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Published: December 28th 2013
My kind parents-in-law had purchased the tickets to the Shard for the last year’s Christmas present. Mark booked the date for us to visit there at 11 o’clock on 20 September quoting the reference number.
The Shard was built last year and was opened to the public earlier this year. The height of the Shard is 244m, and located aright of London Bridge station. We arrived slightly earlier than the scheduled time. We looked at the fares of the entrance tickets, i.e. £29.95 for the person who books the time on the day or 24 hours advance, £24.95 for the online booking, and £100 for the immediate entrance!?!, and free entry for infants up to 3 years old. At 10:45, one of the ushers came and let us enter the building. We were asked to go through the security check and show the contents of the bags and pockets.
We were invited to get on the high speed lift twice towards the 69th floor. Mark commented that these lifts were as fast as the ones he got on the lifts in Tokyo.
We went to the observatory on the 69th floor, and overlooked London’s
landmarks, e.g. Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St Paul Cathedral, London Eye, Big Ben & Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Canary Wharf financial districts, Olympic stadium, Millennium Bridge, Hungerford footbridge, British Telecom, to name just a few. We walked up to the 72 floor. The fine weather allowed us to see the buildings further. We spotted the Wembly stadium and Alexandra Palace. There were quite a few tourists when we were in the Shard and they seemed to be enjoying the sight from London’s highest building. I had heard there has been a restaurant opened on the 69th floor, but we didn’t go there, as we guessed it would be very expensive. We popped in the gift shop. There were a number of architecture books, postcards, mugs, stationery items, and T-shirts associated with the Shard. I bought a card priced £2.50, and wrote letter to my mother. Finally, I popped in the toilet on the 69th floor. It offered an amazing view from the glassed panel on the toilet cubicle as well. I could see London’s landmarks, modern buildings, and brick houses along the Thames like the views from the observatory on the 69th and 72
I talked about the visit to the Shard to all of my Oxfam colleagues and my parents-in-law and showed them photos. It was a great experience to visit to the Shard, however, I prefer to walking up to Alexandra Palace or Parliament Hill or Hampstead Heath and seeing views from those places.
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