Continuing in my quest to finally tick off some of London’s must sees, today I visited St. Paul’s with our Lithuanian lodger.
Having begrudgingly parted with £8 (although I suppose all that restoration has to be paid for somehow) I was suitably impressed by the interior and once this had been inspected it was time to ascend. Fortunately, I had by now learnt the Lithuanian’s name which meant I was free to enjoy the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery which allows one’s whisper to sweep around the wall of the interior dome and into the ear of someone stood 32 metres away.
“Ummmm. So, you can hear me?”
“Jolly good, it’s still working then.”
Having got to grips with my fear of spiral staircases last week at Monument, I was finding those of St Paul’s no problem and made my way up to the Stone Gallery with ease. Feeling pleased with myself, I was eager to push on up to the Golden Gallery, at 85m (280 feet) the Cathedral’s highest accessible point without the use of climbing gear. However, I hadn’t really given much thought to the fact that the building was getting much narrower up here and this inevitably would lead to tighter and steeper spiral staircases, and was thus dismayed to be faced with exactly such a prospect, and a fairly rickety one at that. I stayed strong though.
Up top, it was a bit too crammed for my liking, and the tourists up there all seemed to hail from parts of the world where pushing is de rigueur. Now, call me cowardly if you will, but no, I don’t care how safe it is, I don’t dig being pushed about when I’m this high up. Whilst up there, I was highly irritated to see a pair of Italian schoolgirls scrawling some graffiti on the wall. It’s the likes of them making the likes of me pay eight quid to get in here. Had I not been concentrating on gripping onto a rail so steadfastly I might have said something.
5 weeks ago