Thursday, May 24, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP, DAY 2, PART 1: St. Paul's Cathedral

Tom at St. Paul's Cathedral
On the second cloudy, cold and rainy day of our vacation, we visited St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
  - We did have a mis-adventure on the London "Tube" (Subway) because one station was linked to 4 others underground, and we got seriously confused!
     Some history for you about St. Paul's, courtesy of The present St Paul's is the fifth cathedral to have stood on the site since 604, and was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. This was the first cathedral to be built after the English Reformation in the sixteenth century, when Henry VIII removed the Church of England from the jurisdiction of the Pope and the Crown took control of the Church's life.  Recently Queen Elizabeth II has celebrated her jubilees at St Paul's , and also her 80th birthday in 2006.

View of London from the top of St. Paul's Cathedral

Tom and Rob atop the Cathedral

Another View of London from the top of the Cathedral
 TICKET TAKER- Although England recognizes gay married couples more than the U.S.  does, the ticket window for the cathedral tour didn't. A family (husband and wife) ticket was about $7.50 less (5 pounds). I asked for the family ticket and the ticket taker (a man) said, "I'm sorry, but unfortunately, the church won't recognize your family - but you'd think that God would." I appreciated his acknowledgment.

 The Cathedral is huge as you can imagine, and elaborate. It's obviously loaded with things that only vast riches can buy.  Lady Diana married Prince Charles in this Cathedral.
   WALK TO THE TOP- Visitors can walk to the top of the cathedral (we did - see photo), and go further to the top of the dome. However, because of Rob's fear of heights and the stairs had no front panels (you could see through them), Rob couldn't go up further. 
  ROB'S GHOSTLY ENCOUNTER - You Know that a Cathedral as old as this,and filled with this much emotion over time is bound to have an earth-bound ghost lingering in it, who didn't want to leave when they died. It does.
  As we were walking near the confessionals in the church, Rob got a headache and sensed a priest/minister. Rob heard "Jonathan," perhaps Father Jonathan. The ghost was bald, and had a beard. In addition to the priest there were a couple of other ghosts in the church, but hard to get a bead on, because there are so many living visitors in the church, that are creating like a "white noise" and blocking out signals.

 CONFIRMATION!  REPUTED GHOST - The says that the Cathedral is haunted by the  ghost of an elderly clergyman, who is accompanied by a high-pitched, tuneless whistling sound. He's known to haunt All Souls' Chapel, at the cathedral’s west end, on the ground floor of the northwest tower.
 DOUBLE CONFIRMATION! - Later on the trip, we went on a personal ghost walk with Richard Jones, who authored several ghost books. Richard confirmed my description of the ghost was EXACTLY how the ghostly priest appeared to a docent in the Cathedral!

THE OTHER GHOSTS - So, what of the other ghosts I (Rob) sensed? Well, some of them sensed my disgust for the church's stand against gay people, so they decided to make me feel nauseous. Not a very nice thing to do, but hey, they're ghosts. They also made me start gasping for breath and that's when I told Tom we needed to get out of there. I find it incredibly ironic that people who loved a church would opt to stay in it as an Earth-bound ghost, than cross over and go to "Heaven." Perhaps they're afraid they'll be disappointed when they get to the other side, and realize that their intolerance is something they're going to have to atone for... and they'd be 100 percent correct. The cathedral was impressive, but its the kind of thing you see once and don't have to see again. I'm certainly not going back with the ghostly reception I received.

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next