Our final day in London started off by catching up with a friend for breakfast and then a train ride to the Millennium Dome (again). This time we were going to go to the top of the dome via the ‘Up at the O2’ attraction. After a quick debrief from our tour guide, we donned some overalls and a harness and set off.
To get to the top of the dome, a blue walkway had been suspended a couple of metres above the roof so you weren’t actually walking on the top of the structure. As the walkway was suspended, there was a bit of bounce to it but it was fairly easy to walk up. It was even wheelchair accessible.
As we were walking up (whilst clipped on with some shiny climbing gear), there were good views of London along the river. At the halfway point, we stopped to witness a commotion happening down below. A fire had started in a fenced off building site and we could hear fire engines screaming to get there to put it out. However, the fire brigade couldn’t get close to it as there was an army of caravans blocking their way. I asked our guide if this was part of the tour but he admitted that the travellers were not there yesterday. He was amazed at how much rubbish they had managed to amass overnight. Eventually, we watched the fire brigade walk their hose around the caravans and put out the burning pile.
We reached the top and took in the 360° view. As I’d mentioned before in London Baby! [part 2], there was a lot of building work happening around the O2 arena and as a result, the view of the River Thames and London from the top was diminishing and being replaced by multi-storey hotels and office blocks. Our guide told us that the view had changed quite a bit since the walkway had opened back in 2012 and it was still continuing to evolve.
After taking in the view for a bit and reading the panoramic information boards, our tour guide got us all to gather round. “Before we head back down, there’s just one more thing I need to tell you – it’s somebody’s birthday today, where’s Liam?” I raised an eyebrow and then my hand.
“Happy birthday Liam!” he said with a smile and then he and the rest of the group proceeded to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.
After the tour was over, we travelled back across the river via the Emirates Skyline again. This time, there was a video guide running telling us about the sights along the river as well as reminding us that the Emirates Air Line was funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
As we headed back into the city, I left Daisy and her mum to do some shopping and headed over to the Victoria and Albert Museum – there was a Pink Floyd exhibition I had to get to.
‘Their Mortal Remains’ was £20 to enter, and £20 well spent! I spent hours in there walking around and reading about the band’s history. It was wonderfully complemented by an audio guide which played their music as you walked round. The exhibition included an array of memorabilia, including inflatables from their concerts, parts of the wall and a mock up of Battersea Power Station and their infamous pig. It’s on until 1st October, if you like Pink Floyd go and check it out. The gift shop is pretty impressive too.
Finally, another weekend in London was over and it was time to catch the train back ‘up north’. I love London, there’s always something to see and do; great places to eat and drink and many friends to explore it with. I probably couldn’t live there though, it’s far too expensive! Plus, where would I park my Lotus?!