The Shard looms ever present around the streets of Borough, rising 309 metres, seemingly piercing the sky, especially on misty overcast mornings. But on a bright, bright, sunshiny day like today, its blue green glass gleams and shines like something out of the Wizard of Oz, a true ‘Shard of Glass’.
The viewing deck of The Shard at London Bridge costs a dizzyingly high £32 each!
I asked what the cost of the ticket included and was met with a blank stare “the view of course” he said in a ‘fick souf’ London accent, which btw, I can say, ‘cause I am one, init. Needless to say, we didn’t feel compelled to pay the 32 quid, I can think of better ways to spend that kind of money.
Talking of which, the cost of entry into the many blockbuster exhibitions around town including the National Galley, Portrait Gallery and TATE is now £18!
Walking towards Tower Bridge through the glass canyons of London Bridge we circled City Hall. Former Mayor of London and sometime ‘commie’ resident, Ken Livingstone called it ‘the glass testicle’ which I quite like, though I also know it as ‘the onion’, ‘the headlamp’ and ‘the snail’. I like to think of it as ‘the slinky’, coiled up and leaning comically back from the Thames.
Standing under Tower Bridge I’m reminded of a wonderfully silly story that you may have heard of too. Probably untrue, but a giggle anyway. In 1967, a swanky rich American, Robert P. McCulloch, a Missouri-born chainsaw tycoon, paid the Greater London Council $2.5m for what he believed to be Tower Bridge, the far more striking and iconic bridge on the Thames. He then spent some $7m more to have ‘London Bridge’ dismantled, the blocks numbered, trimmed to size and lugged across the Atlantic. It now sits in the channel between Thompson Bay and Lake Havasu in Arizona.
Did McCulloch buy the wrong bridge? Who knows, but here we are today standing underneath possibly the most iconic city bridge in the world.