Open Government

We finally made it. Our visit to London coincided with one of of City Hall’s open weekends.

First stop: ninth floor balcony for panoramic views of the London skyline. I’ve noticed that my embarrassing vertigo doesn’t affect me at this kind of height. How ridiculous to feel sick and dizzy on the third or fourth floor of a building, but be quite happy at a much higher elevation.

Eventually I dragged myself away from the view and headed off for a spectacular descent back to ground level. Diamond Geezer‘s visit, particularly his photos, left me itching for the chance to point a camera at the phenomenal spiral staircase, which swirls elegantly from the ninth floor to the second. It didn’t disappoint.

[pictures will appear here as soon as I’ve uploaded them!]

The last stop was down a level to crawl around on a giant map/satellite image of London. Great fun finding all the important landmarks: the City Hall (you are here!), the London Eye, our hotel, my Granddad’s old house, my primary school…

Finally back to the security check to reclaim Mr TLC’s penknife which we had diligently handed in on arrival. (The form for such things is amazing: knitting needles are understandable, but a scalpel?! Who carries one around? And would such a person hand it in?) Then a moment of dark hilarity as one of the staff thought we had just arrrived and tried to direct us back on the tour – this time with the strictly forbidden knife. Oh my. We declined and headed for the exit instead.

A visit to City Hall probably isn’t worth a special journey, but if you’re in the area on an open weekend, it’s well worth going. Especially if you share my addiction for pointing cameras at interesting buildings.

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