Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Monday, 3 March 2014

Where My Heart Is - London (Part 2)

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.

Take care.

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  1. I loved your tour of London by air! Thanks for taking us along.

  2. That is amazing! The London Eye is so beautifully designed and fits in so well with the surrounding architecture! I have a slight fear of heights but I think I might be able to do this! And the city looks so very exquisite from the air! Thank you for the tour pal! Such a pretty and rich place! Lovely week to you! Nicole xoxo

  3. Wonderful photos and post . But to be honest I still prefer the English countryside lol . Thanks for sharing . looking forward to part 3 . Have a good day !

  4. Thoroughly enjoying my virtual tour, cant wait for the next instalment.

  5. Hi Chel, wow what great shots you took of the London Eye! I loved how you explained what everything was in each photo! I really love the shot of Buchingham Palace! I would have been scared with the wind swaying around too! I can't wait for the next post! Have a nice night!

  6. the Mr and I just went on the Eye last year and loved the views!

  7. Wonderful photos, Chel. :o)

  8. Great photos of and from the London Eye. Absolutely amazing piece of architecture! I would love to ride on it but I bet the height is intimidating! The highest I have been (other than in an airplane) is the Empire State Building. I wasn't too thrilled to ride an elevator up to the 86th floor to the observation deck but once I got up there, it was amazing! I do hope to visit London someday and I will definitely have this on my list of must-do's! Have a blessed week and thanks so much for sharing!

    Hugs, Vicky

  9. Fantastic!! The views are stunning. I suppose the wind wasn't noticed on the ground before you got on. That would really bother me too. I don't like open ski hill chair lifts that are only 30 feet up (at our small ski hill) or ferris wheels but, I might do this if it very calm…just to take pictures of the views. Thanks for sharing Chel.

  10. :-) It would be so fun to explore London with a native...thanks for sharing!

  11. EEEEEEeeeeeee so exciting looking at these photos and knowing I will be there in 3 days!!!
    I am loving your London posts!
    I hope you're having a great week,
    Tammy x

  12. I,m really enjoying your posts on London. I would love to come to London some day. Thanks for your informative posts.


  13. Love your London posts. Next big trip we take (in a few years) will hopefully be to England.

  14. What a wonderful view of the city from the eye! It is huge and can carry so many people. I'm not sure I would like the ride if it was a windy day.

  15. It all looks wonderful, I'm really going to have to make the effort & go.

  16. Chel, thanks for more great shots of the Thames area - glad the Eye didn't rock too much! Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's look so beautiful from the air…….and please tell why do you love the Isle of Dogs so much? I've been to Greenwich several times - great to step off the boat there and have a look at such an interesting place.

    Looking forward to Part 3.
    Hugs - Mary

  17. Beautiful and familiar views! I remember all the fuss about the London Eye as it was being constructed. And yet for some odd reason, it seems to fit into the landscape without being obnoxious - and what a great view one has of the city. I love it!

  18. I've never been in the London Eye, so it was nice seeing London from it through your eyes.

  19. Never been on it myself - and would be quite interested, you show some great sights. I have a friend who seems to go up each time she makes a (frequent) visit to London! As Country Gal says - I prefer the country, but it is good to know your capital!

  20. Thanks for a ride on the London Eye again. You took more pictures than me when we went but then I didn't really know what I was doing 7 years ago.

  21. Wow. The images are so lovely. London looks amazing.

  22. I loved my first trip on the London Eye! It was some years ago now though. I'm not a great lover of heights, but somehow the London Eye is different! I was thrilled to see Wembley Stadium twin towers in the distance and Harrow on the Hill behind! Ah! that was home sweet home many moons ago! Happy days!!! We also did the Eye at night, you couldn't pick out so many buildings needless to say, but seeing London lit up was amazing!!

  23. Gorgeous views of London, Chel! I scrolled down to see part 1 so I could get the full effect. It is quite an amazing city with so much wonderful history. I laughed when you were feeling a bit woozy from the height - I am the same way. I get vertigo just climbing a ladder. What a thrilling trip for your children, too. I love the photo of the Thames flowing through the city. So beautiful. xo

  24. Those views are spectacular! I've been to London twice, but before the Eye was erected. I'd probably feel a little squeamish, but I'd take one for the blog to get those photos!


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