Previous: Day 1 – Sightseeing in London
This morning, we are hitting the London Eye and after that the Thames river cruise.
But first, let me confess that I never really liked ferries wheels. I have fear of heights. I was eight when I first tried one and still remember how my stomach turned upside down when the wheel started descending rapidly. Never again, I thought.
When my sister and her family announced that they are coming to the UK for their holiday, I found myself making an online search for the London Eye. The reviews say the landscape is breathtaking when viewed from 135 meters above and the rotation so slow that it takes half an hour to complete a single revolution. I didn’t need any more convincing.
We wanted to avoid the queue so we pre-booked online but, alas, when we got there, we still had to wait in line for about 30 minutes before we could get into the capsule. But it was well worth it.
The London Eye is the most popular paid for tourist attraction in the UK, with over 3.5 million visitors each year. It was built to celebrate the millenium in London. Designed by the husband and wife team, architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, it was the world’s tallest ferris wheel when it was erected in 1999.
It costs £70 million to build, has 32 air-conditioned capsules or glass-pods and each pod can carry up to 25 people.
Each pod is spacious enough to enable everyone to walk around freely….
… and there is a center bench provided.
You get a staggering view of famous landmarks such as the Big Ben and the Parliament building with the Westminster bridge below.
You can indulge in “Guess-the-name-of-that-bridge” game with friends and family.
This is the railway Hungerford Bridge sandwiched by two pedestrian Golden Jubilee Bridges
The roof of London Waterloo station and above left is the UK’s tallest building, The Shard
The former London County Hall now a commercial space for several businesses, hotels and aquarium.
Next in the agenda, the River Sightseeing Cruise.
I really like this one! Nothing beats seeing the famous landmarks of London from the water!
Actually, a boat tour is my all-time favorite when sightseeing in river cities and if I had my way, I would do a day tour as well as a night tour! I have done this in Paris, truly a breathtaking experience to see the City of Lights in all her lit up glory!
There are many spots in the city that look more magical when seen from the water and if you are lucky enough to have the same bubbly tour guide as ours narrating their history, it will leave you hungry for more of London’s secrets and mysteries!
This one on Temple Pier is called the King’s Reach Memorial, so-named because it commemorates the 25th anniversary of the accession of King George V (plaque dated May 1935).
These red columns are the remains of a dismantled bridge, one of the two bridges that comprised the Old Blackfriars Railway Bridge. The remaining one is currently in operation . In the background is the road and foot traffic Blackfriars Bridge.
The infamous water-gate entrance to the Tower of London which is called Traitors Gate.
Many prisoners, accused of treason, have passed through it, hence, the name.
You can guess this bridge with closed eyes – it’s the Tower Bridge, of course!
And to round off our day:
The 4D cinema experience that made us almost jumped off from our seats trying to fend off the seagulls that seemed to come out from the screen flying straight over us! Such a excellent film documentary about London, Bravo!!
London eye + river cruise + 4D Experience
Adult – £21.42, Child – £12.68 (plus VAT)
Next: Day 3 – Buckingham Palace