At the Top

Don’t you feel like a bit of a sucker when you are standing in line, with a ticket you paid for, just to get to the top of a building?  I do.  But once I’m peering over rooftops, I don’t think I’ve ever regretted buying that ticket.  I really like the perspective you gain of the city and the little details of the building that you could never appreciate from down below.

I visited the top of the Burj Khalifa quite some time ago. I’ll probably post more about that another time. For now, here are some pics “at the top” (this is the slogan used for the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa), some paid for, others not.  What’s your favorite view from the top of a building you’ve visited?

(The quality of some of these isn’t great – I took many of them with one of my old trusty point-and-shoots, some over 10 years ago in the pre-digital days)

View of Shiekh Zayed Road from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai.  Only the view from the tallest building in the world could make those towering skyscrapers look puny.

View of Shiekh Zayed Road from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai. Only the view from the tallest building in the world could make those towering skyscrapers look puny.

View from observation deck of Burj Khalifa, Dubai.  Nothing like some height to remind you that this is indeed the desert.

View from observation deck of Burj Khalifa, Dubai. Nothing like some height to remind you that this is indeed the desert.

View of the Address Hotel and dancing water fountains from At.mosphere (on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa)

View of the Address Hotel and dancing water fountains from At.mosphere (on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa)

 

View of Dubai skyline from Sky Bar at the Burj al Arab

View of Dubai skyline from Sky Bar at the Burj al Arab

View from Empire State Building, New York.  How can you not love New York?

View from Empire State Building, New York. How can you not love New York?

View from Empire State Building, New York

View from Empire State Building, New York

View from Hohensalzburg Castle in Salzburg, Austria

View from Hohensalzburg Castle in Salzburg, Austria

view from St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), Vienna, Austria.  I really liked the colorful geometric pattern of the roof (seen on the left).

view from St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), Vienna, Austria. I really liked the colorful geometric pattern of the roof (seen on the left).

View from the 60th floor, Chase Tower, Houston.  Apparently, this is the tallest five sided building in the world (I must have lived in Dubai too long, because I feel the need to justify the importance of things by citing obscure records, ha ha.)  This building was designed by the architectural firm founded by IM Pei, the architect mentioned in the Doha post.

View from the 60th floor, Chase Tower, Houston. Apparently, this is the tallest five sided building in the world (I must have lived in Dubai too long, because I feel the need to justify the importance of things by citing obscure records, ha ha.) This building was designed by the architectural firm founded by IM Pei, the architect mentioned in the Doha post.

This is one of the spires of the Barcelona Cathedral (not La Sagrada Familia).  It was a bit eerie when I went up here - it was nothing but me, the gargoyles and the pigeons - but one of my most memorable experiences in Barcelona

This is one of the spires of the Barcelona Cathedral (not La Sagrada Familia). It was a bit eerie when I went up here – it was nothing but me, the gargoyles and the pigeons – but one of my most memorable experiences in Barcelona

Another shot from the Barcelona cathedral.  This angel and sky literally took my breath away when I saw them. This photo is all grainy and faded now but I still love it. Near the bottom you can see the Montjuic Communications Tower, built when Barcelona hosted the Olympics.

Another shot from the Barcelona cathedral. This angel and sky literally took my breath away when I saw them. This photo is all grainy and faded now but I still love it. Near the bottom you can see the Montjuic Communications Tower, built when Barcelona hosted the Olympics.

Taken on the rooftop of Gaudi's Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), Barcelona, Spain.  There are so many whimsical details in Gaudi's work which make it so much fun to explore.

Taken on the rooftop of Gaudi’s Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), Barcelona, Spain. There are so many whimsical details in Gaudi’s work which make it so much fun to explore.

View from Eiffel Tower, Paris

View from Eiffel Tower, Paris

View from San Giusto, Trieste, Italy

View from San Giusto, Trieste, Italy

Detail of the Duomo (left) and view of the Galleria (right), taken from the rooftop of the Duomo, Milan, Italy.

Detail of the Duomo (left) and view of the Galleria (right), taken from the rooftop of the Duomo, Milan, Italy.

