And now for Part 2 - London by air via the engineering marvel that is the London Eye. I love old historical architecture but there are times when something as diverse as this bicycle wheel sitting at the side of the Thames, set my love for engineering on fire. It is beautiful, elegant, refined.
As you come out of Westminster Station and are instantly hit by the magnificence of the Houses of Parliament, you then look over the Thames towards County Hall and there it is. Each pod taking around twenty five people to see the City of London from the air moving at 10 inches per second.
On the day we visited, it was the end of the half term holidays and the South Bank was heaving with families. The lines of patient people were mixed between The Aquarium, The London Dungeons and the London Eye, all moving backwards and forwards. We were thankful that our choice of attraction was the line that never stops. You see, the thing about the London Eye is that it never stops rotating, so the queue is at a walking pace, only stopping at security and waiting to walk on board.
Yes, it is moving when you board, but not that you would notice. You then slowly rise above the boarding area and walk around the pods, or sit on the bench in the middle of the pod to start drinking in the sights of London. The Thames dances beneath the pods as the sun shimmers across the waves.
Gradually, oh so slowly, you begin to notice landmarks. The obvious one has to be the Houses of Parliament, and to its right, Westminster Abbey. In the distance the four chimneys of Battersea Power Station. (this shot was taken on my previous trip... the girls were busy taking photos of this landmark today so I left them to it!).
Looking straight ahead, the unmistakable Buckingham Palace with St James Park in front and Green Park to the right.
Nelson looking towards the Houses of Parliament with a blue cockerel keeping him company on the fourth plinth! (more on that in my next post!).
St Paul's. The hope of many a Londoner, especially during World War II.
From up here you can see how St Paul's is being swamped by the buildings that are springing up here, there and everywhere, but still very much the building which oozes beauty and grace.
In the distance, my favourite place on earth, the Isle of Dogs along with Greenwich (unfortunately shadowed by the building of the Shard). Canary Tower can only just be seen with its triangular top.
Looking down, Waterloo Station with its many trains, to-ing and fro-ing, taking people to their many destinations and keeping time for everyone's busy lives.
We were almost at the top! Now, word to the wise... don't go on the Eye if you are not a lover of windy weather (meaning me!). We reached the top and then the pod swayed! Yes, I fell deadly silent and my legs went to jelly! Just once the pod moved, but that made me realise just how high we were!
Now, I have been on the London Eye many times, but this was the first time I was glad we were going back down! I looked below and saw the ever increasing queues beneath us.
The girls had seen London by river and by air... now by foot. Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Horse Guards, The Mall, Whitehall! Their energy kept me going.
Part 3 coming up very soon!!
Have a lovely week.
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