Monday was our second day in London and my hubby needed to work, so we hopped in a cab that would drop me at Leicester Square on his way in to the office. I walked around a bit, not really sure what I wanted to do for the day and then decided to hop on a bus to head over to St. Paul’s Cathedral. On the bus there are lots of opportunities for photos and the following images are taken from the top of the hop-on-hop-off tour bus.
I loved seeing all the Royal Parks, I can’t remember which park this one is but I thought the couple walking away on the path was so cute. The weather wasn’t great for our trip – a lot like Seattle weather, really – so I didn’t wander through many parks on my own.
This image below shows the security along the top of the walls at the Queen’s private gardens. It was fun to ride along side the walls and get little glimpses into her gardens. I know we aren’t seeing anything that she doesn’t want us to see, but it’s fun to get a little peek. The building behind the wall is where some of her garden staff lives, I believe.
Once I saw the stop for St. Paul’s I got off the bus and started wandering inside. I explored the main floor, so wishing that photos were allowed inside, and took in all of the beautiful architecture. It’s still amazing to me to be able to be inside these buildings that I studied in school. I then decided it was time to climb the steps up to the Whispering Gallery which is inside at the base of the dome some 257 steps from the Cathedral floor. Once there I could look down to the floor below (again, wishing I could take a photo) and since I was alone, I didn’t have someone to go across the dome to whisper at me, but I could hear others doing so and it was pretty cool. Another 119 steps up…and not so relaxing steps as the previous ones…and I was at the stone gallery which is outside at the base of the exterior dome. Here it was a bit windy and rainy, but I was able to get some great images of the view. Then it was time for the next set of stairs. These were not my favorite at all. These were steep iron spiral stairs with treads smaller than my feet and open risers. There were 152 of these steps and I was clutching the railing every step of the way. Once at the top I was at the Golden Gallery which is again outside and here it was quite windy and rainy and the space was quite small. Here I decided to keep my big camera in my bag and just use my phone. The images below are from my big camera at the Stone Gallery level.
After the long way back down all of the steps (some areas of the descent were some very steep stone steps where I was actually shoulder to shoulder in the narrow stairwell) I decided to head down to the crypt and see some of the tombs, including Christopher Wren’s tomb (the architect of St. Paul’s). After I had visited all of the tombs that I wanted to see, I headed up and out of the Crypt and went out to take some photos of the outside of the cathedral. You can see from these images below that the weather was still pretty stormy, but it wasn’t to bad as I went to get myself a sandwich and sat on the benches near the green rectangle that can be seen in the above image to eat my lunch and watch the little school children play after their parents had picked them up from school.
After St. Paul’s I hopped back on the bus and headed towards Big Ben and Parliment to meet Jarrod after work. We got on the river cruise (part of our hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket) and toured the River Thames until the Tower of London stop. We have both toured that site before, so we hopped on the bus to Trafalgar Square and then took a walk to find a great place to eat near Covent Gardens.