After I saw pretty much everything at the Globe (see review), I left and walked West along the Bankside, stopping along the way as I felt like. The day was overcast but not threatening and there was a coolish breeze blowing off the Thames. I sat daydreaming at one point trying to decide what else I *should* do and ended up scolding myself. I didn't *have* to do anything if I didn't want to! No law says I have to go, go, go. Eventually I found myself down by the London Eye wheel. I bought a bottle of water and muffin at a keyosk and looked up at the wheel. I have been of two minds all week whether to "fly the Eye", but there was no lineup today whatsoever and that made my mind up for me. I was able to buy a ticket in County Hall and walk right into a "pod" after two security guards checked my purse first. Apparently there usually is quite a lineup for tickets but the day after the Sept. 11 attacks, there was absolutely nobody wanting to go up in the attraction, fearful that it could also be a target.
It's not cheap, but you can save 10% by booking online.
The complete circuit takes a half hour to the minute nearly. The weather was more or less clearing though very little blue sky was visible. Still a decent enough day for the view. The compartments can hold 20 people each and there's a bench in the middle to sit on if you are nervous about standing too close to the glass wall. You don't feel the movement at all, nor feel or hear even a rumble from a motor! You move so slowly that the only way you can tell you are even moving at all is because your eyes tell you that you are going up.
About halfway up one side even my eyes started to fool me. The scene didn't look as if it was changing at all and I thought we were stopped. There comes a point where you are above the buildings far enough that it really is difficult to tell if you are going up or down. The next thing I knew, we were cresting over the top and my brain then told my eyes that yes, things were farther down than they were 10 minutes ago. The views were spectacular. Taking photos is possible although you will probably get some reflection of the light off the glass walls. I was even able to see a bit of the Tower Bridge between two office blocks. Night "flights" would be pretty cool too, though I think twilight, just as the lights of the city are coming on but it's light enough to see a bit of distance would be even better.
You only get the once around the circle and you're off. I walked across Westminster bridge and decided to head back to Liverpool Station as it was after 4 by this time While I waited for Nikki, I went to the McDonald's at the station and bought a milkshake and fries so that I could guiltlessly use their loo. I also had time to make a phone call to a friend who hadn't been able to make it to our get together last Sunday.
Tonight we had a delicious meal of salmon and vegetables and tiny new potatoes and I got some laundry done. Tomorrow is my last day in London before heading off to Redditch and then Manchester.