Sunday, 8 September 2013

Oh, London Town!

I've had the last week off work - perfectly timed to coincide with what hopefully isn't (but probably is) the last week of amazing summer weather. I thought I'd share a few snippets of what I've been up to - it's so easy to just let life get in the way and to ignore all the weird and wonderful things going on in a big city. I've been making the most of being outside in the sunshine and storing up some summer memories to look back on during the dark, cold days that are coming all too soon.

Up At The 02.
I visited the 02 a few months ago and saw some tiny figures walking across the dome and just knew I had to give it a go one day. I added it to my "birthday list" and was thrilled when my friend wanted to do it too and bought it for me for my birthday. This probably isn't one for those of you with a fear of heights! I love heights but did have to conquer my fear of wearing trousers for this by digging out a pair of leggings from the depths of my wardrobe. A wise move as you are required to wear a safety harness and there can be strong winds at the top...

The ascent and descent up the sides of the dome are quite steep and the walkway is made of a springy fabric, the same as the white material the dome is comprised of. A guide accompanies you on your "climb" and tells you facts about the building and the views from the "summit". At the top you can see Canary Wharf, the Olympic Park and the planes landing at London City Airport which appear scarily close to the yellow spokes of the dome. It was so hot that a haze covered most of London so the views were not as good as they might have been but its more about the experience and feeling like an intrepid climber for an hour. An exhilarating experience with just the right amount of adventurousness for someone like me who finds cycling on the road scary, definitely worth wearing "sensible" clothing for.

Walkie Talkie Scorchie.
When I heard on the news that a London skyscraper was melting cars, it made complete sense to head to the site of the "death ray" on the hottest day of the week. I am not a science expert but the curved shape of the "Walkie Talkie" building in the City of London is concentrating the sun's rays on a small area of the street on Eastcheap and has been melting cars and frying eggs in its glare.

I was not the only one with the idea of checking this out - a huge crowd of City workers on their lunchbreaks, news reporters, photographers and a man with a giant thermometer had assembled to see what all the fuss was about. I managed to stand in the reflected glow for about 3 seconds to take a photo before I am certain that I could feel my hair burning in the heat. The thermometer showed 50 degrees so it could have been a quick way to tan. The best part: Londoners from all walks of life were chatting away to one another, brought together by an accident of building design and sunlight - a brief but welcome interlude in the London way of making absolutely no eye contact with anyone whatsoever.

What have you been discovering in your city lately?
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6 comments

  1. You are so brave to go on top of the o2, I'm not too bad with heights but I don't think I could have managed that! After realising that we have had city breaks to several European places but not a proper break in London, we are thinking of planning a trip soon :-)

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  2. The o2 is on my list Lily - I keep hinting to Connor!
    Sophie
    x

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  3. That O2 walk looks amazing and I bet the views are spectacular! It's definitely on my to-do list! Hopefully I'm not afraid of heights! x

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  4. I've wanted to do the walk up the o2 for ages, but had no one to do it with. Glad it's as amazing as expected.

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  5. Oh wow, this sounds INSANE. I absolutely hate heights so I would hate it but it would be an amazing view!

    Maria xxx

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  6. Sounds like a great week. I bet the view on top of the O2 was amazing!

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