Eye Over London

Imagine being on the tallest ferris-wheel in the world — 435 feet in the air, high over London — in 1 of 32 revolving glass gondolas. That’s what you’ll enjoy when you’ve bought a ticket on the London Eye!

British Airways sponsors a bird’s-eye view for you of this ancient city. The huge wheel revolves at a speed of a half mile an hour. One revolution takes 30 minutes and the wheel accommodates 800 people at a time, in enclosed glass cabins. At night, the city really looks magical.

And, don’t be discouraged if you arrive without tickets; the long lines usually move along quite well.

If you take a map with you (or their Vistas 360 pamphlet), it will be more meaningful, once you get oriented. Then, you will be able to look for and enjoy some of your favorite sites and sections of London Town.

Indeed, it took hundreds of people, in 5 countries, more than 7 years to make this revolutionary design a reality. And, on a clear day, you can see all the way to Windsor Castle, 25 miles away!

If the windows are clean and if you stay away from the sunny side, you should get great photos.

Looks can be deceiving. Even though it seems light and airy, there’s plenty of substance. The steel used is the about the same as what more than 1,200 London taxi-cabs would weigh. The spindle and the hub weigh more than Big Ben, the clock-tower at Parliament!

If you have disabled guests, be sure to read the information on the official website at:
London Eye – Basics

But because this venue is so new, it’s one of the major sites where there is full-access.

The site has varying closing times during the year, so be sure to check the link above. You’ll be able to get your pre-booked tickets printed out on-site at dispensing machines, too, but you must remember which credit-card you used for your original order and have it with you!

The safety and security section of the official websites recounts what you are allowed to bring on board. There is NO storage facility at the Eye, so anything forbidden must be checked-in at the safe luggage storage area of Waterloo Station (a 5 minute walk).  Plan to come early so this mad dash can be made, if needed.

There are baby-changing facilities inside the County Hall. No food or drink is allowed on board – even using baby bottles (so feed your child while waiting to board).

With proper prior planning, everyone can enjoy their “flight” on the Eye. It’s the closest each of us is likely to travel on the wing! And, it’s definitely more engaging than flying over London in a helicopter or plane.

And, by the way, if you want to see an extraordinary artist, who can accurately draw the City with only a moment’s glance, check out Stephen Wiltshire You’ll be able to have a wonderful aerial souvenir from London when purchasing from Stephen and you will be supporting a true artist, rather than just buying mass-produced items.

Have fun joining the hawks! It’s the ride of a life-time.

©2009 Mystic at Travel Vacation Review