The Shard is the latest addition to the London skyline, the tallest building by far.
You can go to the top now – 72 floors at the max. Costs you £25, which is a bit steep, but it’s worth it. The views of London are immense.
I went there with my good friends Jon, Dave and Tony on a day off on Friday, 15 March. We watched the Cheltenham races in the afternoon, but in the morning had an excellent breakfast at Roast in Borough Market and then went on to the Shard. Built with Qatari money, meant to be part office, part hotel, and part swish apartments (suitable for the resource-rich oligarch). Still a way to go in securing the inhabitants, but the viewing facility now established.
You take two lifts to the top. The first, to floor 36, gets you there in an amazingly quick time. Someone said six floors per second. Not sure it was quite that, but it was extraordinary. How do any wires pull you up that quickly? Then it was up to floor 68. That was the first viewing gallery, indoors. And then you could walk up to floor 72, which was outdoors, but still had a glass frontage, so the only difference to 68 was the breeze. Cold in this wintry march we are experiencing.
When you get to the top – 68 or 72 doesn’t really matter – it’s one of those moments when you feel a childlike sense of awe and fun. Where’s the London Eye? Can you see the Olympic Stadium? Oh, there’s the Millennium Bridge. Is that Wembley in the cloudy distance?
All London is before you.
Here are some photos. Shot through the windows, so a bit opaque, with some reflections too. But you’ll get the sense.
London. My City.
The Shard. A fantastic addition.