Five-hundred twenty eight.
That’s the number of stairs that lead up to the Golden Gallery of St. Paul’s Cathedral. That is the feat we chose to accomplish on day two of our London adventure.
The previous evening, my dad had safely made it back from his trip to Wales to meet my mom, sister, and me at our friends’ house. We decided the following morning we would tackle St. Paul’s and then make our way to see Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey.
Now, we didn’t know there would be 528 stairs we would have to climb, and we definitely didn’t know how much those stairs would narrow the further up we climbed. But once you’ve made the decision to keep going, there’s no turning back. Seriously, you can’t turn back. There’s a whole other way you have to go to get back down from the Golden Gallery.
There are three conclusions I made from the whole experience:
- Don’t do this if you’re claustrophobic. (I’m not, but just saying, if you are, probably not a wise move.)
- The people who built this amazing thing were both insane and genius.
- Making it to the top is totally worth it. I’ve never been on the London Eye, but I can’t imagine a view of the city better than this one.
After making our way around the Gallery and back down all 528 stairs, the rest of the day was filled with an unplanned walk through Southbank along the River Thames and introducing Kathryn to London’s major architectural icons.
But first! The most touristy London picture had to be taken:
Southbank was teeming with people and performers along the river (my favorite pictured to the left: she was singing “Chandelier” by Sia and was absolutely killing it!).
We passed the Eye and walked across a bridge toward Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey, all of which never fail to amaze me. Each one is so iconic – even the Eye, in all its 15-year-old glory. In my opinion, simply seeing these things in person is bucket-list worthy.
As we made our way by Westminster Abbey, my mom and I reminisced on the royal wedding (watching it on TV means we were pretty much there, so…), and from there, we hopped on a bus to return to our friends’ house for dinner, excited for what the next day would hold.
Stay tuned for day 3…