Thursday, September 13, 2007

Southwark Church and St Paul's Cathedral

Today was a little different from my first few days in London.

First of all, I got out of bed before 8am. Now that was a common occurance for Mexico, in fact it was rare I was still in bed that time, but since I've arrived in the UK that has certainly changed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm awake at about 7.30am, but decide that the first hour or so of the day should be spent thinking about how good it is not to have to be at work and whether I should get up or just spend all day lying down.

Hate me? Well don't. I spent all day yesterday working on a resume (from bed of course, god bless the laptop) and will start applying for jobs soon. But, instead of being in a warm climate enjoying Christmas, i'll be in freezing England working.

Feel better? Good.

I got off the tube at the London Bridge Station and wandered up into the street having no idea where I was and no idea where I was going.

I noticed a bit of a tower with a clock, so I thought I'd wander over and check that out (no, it wasn't Big Ben, that's for another adventure).

I wandered in and found an amazing Cathedral, Southwark. There were 30 or 40 panels in the floor, large coffin sized panels, which read "Here lay ..................... dyed .............". It made it really difficult to walk around the place without feeling bad. I'm not entirely sure if they are actually under the floor, but I did a quick "Our Father" before leaving just in case.

This place was quite big and had a lot of things to it. It has an area around the side which is dug up a few metres down. It reveals an old Roman road (or so it says) and several walls that had been built at different times throughout the life of the place.

Inside the architecture was simply amazing (holly if you haven't been you really should). It's hard to convey much more into words, so as usual here are some photo's that will give you a glimpse of how beautiful it was........ and if I've got my act together you can check out some video as well (unlikely at the moment though)

From here I walked on in search of my next big sight. I walked along the river up towards the Millennium Bridge.

When the bridge was opened they realised a few days later that it had somewhat of a dramatic sway, and as a conciquence they closed the bridge for further development.

The bridge itself is nothing special, except for the fact that at one end you have the Tate Modern, and at the other you have St Paul's Cathedral (funeral for Lord Nelson, Winston Churchhill, someone else really important that I'm forgetting aahhhhhh it's the Duke of Wellington, and Dianna's Wedding ..... sorry Roland).

I have a couple of photo's of the outside, and took a few of the skyline from the Golden and Stone Gardens. Unfortunately there is no filming or photo's allowed inside St Paul's (yes before you say it, they were allowed at the place I went to before here) so all you have is my descriptions.

Unfortunately, I can not put in to words the beauty of the place. Imagine a place that is so amazing that at a time where religion struggled, the St Paul's thrived, when London burnt down, St Paul's was rebuilt even more beautiful, when England was being bombed in WWII, the order was to protect St Paul's at all costs necessary.

So strong is this building to the English people that it still remains the primary figure in London's Sky LIne, and however grand you believe it is from any position outside it ten folds that from within.

The one hundred sixty three steps to the Whispering Gallery (where a whisper spoken into the wall can be heard 30 meter's on the other side), the further one hundred and nineteen steps to the Stone Gallery, and the final one hundred and fifty two steps to the Golden Gallery are more then worth the effort (although be warned that your legs will shake a little on the way down, good for Elvis impressions though).

Here are a few photo's that I got from the Stone and Golden Galleries.

There's heaps to do here, so give yourself a couple of hours. I spent about 2.5 hours and used the audio tour provided (3 pound 50) and didn't see as much as I could have, and pretty much rushed the Crypt (the area underneath the floor of the Cathedral).

If I go back I'll wait for the guided tour, which allows you in to some area's that are otherwise roped off. The guided tour is the same as the audio, except you can ask questions but you don't get the atmosphere that the audio tour provides. Actually, just do both.

At one stage during my tour I was on the Stone Gallery and Jusso called, he asked if I was speaking on the mobile phone inside of the church but I told him not to worry, to make sure I didn't do anything wrong I pretended that Lambo was standing next to me the whole time. Cheers cudry, you got me through without incident.

Next up will be the National Museum, a few Di Vinci's to be seen.


Emily said...

Does it snow in London? Christmas will defo be worth it if it snows. Alas, I haven't seen a white christmas in about 5 years, global warming is putting a stop to that. I absolutely hate the cold in Britain, I have to wear about six layers when it gets to january/february time. Hawaii was perfect weather for my tastes.

Birdman said...

I'm not sure if they get snow in London during Christmas, but I'm sure it does at some stage.

It's just starting to rain and get a bit colder now, but off to Ireland tomorrow for even colder weather, then to Germany where it'll be even colder.