This weekend we had a slightly different visit to London. Instead of the usual shopping (although we still managed to do a bit of that !) we visited the Shard. At 1,016 feet high it is currently the tallest building in the European Union (although the planned Hermitage Plaza building in the La Defense area of Paris, scheduled to open in 2019, will surpass the Shard by 67 feet).
There are 72 ‘habitable’ floors with a further 5 floors of the spire on the top of the building. Prestigious offices take up the lower floors, restaurants on floors 31 – 33, a hotel on floors 34 – 52, apartments on floors 53 – 65 and the observation floors of 68 – 72 where we had a wander around. (more…)
As a birthday treat for a friend, we hired a narrowboat for the day. What a great time we had and a fantastic introduction to the world of the Inland Waterways ! We had already experienced some of what the canal system has to offer by using various towpaths to cycle along and enjoy a different world, a secret network in the heart of Birmingham and the surrounding countryside. It’s quite odd to pass under a bridge on the canal to realise where that is and what road is going over the canal. We had two tunnels on the day – Shortwood and Tardebigg, but no locks to negotiate. That we will leave until another outing!
There is definitely something restful about chugging along at 4mph on a canal. It didn’t matter that the weather wasn’t great, at least it was dry and relatively warm.
Trouble is now, I’m hooked! I’m already looking at the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman course as I’d like to learn more.