The night before I flew home for Christmas my friend Jen and I popped to Stratford for a trip up to the top of the Arcelomittal Orbit structure. Or as I like to call it, that red wiggly thing near Stratford.
A deal had popped up on Groupon for discounted entry with a glass of prosecco and neither of us had actually made the time to go up it despite it being so close to where we live.
Created by sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor and designer Cecil Balmond from 2000 tonnes of steel it weighs as much as 265 double-decker buses. The Orbit is the UK’s tallest art sculpture at 80m and was a brilliant symbol for the 2012 olympic games.
As we waited underneath the canopy for the next lift we were told that in daylight you can see right up through the centre to the sky towards which you are whisked by the very fast elevators which deposit you at the top viewing platform where we collected our prosecco.
Being Winter it was dark before we even got there which meant that we wouldn’t be able to see as far as you would in the daytime but that didn’t make the views any less spectacular.
Unfortunately, despite having never had a fear of heights before in my life, my legs went to jelly any time I went near the fenced areas so I didn’t get very many non-blurry pics. It was honestly the strangest sensation that I’ve only ever had crossing bridges with no solid sides. Yes, my fears are as weird as I am!
Nonetheless I really loved it up there! What was extra cool was the giant iPad type things they had on the lower observation deck which allowed you to see the 360° view in both daylight and darkness to help you match up some of your favourite landmarks like the O2!
I really don’t think the views that you get in London can be rivalled by any other city in the world with the exception perhaps on New York! Although believe it or not this bad boy is actually 22 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty.
We finished supping our prosecco and decided to brave the 455 stairs it takes to walk down to the bottom rather than take the life. Be warned, once you start to descend there’s no changing your mind unless you want to head all the way back up again!
My legs were a bit wobbly by the time my feet touched solid ground once more. Like after a particularly hard workout at the gym (ha!) and I had to have a sit down in the gift shop before heading home to finish packing. Those views were the perfect way to end 2014 and reminded me just some of the reasons why I still love London so much.