The last couple of months have absolutely flown by for me, it seems as if we have literally jumped from high summer straight through to late Autumn in a heartbeat. I literally cannot believe I am only just getting round to posting about my birthday – it was the second week of September!!!!! For my birthday B had asked to plan my entire weekend, leaving me in the dark and aiming to arrange a series of small surprises. We headed back down to Brighton on the Thursday evening to have a bite to eat with my parents down at riddle and fins on the sea front, and then spent the Friday with my sisters. We started the day with a curried pasty (sounds gross, but tastes incredible) and then after a game of glow in the dark crazy golf we stopped off for lunch down at the Brighton Marina. And then walked west along the coast back towards Brighton seafront, by this point I thought I’d exhausted my birthday surprises for the day, but as we reached the foot of the old West Pier, we came to a stop underneath the i360.
Now, if I’m honest when I first saw the plans for this in the local paper, I really didn’t want it to go through – It’s massive; at least twice again as tall as anything else in the city centre and I was convinced it was going to be an eye-sore and ruin the Brighton Skyline. I’m not sure it doesn’t, but I am slowly growing to accept it, and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t wanted to go up it ever since they started laying the foundations. We had been fortunate enough to have the best possible weather for it – clear, cloudless skies and the lighting was perfect; I think our ‘flight’ was at 6pm, so the sun was dipping back down towards the horizon, casting beautiful shadows across the city from the west.
In all it was a great experience, the views were amazing, and it was great to have that contrast of the city on one side and the sea beneath you on the other. The tower/viewing platform/lift is either owned on run by British Airways, and the whole experience feels as if your about to go on an aeroplane, your welcomed through the gates to the base of the tower where you can wait on deck chairs and enjoy the view out to sea, and once your ‘flight’ is ready to depart you’re welcomed aboard by the cabin crew. The viewing platform itself is doughnut shaped, allowing a full 360 degrees views, hence the name – I think the whole thing lasts about 40 minutes, 20 to the top, 15 mins once your up there and then 5 minutes back down.
Even if your not one for heights it still worth a go; my sister and B (both pretty scared of heights) were fine, and although Peg did shed a few tears on the way up she loved it once we were up there. My only critical point of the whole experience, is that due to the curved glass its hard to take a nice shot without seeing yourself being reflected back at you – hence what you can see in all the images. Once you’re up there though it is incredible to look out across the city, especially if your Brighton born and bred.
On then on the Saturday Pop had arranged me an amazing surprise – a mini camping festival, “Azzachella”, complete with wrist bands, banners, games, quiz’s and everything!!! Unfortunately the heavens decided to open and camping was literally washed off the cards, and so it was relocated to Pop & Sean’s. It was the most amazing surprise; a nice little reminder of just how lucky I am to have the friends that I do – one of my best birthdays yet!