One modern attraction in London that was completely new to me is the London Eye on the South Bank, the currently tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. Of course I had heard about it before and seen pictures, but when I was in London the last time - I think it was in 1995 - there was no London Eye, no construction started either.
The London Eye sits kitty corner from the Houses of Parliament across the Thames. From Big Ben you just cross Westminster Bridge (from which the top photo was taken) to the other side of the river and then you're almost there.
We had heard of long lines, and since we didn't really want to queue for a long time we got our tickets online a couple days before. We just had to pick up our tickets and waited only for five to ten minutes until we could board one of the capsules.
So here we are, shall we go up now?
As you can see, the passenger capsules are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and they are rotated by electric motors. You don't feel the rotation at all. It's a very quiet and wonderful ride.
The ride takes about 30 minutes, and usually the wheel doesn't stop. It goes slow enough that people can get into the moving capsules. The wheel only stops for disabled or elderly people so that they can embark and disembark safely.
There are up to 25 people in a capsule. You can walk around and look out onto London from every side, but you can also sit on the bench that is provided in the middle of the capsule. 25 people doesn't feel crowded at all.
The views over London are fascinating. I didn't, however, take many photos, since it is not easy to get crisp and sharp photos through the windows of the capsule. The windows are convex, and that makes photographing difficult. All the pictures I took turned out pretty crappy. But looking straight down through the skillful construction of the wheel is no less fascinating!
Here we are on top of the wheel on a brilliant sunny day. To the right you can see the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben.
And here is yours truly with her family, tremendously enjoying this very special ride.
Seriously, I loved to see the capsule beneath us "floating" over the Thames! Doesn't it look marvelous?
This is how you come back down to the start of the ride... those 30 minutes were over way too fast. I could have done the ride again - immediately.
But the London Eye offers great opportunities for photos from the ground as well!
Do you want a part of London on your refrigerator?