St. Paul's Cathedral
Cost: £16.00 (We had a BOGO free from train tickets)
Time: 3 hours (1.5 for the guided tour, 1 to climb the domes)
Confession: St. Paul's Cathedral wasn't originally on our list of things to do. We realized just days before we left that we had an extra half day open and had a handful of things we could do. Rick Steve's had this on the "must see" list, so we took him up on his recommendation.
I think this may have been one of the best things we did- there is so much beauty, peace, and history in this building- it is quite amazing!
If you go, be sure to do the live tour. Decorated retired military give the tour, and they know the history well! It was particularly interesting to hear the history of WWII, to see the part that was bombed despite all the efforts to protect this holy place, and to see that the rebuilt portion has a stained glass window with an ode to each of the 50 United States as a thank you for becoming an ally during the war. This place is a symbol of the strong U.S. and British alliance, and their dedication to peace and friendship throughout the world. It has a lot of U.S. history in its walls as well, and our tour guide had no problem pointing out the many odes to the U.S. as well as the elements destroyed by the Germans. Let's just say it was good to be the two Americans and not the 3 Germans on the tour!
You aren't allowed to take pictures inside, but after climbing 271 steps in a small, spiral staircase you earn the right to take pictures at the top from the dome.
And to sit down and get over your dizzy feeling, as one of us needed to do.
The view on all sides are amazing.
And if you ask an Italian man to take your picture he will.
But his mother will step in and tell you to get close together.
And then she won't let you leave until you kiss in a picture.
I'm definitely learning Americans have one of the least romantic cultures out there. Please notice our laughing and Jacob's red, embarrassed face. I will say everyone else at the top was laughing pretty hard at this woman's absolute insistence we kiss at the top of the dome.
Before this wonderful view we climbed to the Whispering Gallery. It's inside one of the domes, and it overlooks the center of the chapel. We really enjoyed having a conversation across the dome through the whispering channel! BTW it's a common proposal spot- so if any readers are thinking about Europe and getting engaged this is one amazing place to propose!
I seriously couldn't get over how much I enjoyed this! If I only had one day to spend in London I would still want this on my list of places to visit!