The Shard with its 72 floors and its tapered tip, pretty much dominates the skyline now and during my walk from my home in Battersea to its home in London Bridge, it kept popping back in and out of my sight.
The tickets are all timed so I had to wait a little bit when I got there. But after only a short wait in the queue outside, me and some 30 odd other visitors were smoothly guided through the security check and on into the lifts. The way up happens in two stages; two lifts take you up there, each ride taking only 25 seconds. For the geeks: That's a speed of roughly 6 floors per second. You wouldn't even know you're going up if it wasn't for your popping ears.
Even though there were quite a few people on the observation deck, there was something peaceful about standing up there: Towering 96 floors over the little black cabs, tiny red buses and Londoners going about there business like ants made me feel quite heavenly. Up there the wailing sirens, honking car horns and other street noises are out of reach and replaced by loungy music playing in the back ground. Mesmerised as I was trying to spot my house over in Battersea, I didn't even realise I was crashing someone's marriage proposal. Oops.
For tickets, click here