Maybe it was the art element in that the slide is part of an outdoor sculpture created by Sir Anish Kapoor for the 2012 Olympics. Or maybe I figured if I was going to be widowed I might as well be there too, but against my saner instincts I ordered two tickets for earlier this week when we would be in London for the Frieze Masters art fair and some other events.
Enter Anish Kapoor who worked with engineer Cecil Balmond to create Britain's tallest sculpture, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, as the symbol of the London Olympics. Created out of 600 star shaped modules, held together with 35,000 steel bolts, the design loops in and out in a sort of giant red ampersand. Love it or hate it, the ArcelorMittal Orbit received 130,000 visitors in August of 2012 before being shut down as part of the re-development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to assume its post-Olympic role as a community green space. The sculpture re-opened to the public in April of 2014 and once again visitors could ride the elevator to the viewing platform and enjoy spectacular views stretching for 20 miles.
The City's skyscraper as seen from the Viewing Platform
But the developers wanted something more than just a tall sculpture with an observation deck, and the final phase, the design and construction of The Slide, was completed just a few months ago. Now we come to the reason for my excursion on the Tube to Stratford in East London on a beautiful Monday in October.
Would I ever do it again? Probably not. But I earned my stripes and can truly claim to have survived "The Slide"!
Looking down at the slide through the floor of the Viewing Platform