Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Big Day Out

Friday was a day for lots of walking. From my usual stop at Fenchurch Street station (near Tower Hill) I walked to the Bank of England. I took a slight detour through Leadenhall Market which is a beautiful old arcade, made up mostly of cafes, bars and restaurants. By the time I got there it was lunch time and chockers with suits on their lunch breaks.

Then it was time for St Paul's Cathedral.

Obviously there were no photos allowed inside so the exteriors will have to suffice. I spent hours inside - by the time I left it was getting dark outside. I'm far from a religious person but you can't help but feel the atmosphere once your inside. The interior is beautiful. I never realised the images on the ceilings were mosaics; I always assumed they were paintings. The uppermost dome is painted though because when it was being commissioned they felt mosiacs would have been too 'Catholic'. I also didn't know that the dome we see on the London skyline is not the dome we see from the inside. There are two structures on top of each other.

It completely baffles me as to how they managed to do all those mosaics and paintings, the carvings too. They are so intricate and delicate and beautiful.

I underestimated just how high the ceilings were until I got up to the Whispering Gallery. As cool as the novelty of being able to whisper against the wall and someone on the other side of the gallery hearing you is, the walkway is very narrow and looking through the narrow bars of the hand rail is very unnerving. Needless to say I didn't stay long. I then took some very narrow and very steep stairs up to the Stone Gallery. The view from the Stone Gallery looks something like this...
It's a shame there were renos happening.
Not the most exciting photo but this is the, rather famous, Millenium Bridge. The building behind it is the Tate Modern Gallery
Crazy uni kids protesting something or other (there are considerably fewer tents than when we walked past on New Years)

After finally dragging myself of way from the Cathedral I headed over to the Tate Modern which meant adventuring over the Millenium bridge, which has a view like this...

I had very good intentions of visiting the Tate Modern but by the time I got there I was starving so I decided to look for somewhere to eat and then I just kept walking. I walked all the way along the south bank, past the eye and all the theatres, across the bridge and past the Big Ben. This is what I saw...

I ended up walking all the way back down past Somerset House before hoping on the tube and heading home. It was a very long day with lots of walking but definitely worth it.


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