Monday, 3 August 2009

The first 200 steps weren't bad . . .

. . . however the remaining 328 were!

Today I conquered my goal of walking all the way up to the Golden Gallery in St. Paul's Cathedral. There are a total of 3 gallerys to go through. The first is a mere 257 steps up to the Whispering Gallery. Apparently a whisper produced against the wall can be heard all the way around the dome thanks to the shape of it. I wasn't too interested in that gallery as it was indoors, but I did spend some quality time there, getting my breathing back to normal. From there, it was 119 steps through many spiral staircase up to the Stone Gallery where you can look out almost 360 degrees over London from this outdoor vantage point and since it's not in the cathedral itself, you can take pictures. After a brief break there, I hoofed it the 152 more steps to the Golden Gallery. These steps were ancient and NARROW in places. It was worth it because the view was amazing. You could walk all around the Golden Gallery. Unfortunately the didn't let you spend too much time up there or it would get too crowded. I would have liked to have spent a bit more time up there after all that work, but c'est la vie right? Down I came over the 528 steps again. I took a video of the last 200 or so steps. Don't watch it if you get dizzy easily!

From there I wandered through the Cathedral and then down to the tomb. I took one indoor picture when no one was looking of a statue of a mother and child. I then meandered through the gift shop and then back out. There were some people feeding the pigeons out on the steps in front which immediately got the "Feed The Birds" song from Mary Poppins stuck in my head for the majority of my afternoon.

Next, I found my way to Millenium Bridge and walked across to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. I got some pictures of the outside of the Globe but really had no desire to go in. Shakespeare has always been a foreign language to me so I didn't bother with the tour. I did pop into the Tate Modern Museum. I do mean pop in because after about 10 minutes of odd works of "art", one being 3 Hoovers and a wet/dry vac that I am almost certain Dad has/had in the basement lighted from beneath and incased in lucite boxes, I decided that Modern Art is lost on me and I headed out for lunch.

My second to last stop today was Buckingham Palace. I agree with what most people told me. . . that it's not all that great to behold. There were a whopping 2 of the "q-tip guards" as I like to call them and you couldn't even ger close enough to try to make them laugh so there wasn't much point in hanging around there.

On my way home, I made one final stop on Oxford Street just to take a stroll through a couple of shops before I leave London and head off with the non-shopping Chris.

Needless to say, I'm quite tired! I'm also extremely proud of myself of making it all the way to the Golden Gallery without dying. It really wasn't all that bad since there were a couple of places to rest. I don't think I would have been able to do it at the beginning of my trip though. I was telling someone who asked if I had gone to St. Paul's yet that I was saving it to the very end of the trip. When asked why, I responded, "So the walks up and down to the Tube stops can get me in shape for the walk up to the galleries in the Cathedral. I don't have any stairs in my house so I need some training!"

Pictures of the day are here.


  1. Carol Ann Ferris3 August 2009 at 23:28

    You are a braver woman than I was! No stairs for me = no spectacular view. Great blog and pics!!! I'm humming the "feed the birds" song, too. : )

  2. Great video of the descent! It looks like the railing was only on the side of the people climbing up--good that you didn't get too dizzy coming down. I am really enjoying looking at your pictures, Juliane. We just got back on the 8th from Maine and one of the first things I did was to get caught up on your travels.
    Kathy :-)