The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark, London that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. Visiting one of the tallest towers in the EU is quite an experience, and the euphoria and buzz double when it is visited at night time. The twinkling and vividly enlightened structures are quite overwhelming to see from almost 1000 metres above sea level – a real bird’s eye view.
A friend and I visited The Shard the other week. As we approached the building, which can be noticed from afar because of its conspicuous tall shape, I actually realised it is much taller than my previous perception of it led me to believe. We arrived at the entrance of The Shard with our pre-booked tickets and waited in the queue to get checked by the security personnel. The check was so precise and scrupulous that we had to take off our winter clothes. As we got through the check post, the security personnel took our photos that would be returned to us upon exit.
This high-rise tower has two ultra-speed lifts that take visitors up very quickly. As we got into the first lift from the first floor, we did not even realise how quick it was going up! It took only a few seconds and we were at the 33rd floor. To our sheer surprise, we did not feel dizzy or uncomfortable as we were lifted sharply. As it was a two-way lift, we got down from the other side and subsequently taking a short walk, got into the second lift that took us to the 68th floor at the drop of a hat.
The speed of the second lift was seemingly quicker than that of the first one. As I expressed my surprise at the speed of the second lift, my friend suggested that it may be because there is less gravity at the higher place. As we reached the 68th floor of the skyscraper, I was trembling with excitement thinking of how beautiful and majestic the night view would be from the top of this building. We had to climb four more floors to get to the view gallery on the 72th floor. As the gallery floor was open to the skies above, it was full of air, commotion, and the cheerful sounds of the visitors. They were taking pictures with the backdrop of the eye catching beautiful scenarios behind them.
This deck is special as all the beautiful architectural structures can be seen from this place. The Thames River snakes through central London. Other things include London Tower Bridge, the London Eye, a very big wheel, rotating at the bank of the Thames, the Gherkin – an oval shape building, and all the glittering lights coming off the surroundings.
After soaking up the beauty of night-time London, we took a turn to the souvenir shops located at the downstairs deck. A miniature figure of The Shard and other things were the foremost choice of the visitors. We bought some souvenirs before we left. It was quite an experience!