How to get rid of a headache by climbing the O2
We nearly got out of it!
As regular readers will know, hubby celebrated his 60th birthday earlier in the year. Our son Matthew likes to buy him gifts that are vouchers to visit places. We’ve been to Shepherd Neame Brewery and the Bombay Sapphire Distillery (see a pattern here?) so when I was asked if he would like to walk over the O2 roof, I said yes.
He was given the details but when we came to pre-book a climb, the codes came up as invalid. That was because, unbeknown to us, they were the wrong codes. I was not prepared to travel across the country to ‘see if we could climb’ anyway so thought we would have to cancel. I should have realised from the feeling of relief deep in my tummy that perhaps climbing the O2 was not something I was looking forward too!
However, the day was won by Matthew finding the correct codes and the booking being made. Hurray! That’s when the headache started. The moment I pressed ‘confirm’!
The day was fine, the traffic to London light and the underground was all working. We got there in plenty of time and were actually asked to go away and come back nearer our booked time. I was keen to get on with it. No, that’s wrong – I was keen to get it over with!
The equipment displayed in the room where you get your harness shoes and gear one gave you a clear idea that it was CLIMBING the O2!
It was steep!!
The small picture at the top of this post in no way shows how steep it was! Honestly!
The added difficulty is that you are walking on a trampoline so every step you take is bouncy. We were hooked on and shown how to click the device to move through the struts of the ascent. Thankfully, I had two hands so was also able to grip on for dear life to the steel rope-like hand rail. And grip on I did.
Soon into the climb the guide who was staying put asked us to turn around for a photo! Was he mad? My head was down and I was only interested in my feet and my hands. I did remember to breathe as well but only just!
Getting to the top
The platform at the top is not large so we had to wait for a few minutes before being untied and set free to wander and take photos. There are very strict rules that all cameras and phones are to be secured into the pocket of the jacket provide while you are on the walk way so there are no fancy shots being taken by anyone fool enough not to be holding on tight!
We were disappointed with the view when we got there. London has quite spilt it’s skyline with square office blocks preventing you from seeing many of those designed shaped buildings. For instance, if you looking carefully between two blocks you can just about see the top of the Shard.
Also, there are lots of cranes and wires, so it was sad not to get a clear view.
Trust your shoes
Usually, if it has been hard work going up, coming down is easier. Well, at the start it was but we came to the steep drop. Our fabulous guide Kate explained that this was the steepest part of the walkway going up or down. Unlike the ascent that started higher from a staircase, in this direction you go all the way to the ground.
‘Trust your shoes’ she cried and you can see from this post that they look like normal trainers. They weren’t. They stuck to that trampoline like glue and very grateful for it I was too.
As I was the last in the group, the rest were waiting for me to get to the bottom. As my foot touched the ground my headache disappeared! Just as if you’d clapped your hands and made it vanish. The feeling of elation swept over me and I was close to tears. I’d done it but I won’t be doing it again!