We toured St. Paul’s and went to the top! FOR FREE! My friend Charlie an her mom met a guy a year or so ago at a hotel in the States, and he told them he worked at St. Paul’s. When they found out they were both in London, he offered to give her and a few of her friends a free exclusive tour, seeing things the general public isn’t allowed to, and take us to the top. I was one of the lucky people who got to go, and the cathedral was absolutely stunning from the moment we walked in. He showed us around the floor level of the church, pointing out meanings of stained glass windows, spiting out facts about the materials used to build the massive building, and even brought photos of damage bombs did to the monument during World War II. Then he took us into the places the public can’t go, and it was like we were in a movie investigating a crime; he took us through cobweb secret stairways with doors a foot shorter than me on either end and just wide enough for my shoulders, inside the ceiling so that we walked beside two of the domes, a room with piles of stones from past versions of the cathedral (which we got to TOUCH) and even to an enclosed section of the roof. It was incredible to peer through the high stained glass window looking down into to the church rather than being inside three stories down looking up. He also had the key to the room which holds the original model of the cathedral presented to the king for review centuries ago. At the time, it cost the equivalent of a house today to build and was made completely out of wood. He trusted us not to touch it (which we didn’t) and pointed out fun facts on the huge model, which the public only gets to see photographs of. We then started our climb to the top – and believe me when I say the number of stairs we had to climb was insane – he took us up the staircase that Warner Bro’s. used to film a scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (the one where Luna yells at Harry to stop and listen to her as he’s running up to the Ravenclaw common room searching for the diadem), so naturally I freaked out. I got to stand where they stood to film! It was crazy. The top of the cathedral showed the most amazing view of the city, and according to our tour guide it’s even better than the London Eye. I’m going to trust him on that one, since the Eye will be closed the whole time we are here and I don’t want to believe I’m missing out. We took photos at sunset, which felt magical, and that concluded our three hour personal tour of St. Paul’s.