I was on top of London. Literally.
The Shard is known as the tallest building in the European Union, and I climbed it! And I didn’t just half-ass it. I went all the way to the 72nd floor, which just so happens to be the top floor. But what surprised me the most was the sheer speed of the lifts. They seem to travel extremely fast, scaling 33 floors within 3 seconds. But needless to say, this was not the highlight of the visit.
The view was phenomenal. And I couldn’t help to think, how so few have seen London in this unique vantage point. This was my home town. The foggy city on the river.
A little side note: For those who appreciate mathematics, I was curious to know how much ground my eyes were covering at that height before the horizon caught up with the curvature of the Earth. So I used this formula:
As I stood at the 72nd floor, it was simple to find out h as the 72nd floor stands at 244.3 m. Ignoring atmospheric refraction, the distance (d) turns out to be 55.8 km. That is a lot of land covered! To see this visually, I drew up a radius from where the Shard is situated in Southwark.
Ignoring hills and atmospheric refraction, that’s an area of 9781.8 km. That is incredible, isn’t it? If The Shard was situated near Dover, you would be able to see the France from Britain. Yes, you read correctly. The Straight of Calais is 48.3 km, meaning, if The Shard was placed around the docks of Dover, you’ll see approximately 7.5 km of France. Which is quite a lot, considering that you are looking at France whilst still in the UK.
So there you have it, dearest reader. I leave you with a final goodbye, with the sun setting down and glistening on Westminster.
Till next time.