feet wide. There were more stairs.

I followed these. At this point my lungs and everything in me was killing me. My legs hurt and I was thirsty and disgustingly sweaty. After more than 100 more stairs I was outside the base of the dome looking out over the city. At that point I was done. I wasn’t going to climb anymore. But I knew that I had to or I’d never live it down. I’d probably not do it again so I waited in another line and started up even MORE stairs. This time it was a VERY narrow metal spiral staircase. Or staircases. That kept going. You’d finish a few and there’d be another right there. Finishing all those stairs all the way to the top was amazing but seeing the floor through a tiny window, looking down 85 meters to the floor made it all worth it. Then after just 10 or so more stairs there it was. The top. Looking out I could see everything and it was amazing. It made the stairs and everything seem like nothing.

Train is boarding. I’ll talk about Friday later! Bye London!
Maddy

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Because I’ve been told I’m not posting enough

I’ve got skype here and I’m currently Skyping my mom who’s in Seattle and because she wanted some pictures I’m going to post a few here and I’ll post more later today or tomorrow. These were taken at Hampton court which is Henry VIII’s palace. These were from day two in London.

London Day 1!

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(This picture is from before take off in Vancouver)

Well we made it to London.  We landed at around 11:30am London time. The first thing that I noticed was the different names things had, elevators became lifts and bathrooms or restrooms became toilets, and the voice instructing you in the airport had a British accent. It sorta felt like I forgot that so many people had British accents. It was almost comedic how I reacted.

Why didn’t anyone tell us how muggy it is here. It was muggy in the airport and our hotel is muggy too! We are on the top floor but it is really hot in here.

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To get to our hotel we took the underground. We’re staying somewhere closeish to the airport however the underground doesn’t go there so we went into town then back to our hotel which was kind of a pain but we got to start to see how the underground works and got to see a lot of interesting people. A school group got on the first train. They were maybe 14 or so. I believe that they were a school group from Spain and all I could think about is how similar the kids that I know around that age were. They were loud and talking over one another. Friends sit with friends. They dressed just like I did in middle school. It was a really good first taste of Europe.

Once we finally got to our hotel it was 3pm in London, that means 7am in Seattle. We’d been in town for 4 hours after being on a plane for 9. We did what everyone said not to do. We slept. for about 3 hours. I know it’s not supposed to be good for jet lag or whatever but we needed it. Now it’s a little past 8 and we’re going to go get dinner soon!

If you’ve been to London what should we not miss?

Maddy