London :: Day 5

Oh Friday, glorious Friday. We wanted to fit in a few more spots that even I had never been to in London. We headed to St. Paul’s Cathedral first since we missed it the day before on our route.

We headed out of the tube looking up at this massive structure. After entering through the ‘great west doors’, we put on the free audio guides and walked around the entirety of the ground floor listening to commentary and stopping for the hourly prayer by the Anglican priest. We the headed up over 250 steps to a landing where we had a 360 degree view of the city. But we weren’t finished yet. We climbed another 119 steps to a second landing safely enclosed, but to truly test George’s fear of heights, we climbed through the tightest, steepest and shallow staircases to the very tippy top of St. Paul’s for some of the most amazing sights ever. I truly recommend risking your knees and lungs to see the view.

After getting a bit dizzy on the descent, we headed across the street for some good ol’ fashioned hamburgers and fries. It hit the spot, that’s for sure. Accessing the tube, it shuttled us away to Westminster aka the busiest station known to man.

We braved the enormous crowds and leaped, ran and elbowed our way over to Westminster Abbey. It was not as ornate as St. Paul’s but it had such a majestic quality to it. Maybe because many famous faces are buried there or because it was first built in the 11th century. We walked along with our guided headset tour to various rooms, chapels and spaces to hear the stories and then we went to the oldest part of the abbey: chapter house and pyx chamber. These were used by the Benedictine monetary that was housed there for centuries. We also were able on our way out to catch a glimpse of the coronation chair that hasn’t been used since when kids? That’s right, 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. Sorry Charles, doesn’t look like you’ll ever be able to sit in the chair and just have to longingly stare at it like the rest of us.

We exited the abbey and hightailed it for the Churchill War Rooms since it was already 3:30. Once there, we descended down into the bunker and viewed all of the rooms and their uses. Nothing has been changed since they packed up and left in 1945, which is really cool to see all the old maps, furniture and electronic equipment. There is also the Churchill museum there which has several items of his for his childhood until his death. Very cool.

After all of this fun, we attempted to do afternoon tea, but in true fashion, they were beyond snooty and had nothing available. I call lies and we chose a different venue for our afternoon tea on Sunday.

After that whole encounter, I was in a pretty foul mood only to come back to the hostel to discover that someone had stolen or thrown away some snacks and grocery sack. Well, let me tell you, this was just the icing on the cake for me. I know this may sound petty, but after all of that, all I wanted was the comforts of home and my car and my family where people won’t be rude and won’t steal my shit. Then, we met John. John happened to overhear me going on about my day and my general complaints to George. He was apparently friends with the manager, who felt pretty bad about our situation and moved us into a private room for the weekend. It was so nice to have our own space and shower. It definitely changed everything around for me that day.

We made some pizza and had some salad (trying to eat some veggies) and called it a day.

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