September 17, 2012 in London, Olympics

ArcelorMittal Orbit

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I absolutely loved walking around the Olympic Park admiring the venues (those permanent and temporary) along with landscaped gardens and so can’t wait for it to open again. Unfortunately with major work taking place, it won’t be fully opened until spring 2014. So thankful that on the final day the park was open to the public, I was able to go up the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit which is a 115-metre-high (377 ft.) sculpture and observation tower.

I was desperate to go up as I’d read so much about the controversial structure. Plus it was one of the first buildings I saw when I entered the park for rehearsals back in June. I was ambivalent about it – particularly the silver staircase that wrapped the structure so I at least wanted to check out the view.

It did not disappoint. In fact as it was a clear day, the views were absolutely fantastic. The Orbit offered stunning views over the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park and the whole of London. And so I think that the Orbit has the potential to be a major tourist attraction. No it doesn’t have the height or even romantic appeal as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but with all the redevelopment around the Olympic Park plus spectacular views across London, it will no doubt be quite inviting. And so maybe in time I’ll learn to like everything about the structure – even the silver staircase that for me is a major detraction.

Should also mention that while I took the elevator to the top, I took the stairs down. And since I’m somewhat scared of height it was slow going, but wanted to compare the experience of walking down from the Eiffel Tower. The 431 steps to the bottom of the Orbit were not as scary but did help to further enhance the experience.

Note: for more pictures of my visit, check out my Facebook album London 2012 Olympic Park: ArcelorMittal Orbit.

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