First of all, I’d like to say how happy I am to be this month’s co-host of travel linkup with Emma, Angie and Polly!
Have you ever swum with the sharks? Or visited Machu Pichu? What about running with the bulls in Spain or seeing the Northern Lights? You haven’t done those? Neither have I. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have valuable once in a lifetime experiences. Perhaps some of them might seem ordinary to someone else, like they are not really once in a lifetime experiences but to me they were just that. Unique experiences that represented me, who I was at the time I had them.
Sure, I could do some of them again but it wouldn’t be quite the same (e.g. spend a week in Paris again ) because I am not the same anymore. Time and life (and travel too) has changed me.
in Paris in 2007
So what travels stand out among all the others? And what has made them so special?
There are two trips that come to my mind immediately not just because of the amount of fun I had on them but also because of the very travelling bit that made them extra special. In 2005 I went to Turkey with a group of friends by train. Yes, you read that right! It was the cheapest available option so we took the train from Croatia to Turkey via Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. 36 h on the train (not in a sleeper train) and we made it to Istanbul for three days of sightseeing. Then it was to Izmir for the next three days of fun before we finally came to Çeşme where we attended a student conference.
Another odyssey happened in 2006 when I went to Greece by a ferry from Venice. Well, firstly we had to get to Venice, then spend 30 h on the ferry to Patras and take a train to Athens, our final destination. After 2 weeks of frolicking around Greece it was time for a return ferry trip, sleeping on the deck in our sleeping bags again. That’s an experience I wouldn’t repeat again!
Whenever I visit London I like to see some of my old favourites and I like to experience new things. Luckily, there’s no shortage of new places and new experiences in London. When I saw everyone (by everyone I mean travel bloggers) raving about the new free views of London I knew I had to see it for myself on my next trip to London. Three years passed between my last two trips to London in the meantime. When I booked my flights for London four months ago I also investigated how to experience the best free views of London by visiting the Sky Garden.
About Sky Garden
The Sky Garden is located in one of the newest skyscrapers in City of London built in 2004. The address is 20 Fenchurch Street and the skyscraper has been lovingly nicknamed Walkie-Talkie. It’s 155 meters tall and the Sky Garden spans three storeys and offers 360° views of London. You can admire the views of London from several observation decks and from an open-air terrace where the use of a selfie-stick is prohibited. Sky Garden rightfully holds the claim of the highest public garden. If you get thirsty or hungry go to Sky Pod Bar or to City Garden Bar. There are also two restaurants: Fenchurch restaurant and Darwin Brasserie. If you want to have a meal at those restaurants then you should book in advance and you use a separate lift from the tourists who are just visiting the Sky Garden.
How to reach Sky Garden
The nearest tube station is the Monument. From there walk for a couple of minutes.
How to visit Sky Garden
Even though the visit is free you need to book it in advance. You can usually do it up to two-three weeks in advance of your planned visit and you need to print out your booking confirmation and bring it with you for your visit. Also, you need to have your ID or your passport with you for your visit. Arrive around 10 minutes before your scheduled visit and wait in queue. Then you’ll walk through airport-like security and be prepared to have your bag searched. After that you’ll enter the express lift with the rest of the people and be at the Sky Garden in a matter of seconds. When you leave the lift, you have all the time you need to admire the views of London and maybe have a drink or eat something. There are also toilets. There are several guards who control whether visitors obey the rules eg. no food or drinks at the open air terrace and no selfie-sticks.
at the Sky Garden, May 2016