My applications are finished!! The last two days were a crazy blur of last-minute photography, portfolio work and generally being last-minute, but it's all done now and all I can do is wait and hope somewhere offers me an interview. I felt so mentally and physically exhausted last night after it all and spent the evening feeling sorry for myself, watching TV I had missed and eating leftover pasta. Today I woke up feeling much better and ready for a bit of a fresh start, with a lot less pressure hanging over me as everything is out of my hands for the time being.
Hawabibi got Stanley and Rosa and myself together to go to see the Sky Garden, and as I had two free periods and felt like I needed a treat I decided to pop along even though I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. It turns out it is literally a garden, rather like a sort of urban paradise, located on the very top floor of a huge glass skyscraper in the middle of London, and it's ENTIRELY FREE to visit! You basically end up in the most amazing, futuristic glass building, 155 metres high, opposite The Shard, overlooking all of London. I would say it's probably better than the view from the London Eye simply as it's much more comfortable and there is a restaurant, bar and café plus lots of seating giving you perfect reason and space to stay to watch the sunrise or sunset.
We got there at about 2pm, and after a tiny queue and lots of security (which is much more of a comfort than it is a pain) we found ourselves 155 metres up in the air, looking out over the city and feeling insanely small in comparison. The horticulture inside the building was enough to take your breath away (probably the closest to paradise in the city centre) and the views were truly exceptional. The natural light was also amazing and I really want to go back and sketch for my art project, especially since it's free. I'd recommend going before 3pm and on a weekday or Sunday if you can as I think it gets really busy later on!
We took a LOT of photos - Hawabibi and I are a little obsessed with film photography, and all four of us love aesthetics and pretty things so couldn't really stop ourselves since everywhere was so photogenic. I feel like such a horrendous cliché when I do that but I just love documenting and recording everything so I can remember it better in the future...I've always been like that but it comes out so much more when I hang out with people who do the same.
The building itself is very futuristic and modern with it's crazy glass windows and ceiling, huge naturally-lit bar area, and window-ledge benches to admire the view from. You can go outside, very much like the Empire State or Rockefeller Centre in New York - however, at this time of year, it is a little cold so we found it even better to sit in the warm garden with coffee from the café. The coffee wasn't badly priced for it's size, either - all in all the whole place is amazing value (I mean it's free and I still can't believe it) and is so worth a trip. I sound like I'm selling it / been paid to write this but genuinely I just had a really lovely day and would like to recommend it to anyone who would also enjoy it!
We stayed to watch the sunset, using the guide on the website to work out roughly when it would be, and using Rosa's laptop (there's free wifi...what a peaceful place it would be to go and work?) to scout out where we could grab some dinner afterwards. Although slightly obscured by clouds the sunset was still beautiful...it would be a lovely way to show London to someone here on holiday, or just generally a really sweet spot to hang out. We wandered around for a bit afterwards until settling on Itsu for some quick food (noodles will always be my favourite thing) before starting on our way home. Considering we spent about 5 hours out, watched the sunset and got dinner, I think getting back at 7pm is really reasonable and I feel like I've been really productive. I might use the film photos I took (will be developed soon) for my art project too, which would make today's trip even more worthwhile. I hope you are having a lovely week!
(Photo credits to a mixture of me, Hawabibi, Rosa and Stanley)