Marja-Leena Rathje
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London Eye



A ride on the London Eye with daughter and granddaughters.
It's touristy, it's expensive, it's scary for height-phobics like me.
An impressive work of engineering and what fantastic views to satisfy the human eye.
A hazy cloudy day, not so perfect for photography.
Little girls had no fear leaning on the sloping out glass of the pods.



Marja-Leena | 08/08/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


I've never done the Eye but for our thirtieth wedding anniversary I hired a helicopter and flew from Essex (in the east) to Kingston-upon-Thames (in the west, where we lived at the time) and out to Sunningdale where the knobs live. The second greatest flying experience ever - the first being to take off from La Guardia at night and view Manhattan like the embers of a huge open fire. I'm interested to read you found the Eye expensive. Most things in London are (the Blogger's Retreat being the exception) even to comparatively well-heeled North American residents. I'd be interested to hear about other examples of expensiveness unless you're exhausted from transcribing your travel diary.

Youzza! That looks big. For an eyeful of London though, I'd give it a whirl. I don't have a fear of heights ~ merely a fear of falling ~ so a few deep breaths would be all the preparation I would need. But leaning against the glass! Egads no!

I too am interested that you found the Eye expensive, especially when the £ was not as strong as in previous years. London is indeed an expensive destination in many ways, despite the free museums and galleries.

I've only been on the Eye once, taking nephews, and just loved the aesthetics of the machine itself as well as enjoying the views.

It is quite a feat of engineering. The heights can be nervy. It looks very elegant too.

Barrett, I've always wanted a ride in a small plane, seaplane or even a helicopter but have yet to have that experience. We rarely go to the usual ride type tourist attractions but I got out-voted on this one, and we may not have the proper sense of cost comparison. What made it so expensive was paying for the five of us, and for only half an hour's ride. For comparison, I think the Eiffel was a similar price, maybe a little less because we have an Euro account, but it was unlimited in time.

We found that food prices in pounds would usually be the same number on the sticker as in Canadian dollars, so with an exchange rate around 1.7 that was about 70% higher, even though the pound was lower than before. Intercity trains seemed reasonable but we don't have them here in BC for comparison.

Rouchswalwe, yes, it really was an eyeful! I got over the worst of my fear of heights back in 1983 when I was taken up Zugspitze. I stayed in the middle of the gondola surrounded by people, not next to the glass. Since then I've been able to go up our local Grouse Mountain gondola several times though I still stand back and don't look straight down. Only at the very peak did I feel light headed on the Eye.

Olga, the free museums sure made up for it! We knew it would be expensive there, as in most of Western Europe. Having family to stay with made a huge difference for us and we may be back while they are still there. And yes, the Eye's aesthetics are most impressive.

Anil, absolutely, it is quite beautifully designed. Husband took lots more interesting photos of the structure, maybe I should post more of them. Worth a ride at least once! Have you been to London?

I love the fearless little girls.

Anne, they are indeed fearless and lovable! Thanks for dropping by!

I remember when I first saw a photograph of it being very shocked - must be the conservative British in me. I can see that it's a magnificent feat of engineering but I still don't like the idea. I must be getting old and cranky :-)

Susan, I think I can understand that for it is rather at odds in the traditional setting, though the Gherkin is even more jarring at first sight. (Should have posted a photo of that!) The mix of very old and very modern in many European cities can take some getting used to.

Thank you so much for providing the link to the Gherkin. It looks like an egg for an alien life form. Amazing..

Susan, it does look like an egg for an alien life form, hah! When we saw it between buildings as we walked in the area, it made me think of some kind of space ship, very alien too.