Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The London Eye

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?
I have magnets of photos I took in London in my Etsy shop.


Elephant's Child said...

I think that is about the most 'up-market' Ferris wheel I have ever seen. It puts the one I featured on today's post well and truly in the shade.
Loved the photo of your family and their happy smiles too.

Vagabonde said...

What a lovely ride ! I saw the London Eye from a distance but have not been on it – next time though I shall. You had a great sunny day to see all the London landscape and your photos are good. I enjoyed this virtual ride.

Willkommen auf meiner Kreativseite. said...

Tolle Fotos sind das wieder. Wir sind leider nicht mit dem London Eye gefahren.Die Menschenschlangen davor haben uns abgeschreckt.
Gerade haben sie von den Waldbränden in Californien berichtet. Seid ihr davon auch betroffen? Ich hoffe nicht! Die Trockenheit muss echt schlimm sein.


La Vie Quotidienne said...

How wonderful! What a marvelous ride this must be and to see all of London! Wow.

Felicia said...

Oh wow that looks wonderful. too bad you couldn't get more images but these are great.

Jeanne said...

I rode on this when I was in London the last time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your shots are just wonderful!

Magic Love Crow said...

Cool ride! I would love to go on this! Great photos!

CATHY said...

I was afraid to go on it - too claustrophobic! Love that first photo!