The Tower in the Sky

In Wrocław, we only have one skyscraper, Sky Tower, but it’s a good one – it’s actually the highest building in Poland (49 floors, >200 m height). On the very top, there’s a viewpoint (unfortunately, it’s not free). I’ve been meaning to visit it to take some photos of Wrocław (and, of course, obligatory panoramas), but timing was always the problem. The best hours would be the sunrise (I’m not really a morning person…), the sunset (but you can only stay 30 minutes on the viewpoint – then you swap with the next group, so it’s hard to find that perfect golden hour) and, of course, after sunset, for night photography. Finally, I came up with an alternative solution – I should just rent an apartment there! 😀 Then I’ll have all the flexibility I need to take whatever pictures I want.

And so I did – I’ve rented it for four days, from Sunday till Thursday (since those days are the cheapest ;)). I must admit the place was really nice and, despite the relatively small size, it felt spacious (I’m sure the view from the huge windows helped ;)):

The weather was patchy – during the days I’ve been there mostly cloudy. Actually, the only time I saw the sun during sunset was on the very first night. Unfortunately, I took only a few quick snaps before it was too late, but you can still see how quickly the light transforms the view:

I didn’t have much luck with the sunrises too – this is the closest I got to a sunrise:

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Cloudy sunrise.

But it’s all OK – I quickly fell in love with the night scenery. I mean it’s just breathtaking – it’s like the city is completely transformed. Here’s a nighttime/daytime version of the same shot, I dare you to say you prefer the day one 😉

One night, I noticed that it got a bit… foggy outside. I thought that some low hanging clouds were the culprits, but alas, no. It was… snowing. Because any reference point (for example, a street lamp) was so far away, it looked like fog from up high. You had to reaaaaaally squint and look hard to notice a few flakes here and there. It was very interesting how quickly the visibility changed and that the snow was not, well, snowing, uniformly, but in more or less dense “clouds”. It’s hard to describe, so here are some pictures (usually taken literally seconds apart):

Last but not least, here a few panoramas I took. For maximum effect, I recommend viewing them in full size (click on the thumbnail, then “View full size”). I’m fairly new to panoramas and I didn’t bother with any sophisticated stitching or post-processing (just used Microsoft Research’s ICE), so please excuse me if it could have been done better 😉

God, I miss the view. Although it was hard to fall asleep because the bed was literally next to the window and I was in a constant dilemma: give in to drowsiness or watch a bit more of the view. Usually the latter won…

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