The other night I went on a great trek through the city. Starting with a choir service at St Paul’s I was treated to a little spirituality before I embarked on a journey that would ultimately lead me to Battersea.
The last time I was at St Paul’s, I must have been around 8. It was a school trip where we got to do the obligatory crayon tracings on copper plaques, as well as a treasure hunt of dead royals through the crypts. But one great adventure was to go to the top of the dome and see up-close all the fantastic paintings and golden markings. It reminds me of an old urban myth my Dad tells whenever we discuss St Paul’s, about how Sir Christopher Wren designed the building with less pillars. Subsequently, no one believed Wren when he said the building would stand without these extra pillars, so he was made to put them in. However, years later it's said that when some maintenance work was carried out they found that the pillars where in fact too short, and weren’t holding up the structure at all! No idea if this is true, but it makes a great story to tell tourists.
Anyhow, back to my journey, which then took me past Ludgate Circus, up Fleet Street, along the Strand, through Trafalgar Square, up the Mall, past the seemingly deserted Buckingham Place, down to Westminster, past Parliament, up Whitehall and past Downing Street. A bit of a trek then, stopping for a few real London ales along the way, I was giving a German friend of mine a little taste of the city's sites whilst avoiding the tube. I like to think I was giving myself a bit of a tour also. It's not often we really stop and take a look at our surroundings. Usually I'm marching through the streets at breakneck speed, dodging free papers & what not whilst trying not to get hit by a bus. But taking the time out to whisper through the roads we walk is always worth it. It can clear the head.