Friday, April 13, 2012

Tower Climb

The National Cathedral opened for the first time since the August 2011 earthquake hit DC and I wasn't going to miss it! Climbing to the top of this amazing building has been on my bucket list since moving to DC 2 years ago. When I heard that the earthquake damaged this building and the Washington Monument I knew I wouldn't have the opportunity to do this for a really long time and I was pretty sad. If you know me at all, you know I read a million and 5 blogs, and found out for one day and one day only, they were offering tickets for the Tower Climb.

For $18 I could register my spot to take part in something so rare (the next one they were doing isn't until September). So I showed up and climbed the 333 stairs up winding passage ways, spiral staircases, and several doorways straight to the top. Too bad it was rainy and super super super foggy, because it really did obstruct the beautiful would-be view. At the top, we got to climb out onto these ledges and peer over the top. I wont lie, this scared the shit out of me and once while I climbed up the open aired spiral staircase I did get a tad bit scared. I'm usually not scared of heights but I guess it got the better of me that day. Oh well, I still had an amazing time.

Above one doorways, the guide pointed out a few rows of old wine bottles. According to this article, "The boozy collection was built over five decades of new year's celebrations by the cathedral's stonemasons, whom every December 31 from 1959 to 2000 would empty a bottle of bubbly and keep it for posterity." It was pretty awesome to see. And the guide said that it just happened that the lead caretaker installed thin wires to hold the glasses in place about a week before the earthquake. Doing this saved the decades old wine bottles. How cool is that?

We got to hear and see a demonstration of them ringing the bells. They said the bells weigh in range of just a few pounds to one that is 3,000 pounds heavy. Whoa!

Here are some of the pictures I took that day:

This was a sign dedicate to those who signed the Declaration of
Independence. I'm related to the George Clymer guy.

Pretty stained glass windows all over the place

Statue of Abe Lincoln

Beautiful view from the top

Too bad it was so foggy, we should have been able to see for miles

Some of the bells in the tower

We were able to climb out the windows onto these ledges.
I wont lie, I was scared as shit.

Some carvings

Some of the bell ringers

These were some of the alcohol bottles left over by the Masons

This is one of the original depictions of what the church would look like

No comments:

Post a Comment