1. St. Paul’s Cathedral
We started off our third and last day of site seeing in London by going to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Inside was of course gorgeous but we wanted to walk up to the top of the dome. The dome was not open right away so we had to wait but it was well worth it for the view we got once we climbed a few hundred steps. The dome stands at about 365 feet above the solid ground (yikes) and though we were not at he very top we were still very high. The second picture shows me with the amazing view we had of London.
2. Globe Theater
Next we got a tour of the Globe Theater and had a fantastic tour guide. The Globe Theater is not the original theater that was built in Shakespeare’s time but is a full size recreation of that theater using authentic materials such as the thatched roof. The pillars on the stage appear to be made of gold or marble but are each one is actually made from the entire trunk of an oak tree. We were able to stand in the pit next to the stage where the poor viewers would have watched the show. After than we sat in the seats that the Queen sits in when she come to see a show. Since it is an open air theater they only perform shows during the summer. They were currently practicing for The Merchant of Venice which they will perform for students in the London area.
3. HMS Belfast
Next we explored the nine decks of the HMS Belfast which was a British warship that saw action during WWII. The ship was used as part of the D-Day invasion. I have concluded I am too claustrophobic to ever have to live aboard the HMS Belfast. I was however very interesting to kitchen, hospital room, and where the soldiers would have slept. It was strange because many of the rooms still had a distinct smell even after all these years. Also I can only image how cold it would have been in the wind on one of the top decks during winter. I was chilly up there and it was a pretty nice day in London.
4. London Bridge Experience
Finally we went through the London Bridge Experience which was very different from anything else we did during our travels. It was informative about the each of the bridges that were built over the Thames River and then fell down. However the story of the bridges was told by actors in a haunted house manner. The story emphasized the heads of traitors that were displayed on the London Bridge as a warning to other to be loyal to Britain. We were also told not to wander outside late at night because more victims of Jack the Ripper had been found. One thing I found the most interesting is that in the Tudor era the bridge had 200 buildings on it including shops and homes and was so crowded that it could take nearly an hour to cross it. The bridge also began to slow the flow of the Thames River which uncharacteristically froze.