Welcome back to fashioneyesta.com!
Today I wanted to do a blog about something very exciting that I did a few weeks ago now and that is that I walked across the O2!
So in todays blog i thought i would talk a little bit about my experiences of walking up to O2 and what it is like as someone with a visual impairment.
So, if this is of interest to you carry on reading.
Watch The Vlog
To start of with I vlogged the day which you can check out below.
If you liked the video click here to subscribe to my channel for more videos.
Listen To The Audioboom
I also recorded and Audioboom for my channel, listen to it below.
So, when I first booked the tickets for the event I needed to first of all enquire via the box office about accessible tickets which is basically where a carer can get in for free, although you can take a friend or family member with you its the same thing. I took my mother because she really wanted to go for her birthday. What happened is they asked about what I would require a carer for and what my accessibility requirements would be so that they would be able to notify my guide on the day about any medical or access requirements.
On the day itself you are required to get to the event around 15 minutes before your allowed time to check in prior to meeting your guide. My guide was called Craig and he was extremely helpful and informative and was able to receive any anxieties I had about claiming out one of London’s most famous landmarks!
During the introduction your guide will introduce himself tell you a bit about the day what is going to happen and after playing a video he will ask you to notify him if you have any medical conditions or disabilities that he needs to be aware of.
Depending on what time of year it is you will need to wear weather appropriate clothing in the summer I would recommend loose clothing, tie your hair back, sunglasses that are secure, apply a good amount of sunblock and SPF. We had to wear the regulation thin jacket underneath the harness . However, my aunt who went during the Winter said that she had to wear a full body suit and a hat to break the wind and warm thermal clothing so it is worth checking the weather before you go as you can take anything up with you accept a camera or phone in your pocket.
You should also take your own socks because you have to wear their regulation walking trainers with special grip or you can just purchase them for £1.
Some other things i wanted to add is that if you can try and eat and drink beforehand because you cannot take anything up with you and if you have low blood sugar believe me you do not want to be caught up there with nothing to eat. But, your guide does take water up with them so if you require water they should have some available. if you need any medication your guide will also look after that for you unless it can fit into the standard pocket you get in your suit or jacket.
Also tie your hair back if it is particularly long into either a top not, a pony tail or a plat just make sure it is out of your face as it can get a bit windy up there and if it gets caught in the harness it will get pretty uncomfortable.
So, once you have signed in and signed the consent form you will then meet your guide and they will explain about the day. You will adorn your jacket/suit, harness, trainers and put your belongings into a locker. make sure you take your camera or phone and that it is fully charged so you can take selfies when you get up to the top like the ones below!
So, now moving on you will then be rigged up to a harness it does feel a bit tight to start off with but after you start walking you will get used to it and it will relax a bit. This harness is connected to a special rigging device which is connected to a long rail on the 02 your guide should explain how to move it through the slots and some of the safety procedures. If you are visually impaired like myself or have any other disability they may well put you at the pack of the group which you will be walking with so that they can make sure you are ok throughout your ascent and descent. If you are confused at anything at any point be sure to ask your guide before you start walking because you cannot back out once you start. Please do not try and whip your phone out or a selfie during the ascent and descent because your guide will remove it from your possession until you get to the viewing point.
Before you start you will get a photo with the people you are personally going with which you can purchase at the shop.
So once you start walking you may find that it is very hard going because the gradient is very steep but don’t worry you can stop at any point to catch your breath and there are special slats on the walk which help to give you a bit of trip. The walk itself is a little bit wobbly so try not to jump up and down at any point because the whole group will soon be doing it…whether they want to or not.
There is also a hand rail for you to hold onto and you are always fully hooked up to the rail so there isn’t anything that can happen to you…unless the world ends in ice and fire of course! But, in all honestly i was really concerned about how i would physically cope with the walk up the 02 but once I started and got past the steepest bit I found that it was actually relatively easy.
The walk up lasts for about 15 minutes, the entire experience itself is 45 not including the time to get ready at each end. Once you reach the viewing point you will be unhooked from the rail and well then you get about 15 minutes to look round, takes selfies, vlog, contemplate life, whatever you fancy.
Now, even though some of you might think if your are visually impaired whats the point? I mean i certainly do’t apt this outlook but there might be those who do you really do get a sense of height and space when you get to the top and if you are able to fit your visual aid in your pocket if you have some vision then you can get a glimpse of London in full panorama at this point.
I myself have some vision, but it is limited but when I got up there I could see the river thames gleaming in the distance as the sun reflected off its lapping water and it was truly breathtaking. And of course you do get pots of opportunity to take photos and the guide can always describe things to you if you want to know what is around you.
There are also tactile images around the viewing point with little bits of into about London from the Greenwich Observatory to information about the Thames.
But, whatever level of vision you might have its a truly incredible experience and hey you can say you have been on top of one of London’s most famous land marks if nothing else.
So as for the descent it was pretty much the same as the descent, the final part of the descent was the hardest and you may need to hold the handrail a tad higher. But, don’t try to walk sideways because my guide informed me it can damage your legs.
When you reach the bottom you can then take another victorious selfie if you wish and remove your harness and jacket and then retreat back to the room to retrieve your belongings and to purchase the photos if you choose to and then there you have it you have walked across the O2!
All in all I found my experience to be an amazing one, I would absolutely do it again and the staff at the Up at the O2 experience are incredibly friendly and helpful so it is something I would highly recommend to you all.
If you want to know any information or you are interested in booking tickets for this experience click here to view the Up at the O2 website.
So, that concludes todays blog for today, I am sorry the last few posts have been about what i have been getting up to and things like that the next one is going to be a beauty review I promise!
Anyway i hope you all have a great rest of your day and I will talk to you all in my next one.