Monday, December 20, 2010

London Part 2

Welcome to the second installation of stories, photos, and recollections from the London trip I went on with my best friend Dawn. If you're tuning in for the first time, get caught up by reading part 1 here.

After a night of rest, Dawn and I got up with the sun, excited for our first full day adventuring around the town.

Our first stop, St. Paul's Cathedral.

Upon entering the beautiful structure at 8:30 a.m., we learned we couldn't visit the upper galleries (whispering, grand, etc.) until 9:30 so we walked across the square, picked up some Starbucks (go figure thank God!) toured the exterior a bit and went back in around 9.

We weren't permitted to take pictures of the interior (sorry!), so as soon as 9:30 hit we went to the upper galleries, climbing 500+ stairs. (This reminded me very much of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome except that it wasn't nearly as claustrophobic-feeling.)

As we climbed, we were able to stop at 2 different levels soaking in a 360 degree panorama of the city.

It was beautiful but really windy and cold up that high.

After St. Paul's we hopped on the tube and traveled to the Tower of London, which was really cool.

We got a free tour from one of the Beefeaters, the guardsmen that supervise and live in the tower, and he was a riot. In addition to being hilarious, he was an excellent guide, describing many historic events that happened within the tower grounds thoroughly.

After the tour we visited the Crown Jewels room which houses the royal crowns and the largest diamond in the world (530 carats), scoped out the Prisoner's tower where carvings and scribblings from of some of the most famous prisoners adorn the walls, and walked around the top of the entire gated wall.

After those two big attractions, it was early afternoon and we were starving so we took a break for lunch. I'm sure you're now chomping at the bit to hear how the rest of our first day went, but I think that's enough for one post. Don't want to tire you out only after part 2!

Over the next few weeks I plan on sharing all my stories from this trip—read part 1 here. If you can't wait for the next post (or are bored at work), check out my photos from this trip as well as several past trips on my flickr page.

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