Upon arriving to a new city, one of the first things I like to do is take a bus or boat ride, or hustle to the highest point in the city to get a grasp on my surroundings. London was no different, so I headed to the London Eye.
The London Eye is a giant ferris wheel that towers 443 feet in the air and I wanted to see what that heck was way up there.
As I approached the impressive structure I was having flashbacks of my last ferris wheel ride. It was not pretty. You can spin me upside down twenty times on the Zipper, but the simplest ferris wheel ride made me revisit my prior meal of corndogs and pink popcorn. Like I said, not pretty.
Our reservations had been made well in advance and, even though I was previously unaware, they were Fast Track tickets. I was not privy to what that meant until I handed them to the attendant who scooted us to a separate line from the general admission, passing hundreds of folks in line.
Get a Fast Track ticket people. It costs a bit more, but saves at least an hour in waiting.
The London Eye has 32 capsules, representing the 32 boroughs of London.
Prior to entering the capsule I attempted to scope out which interior location would have the best view. I ignorantly determined it to be the outside right and told Peter to make a run for it when the doors opened. Each one of the capsules can fit up to 25 people, but we were lucky enough to only have half of that, so getting a good view didn’t really require any scheming.
I immediately hoarded the interactive screen that identified several of the buildings in our 360 degree view, taking note of any I may want to see close up.
Dozens of sites can be seen from the London Eye; Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Alexandra Palace, Hampton Court and so many more…
On a clear day, it is possible to see 25 miles of the beautifully amazing London. That would be a lot of ground to cover on street level.
My favorite was the London County Hall.
The entire London Eye rotation takes a half hour, slow enough to avoid making me queasy and fast enough to avoid making me bored.
Yes, it was uber-touristy. But, paired with my London city map, I had a better understanding of the layout of the land. And I felt better prepared for my next London adventure.
Have you ever taken a spin on the London Eye? What do you do when you first arrive to a new city?
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