The Shard is to me the ‘North Star’ south of the river. If I get lost, it will guide me home from every corner of the city. Since moving to London in 2011, I have been fascinated by the building’s architecture, and the new contrast it brings to the city skyline. But what fascinates me the most is, 'Can I see my London from up there?'
You can imagine my excitement when I was given the opportunity to visit. As I walked down Tooley Street, I wondered what I would be able to see. What about Crystal Palace, or the Olympic Park? Would the view be hidden behind the clouds? Would I have the nerve to go onto the open air platform? Most of all, I was looking forward to discovering what my London would look like from up there.
I entered via a hidden doorway on Joiner Street. The lift was operated by a jolly member of staff who delighted us with facts and stories, as we rocketed up to floor 33 at a rate of six metres a second! There we waited for the second lift, a double decker one, to jolt us from floor 33 up to the viewing platform at level 69. Each lift journey only took 60 seconds.
As I looked out in awe, I was surprised to see workmen cleaning the windows, oddly at ease for people dangling 800ft up in the air. I spent the last 15 minutes searching for my home. I spotted it neatly tucked away amongst the twists and turns of roads and buildings. Finding it truly made my visit.
Natasha H. is a digital marketer at the GLA who loves all things London and tweeting about them! This is her first post for the City Hall blog.