Friday, 15 March 2019

The Sky's The Limit

In Auckland, you can't miss the Sky Tower - it's massive.

It was opened in 1997 and at 328 metres high, is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere. And tonight we're going to be eating at the top of it, following a recommendation from our next door (15 minutes walk away) neighbours, Sam and Mark. A ticket to go up the tower costs $32 (about 16 quid), but for an extra $53, you get a 3 course meal in the swanky revolving Orbit Restaurant. Sounds good, as long as you're not afraid of heights!

As we entered the lift and pressed the button to take us to the 51st floor, I could tell that Jus wasn't entirely happy. The lift only takes 40 seconds to zoom up to the top - the display telling you which level you're on flickers from number to number in a blur. It has a glass wall so you can see the buildings fly past, until very quickly there are no more buildings because you're higher than them. It also has a partly glazed floor, and the floor (i.e. the bit of ground we were previously standing on) gets further and further away pretty quickly if you stand on this window and look down. Justine was definitely not standing on the glass floor (memories of the last time she stood on a glass panel at the Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield, and her rather fruity language which left some former coal miners quite shocked, are still too raw). She wasn't keen on looking out of the side of the lift either - that was reminding her of the infamous Eiffel Tower lift experience. Instead she chose to focus on one of the uninteresting lift walls which gave the least indication of the speed we were moving at, or the altitude we were achieving.

We had a few minutes on the viewing platform which allowed me to look at the various viewpoints and take photographs, while Jus gingerly picked her way around, being careful not to get too close to the windows in case she fell out! I know she doesn't like heights, but this tower is only slightly higher above sea level than our house, and she don't usually get vertigo looking out of our windows.

Then it was time to go up a couple of floors to the restaurant. We had a table for two right next to the windows and while the floor rotated us 360 degrees per hour, we enjoyed a fantastic meal.

Afterwards we were able to return to the viewing deck and see the city at night. I was also able to persuade Jus to join me on one of the glass panels in the floor, and amazingly (perhaps a few glasses of wine had helped), she did... without swearing!!!

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