After miles from walking through the Westfield Mall in Stratford City I arrived to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park, which is the area of not-so-much London in which the 2012 Olympics were played. There I glanced the Aquarium, the beautiful stadium in which Usain Bolt set a new record as the fastest man on Earth and where the Spice Girls sang at the closure of the Olympic games.
Then after walking around the area I saw this metallic structure that in some weird way reminded me of the Eiffel Tower. It seemed like a Cell Phone Tower only melted in the microwave or designed by Salvador Dalí. I approached it just because it seemed like the ugliest tower I have ever seen. I had no idea it was an actual attraction of the park.
As I was getting closer to this bizarre tower I realised that there was a viewing deck in the top and a staircase to climb it. Maybe I will skip the climbing because I have been walking for miles -I thought- and besides we are not in a good part of London to have a great view. Stratford is so far away that is at least 5 kilometers away from the impressive skyscrapers of the city in Canary Wharf, so I can just imagine the view and that’s it.
When I was almost in the base of this steel object that seemed more like a roller coaster from a theme park than an actual tower, I noticed that there are actually two viewing decks, one at 76 meters and the other one at 80 meters, as the sign inviting me to climb up said. Two decks at almost the same height? Maybe one is to look at half of the Westfield Mall and the other one is to look at the rest of the mall and the parking lot.
Then I started reading the signs: Come and climb this ArcelorMittal Orbit and you will be part of this 3 year old structure. You can experience this exciting new feature for London. Come and climb in the biggest sculpture in the world. You only have to pay 15 pounds for a ticket!
When I saw the price I laughed so hard that the employees gave me a weird look. Biggest sculpture in the world? Only because you want to call it that way since if you would call it a tower it is only 114 meters tall, not even half of the 324 meters that the Eiffel Tower is. The fact that it so new makes it even less impressive since for me is amazing to think that the Eiffel Tower is 125 years old. The view up there won’t be half as romantic and special as being in the top of the Eiffel Tower right in the center of Paris, and having to pay 15 pounds, that is 26% more than what it cost to climb the Eiffel Tower that makes it the actual joke. Who would pay so much to climb up to an ugly structure with such a regular view?
Not even during summer, the highest season; not even in a sunny weekend, and not even at mid day was there a single customer in the queue. No doubt there is people that climb up there but I am certain that the amount of people that pays for the ticket will be much smaller than the 7 million people that yearly climb up the Eiffel Tower. No wonder I have been living almost one year in London and I have never seen or hear anything about this “biggest sculpture in the world”!
I am happy that I went to Stratford and I am happier that I got to save 15 pounds. Here are the rest of the pictures I took at Stratford.