One of the many things worth photographing on the rooftop of the Duomo, Milan

One of the many things worth photographing on the rooftop of the Duomo, Milan

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About Lynda

Longhorns and Camels is a blog about exploring Dubai from the perspective of an expat from Texas. It features stories about living in Dubai including descriptions of local culture and popular activities in the region. It also includes photography of the UAE and other countries abroad. It has been recommended by several well-known guides for expatriates: InterNations, ExpatWoman and Expat Focus.
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32 Responses to At the Top

  1. safia says:

    I loved every one of these photos but the Milan one with the gargoyle at the bottom stood out. Dubai has a long way to go to catch up with New York when it comes to density of buildings!

  2. Lovely, photos, and very imaginative! I especially like the one of Paris.

  3. You nailed some of my favorites. I loved the view from the Empire State Bldg in NYC just because it was my first visit, and we could get a bird’s eye view before we set off on foot. I loved sunset from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Also awe-inspiring was the view of Prague from the top of the bell tower at St. Vitus Cathedral and the Astronomical Clock, Istanbul from the top of Galata Tower, and Vancouver & Engllish Bay from the roof of the penthouse apartment we rented. I love an epic scenic view! Your shots of Dubai from the top were amazing. I had no idea the desert was so, so close. Amazing!

    • You lucky thing! I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been dying to get to Istanbul, and Prague and Vancouver are high on the list too. Hopefully some day! Yes – Dubai really did just spring up out of the desert, and quickly, so there’s lots of empty space still, which is easy to lose perspective of sometimes.

  4. Manal says:

    The way you’ve captured all the great heights is beautiful, very interesting to see the architectural differences between each country!

  5. Mitzie Mee says:

    AMAZING pic of the Dubai skyline!

  6. triestino says:

    Great pictures !!!! my favorite would be one taken from il Castello di San Giusto overlooking Trieste

    • This is so funny…. I think I know the identity of Triestino… I really wanted to represent Trieste but didn’t have any city views?!? Ok – just had a look – I think I do have one! I’ll have to add it :). Thanks for commenting Triestino! I hope to see more of you on here 😉

  7. These are amazing shots! Thank you for sharing. Many brought back some very special memories!
    Anne

  8. Anonymous says:

    Triestino thought the view from the Castello di San Giusto was great and the best picture taken.

  9. Marthafied says:

    Seriously, the Dubai pics look like you would’ve taken the pics from a helicopter!! Stunning, yet a bit scary. We have a new tallest building in London “The Shard” (as it looks like…well, a pointy Shard)- have not ventured yet… it costs about £25 (which is like $40.00) which I think is quite a lot to charge for a window…lol….

    • I was totally scared to get to the top – lots of anxiety about the elevator – but it was a surprisingly smooth and zippy ride up. I didn’t even know about The Shard! I havent even been on the London Eye yet – am getting behind. I’m surprised they are charging $40! The Burj Khalifa is about $28 USD and I thought they could only get away with that because it’s the tallest building in the world. (that’s if you buy online in advance. If you try to just walk up and buy a ticket for the same day, it’s $110.)

  10. Oh you are getting me excited to get to Dubai!! Vancouver is probably my favorite city! We are leaving mid October for Romainia, Istanbul and then Dubai. Be there the 1st of November! Looking forward to it!

    • A friend of mine who is very well traveled (coincidently she was with me when I took these Dubai shots) says Vancouver is one of her favorite cities – I must get over there – everyone has great things to say about it. You are leaving so soon – very exciting! Looking forward to hearing about your travels.

  11. What a glorious series of photos from a great perspective! I love how you’ve woven the theme together over the years. I particularly like the view of the Dubai skyline and detail at the top of the Casa Mila … oh, and the snow on St. Stephen’s gorgeous roof. ~Terri

  12. munchow says:

    a series of wonderful views from above. For me the most fascinating picture is the second one – it’s just such a strange landscape and cityscape.

  13. Wow. The photos of San Guisto, Vienna, and Salzburg are amazing. Of course, I agree with Munchow that the aerial view of Dubai from the observation deck is not of this world. All of the images from high above are wonderful.

  14. pauljosefh says:

    Nice post! Large collections of amazing pictures 🙂 United Arab Emirates has advanced positions in the list of tourist country in the world. I have been there and would love to visit there again.

  15. Diana says:

    never saw this……really cool……

  16. Adil Syed says:

    Thank you for sharing! Awesome imaginative photos really great views

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