So, we went to London for the Open House bonanza. Gal was skipping when I got into town, told me that the queue for the Gherkin was 5 hours long, told me that we had priority passes as she'd spent the day volunteering. Whooped. Joy.
We looked through the book on Saturday evening. Noticed that a lot of the sites were only open on Saturday. Decided that we'd aim for the big one and then see where our little legs carried us.
Sunday morning, up with the larks and onto a bussy bus bus. Bloody hell - that queue was massive, and yes, the notion of flashing a green badge and being just let in seemed a little unfair. But we did it anyhow.
SM's obvious observations No.1 - It's very high up.
Yes, I could show you a pic of the buildings below us, but lets face it, you've already seen it. It's a lovely building - it's newness seeming amplified by the fact that the bits we're allowed to see are pretty much empty. The top floor (the 40th) is little more than a viewing gallery. We subsequently get taken down to the 17th floor which will one day be inhabited by rows and rows of desks, but which is currently given over to models and specification charts. If it wasn't for the view, it could be an empty office anywhere in the country.
But it was a great view, and I'm glad we got the chance to see it.
We goofed around London after that. We went to say hello to the Queen, saw an old church, traipsed through a few London parks, shouted at security and spent far too long on a bus going nowhere.
We did pop up to the Wellington Arch, nr Hyde Park Corner. It's history was far more convoluted and involved than that of the new building, but after the heights of the tower, the view couldn't really hope to compare.