Having taken a few days off over Easter to unwind, I treated myself to a ticket to The Shard’s viewing platform. I’ve fancied going up for a while. Mainly because (a) I like tall things; (b) I like London; and (c) I like being a tourist. So, armed with my camera, backpack and mini-panoramic guide of the sights, I ascended the 72 floors to the open-air gallery. I didn’t walk, you understand; I took the fastest lift in the universe…travelling at two floors per second! My ears actually popped.
You may have heard me waffle on about The Shard before. It was designed by Renzo Piano and is an architectural wonder. It has completely recast London’s skyline and can been seen from all over the city. Yes, it might be a slick, glass megalithic symbol of the corporate west and represent exactly why I am now struggling to afford a small two-bed flat in my own city. But, setting that aside…it is beautiful. And at a height of over 1,000 feet, it offers spectacular views over London. You can see for up to 40 miles on a clear day. Here are a few snaps…
I’ve waxed lyrical about Greenwich before (see I Heart LDN post), but given it’s one of my very favourite places in the city I thought it only fair it should get an entry all of its own. The recent “heat wave” (easy now, over-zealous weathermen!) provided the perfect opportunity for me to grab my camera and head over. I followed a well-trodden route, starting at the top entrance to the park on Shooter’s Hill Road and making my way to the lookout near the observatory, where I stood for a good hour taking in the view (and eating ice-cream).
Having satisfied myself that London was all present and accounted for, I made my way down through the park, admiring the spring flowers, chasing squirrels, dodging rollerbladers and smiling at happy picnicers, until I reached the National Maritime Museum, in the former home of the Royal Hospital School, and the equally impressive buildings of the Royal Naval College. I wandered around for a while, appreciating the architecture, popped in to the Painted Hall and the Chapel, and waited patiently for tourists to get out of the way of my pictures. If you wait long enough you can get sit in perfect silence admiring how the shadows fall on the columns and how the light dances off the glass. I love it!
Next came the familiar stroll along the riverbank and a quick circumference of the mighty Cutty Sark, before I decided I deserved a banana milkshake and some sushi from the market (yes, the combination works well). I concluded my visit with another pass through the park at dusk – a beautiful time and the colours that day were perfect – before dipping down for a view of the Millennium Dome across the water. Another lovely day in my favourite borough! *Contented sigh*