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.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!