The London Eye

Posted on 25th Nov 2012 by ian under Travel Tales | No Comments »

Time for some of London’s main sights…

Jumped in a black cab from Kensington to the London Eye via Buckingham Palace (where a squirrel was frolicking on Birdcage Walk – love squirrels!), past the Houses of Parliament and across Westminster Bridge to the ‘Eye’.  We were warned of two-hour queues but it was only minutes.

The London Eye is the city’s most popular paid tourist attraction with three and a half million people hopping on every year.  It doesn’t take a calculator that it has more than covered its £70million construction cost in 2000.

Technically, the eye is a Ferris wheel but when inside one of the pods, it doesn’t feel like a ‘ride’.  It is a leisurely half hour of viewing London from above – you can stroll around the pod or sit and absorb what ‘passes’.

The Eye is super wheelchair friendly BTW with ramps for assistance at the ticket area and to get into and out of the pod (assistants with a portable ramp).  There are discounts for the disabled and carers get free admission.

We shared our pod with a lovely retired couple from Cornwall who had returned to London after 40 years to see how things had changed since their youth.

The chap pointed out where he grew up in South-East London and told us of the day that changed his life. He attended a primary school and was pretty much known as the class idiot – instead of real subjects to learn he was given raffia to play with at the back of the room. Then the Germans bombed his house and the family had to relocate – at his new school, his teacher noticed a spark and he was no longer the class idiot – he went on to get a university degree and run a very successful business that he had recently handed the running of to his son.

It started to rain and we hopped another black can across the Thames to Westminster Abbey.  A bit of trivia – the total weight of the London Eye wheel and capsules is 2,100 tonnes – or as much as 1,272 London black cabs!