Sunday, 12 January 2014

London Tourist Adventure (once again) Part 1 - The Shard Again and St Paul's Cathedral

Getting back into blogging after a full week back at work is hard... This adventure is going to be in three parts, that's right three!! ^_^

It was time to meet Miss Rock once again (our once a year meet up) at the end of December. Last time I met her was in the middle of December in 2012, and during our last meet up we went shopping, walking and eating at Aberdeen Steakhouse...

This time was different! Miss Rock (who also reads my blog), and I didn't need to shop. So she decided we should do some tourist like things. i.e. The Shard... But I've already been in The Shard I said to her. Miss Rock offered to pay though!! :-S

First we met at Borough Station which is where we always meet. We were both early, so we walked around a bit into Borough Market and then into Southwark Cathedral.
At Borough Market
I sinned. You're actually supposed to pay £2 to take pictures of the inside of Southwark Cathedral, I just took a couple of pictures as I haven't been inside for such a long time! Sorrrrrry!!
In Southwark Cathedral
I did put some money in for a couple of candles though... This is Miss Rock's lit candles.
Lighting candles
Time to go and explore. I think those who have followed me for such a long time knows that I love street art!! This is the first time I've ever seen this which is just located before London Bridge.
Street art along London Bridge

You know what? I have never seen a beautiful re-designed train station before. And believe me, London Bridge Station has changed a lot just so that it could be easy access to The Shard. The big WHSmith that was there has gone. :( So sad. But I must say it looks airy and has better access to the trains!!

London Bridge Station
So, I'm not really going to blog about The Shard again. You can read my previous post here... This is St Paul's where Miss Rock and I are going to visit next.
St Paul's Cathedral - View from The Shard

Another piece of beautiful street art which you can find along Clink Street.
More street art
The Millennium Bridge has become the English version of Pont de l'Archevêché! Couples have started putting their love locks onto the bridge. ^_^ This kind of love reaction or action is getting very popular around the world.
Millenuium Bridge
And here's the view from the Millenium Bridge! The Shard looks like a very small building in the distance.
View from Millennium Bridge
Onto the second half of the the day's adventure. I had free entry vouchers for St Paul's Cathedral given to me by Mr Travels in the middle of 2012. He said he couldn't use them as he didn't know when he'll be back in London, so he gave them to me to use. I had asked Miss Pinky if she wanted to go, she had said yes, but we never went. Finally I asked Miss Rock knowing that she passes St Paul's Cathedral all the time and she said yes to this!! Whoopee. Didn't want the vouchers to be wasted. Cost of entry is usually £16, but there's a discount at the moment. And now it's costing £14.50... hurry up and go before you have to the pay the full price.

Here's a few pictures from the outside...
Dome of St Paul's Cathedral

Testing the close up ¬,¬"

At the entrance of St Paul's Cathedral
I sinned again. You are not supposed to take pictures of the inside. It is generally not permitted, but I didn't actually see the sign. I think their signs need to be a bit bigger or state this on their vouchers / tickets. This next picture I took is before I got told off by a ticket seller not to take any pictures. XD
From the entrance
We walked around a bit, looked at the crypt and it was time to find the entrance to the dome...

If you are fit in general, like going up stairs or mountains, this is the cathedral to go to! There's 257 (or 259) steps going up to the Whispering Gallery... Here's a sneaky picture I took. There are seats at the top, so you can rest easily for the next part of the trip upwards!
From the Whispering Gallery
The next part is the Stone Gallery, there are 376 (or 378) steps between the Whispering Gallery and the Stone Gallery. ¬,¬" My legs were almost dying as we nearly got to the top. I think Miss Rock was actually enjoying it!! As you almost reach the top, there are seats in the stairwell in case you cannot survive the long journey up. You also have to be careful as there are tight spaces. As you reach to the top you will find yourself looking at East Central London, and it looks spectacular!!
From the Stone Gallery

Stone Gallery
The next stage was to climb up 528 steps more to get to the Golden Gallery. Oof!! Thankfully we were stopping in between, as these next steps were on a spiral metal staircase, and there were loads of people in front of us.

Here's a picture of a glass window on the floor looking into St Paul's Cathedral. Wow!!
Peep hole
As you get to the top of the gallery, it isn't lie when they say you will look at a spectacular view of London. It is amazing. Probably better than going up The Shard, and it's cheaper too... I just can't believe Miss Rock and I walked up over 1,000 steps!!! Better than going to the Gym. Hahahahah.
View from the Golden Gallery




Telecom Tower

Miss Rock asked me what that awkward grey building was... No idea!


Speed boat passing by
Now it was time to walk back down. Already sweaty and hot with a runny nose (I had a cold during that week which got worse after this adventure - I was expecting it) I was quite thankful to go back down with a few people going the wrong way upwards. Follow the signs people, follow the signs!!

I took one more sneaky picture of the ceiling... Lots of people were taking sneaky pictures actually... ^_^
Ceiling of the dome from the bottom
And then it was time to exit.

If you're very adventurous, love London, and you loved reading the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (I did!), then this is a must go to tourist site of London!! I really enjoyed it, as it was really spectacular walking around it and finding all the nooks and crannies of the building. I am sure there is much more that hasn't been revealed to the public.

Address: St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
Website: http://www.stpauls.co.uk/ (you can book your tickets online)


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