Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Thames Clipper and The London Eye

In the last 7 years, I have been to London 16 times.

Guess how many times I have been on the London Eye?

Zero. Until now.

In the past I would always look at it and think "I wonder if that thing could fall into the Thames" or "It honestly doesn't look like much is holding those pods on" I'd also admire  the fireworks on New Years Eve, they truly are phenomenal. But In all of my trips, I couldn't bring myself to actually buy a ticket and get on that big ole Ferris wheel.

This year though, when I took my children to England for the summer, I knew that this was going to be the year of the London Eye. 

We traveled from Tower Bridge to South Bank, where the London Eye is located. Instead of taking the underground, we decided to take a River bus, also known as "The Clipper". It's a huge boat with seating like any airplane, complete with pull down trays. It also has a small canteen that sells simple drinks and snacks. 


The Clipper is roughly £7 per person, one way. It's not the cheapest form of travel in London, but the experience is wonderful, London is a whole new city when viewed from the Thames.

When we arrived my 13 year old teen took one look at it and said "I'm not going up there"... 


He had me telling him "Oh don't be silly, you'll be fine!"


I booked our tickets online. It's a much better deal and I also got tickets to Madame Tussaud's at the same time, The more places and tickets you book, the better the deal!
In fact, you can save up to 40% if you book 3 different site seeing tours. 


It's a pretty fascinating experience, as the London Eye NEVER stops... you have to hop on it while it's moving. As a huge pod approaches the bottom of the wheel (see photo above) everyone exits, next a security crew quickly goes aboard and uses mirrors to check under seats and after clearing the pod, the next group of people board. Kinda Quickly.


Once you're on board, you have a feeling of "Phew!"... Made it!
And as you begin to turn, you realize that you can't even feel the wheel turning, and the mechanics of the whole machine is very cool, then... you see central London. You stand in awe and begin to soak in all of the majestic views.


I counted how many people were in the pod that we were in, but in all of the excitement I forgot (Some blogger I am :), however I know it was close to 25, there were a lot of people in there! But rest assured, it's a huge pod!


 There is even a big bench in the middle



To my surprise, I did get to see,
(And it took me a second to work out what it was)
An upside down Cow!


 (After our trip I looked this up and found out it was part of the Udderbelly Festival)
Ahhh the things you see in London eh?

Everything was going so wonderfully
And then
THEN
I felt ill, the pod we were in made it to the top and here I am freaking out. Only on the inside of course, and my son? He was just fine and walking around, But I did say to him "Stay away from the door!!!"... People must have thought I was a complete idiot. But at the top, 443 Feet UP...I felt panicky! Surely the door can unlock from the inside??
Luckily, I only lost my mind for about 3.2 seconds.
I had a quick word with myself
"Come on Tammy, this thing is made really well!"


I was amazed by the London Eye's construction


We were so high,
443 Feet Up!


I had to do some serious self calming talk at the top, but as we came back around, and down, I reminded myself I was higher when I went to the Sky Garden, on top of the Walkie Talkie Sky Scraper.

After about 30 minutes, we were back on the ground again.
And I ask myself (like I do after every plane ride), "So what was the big deal?" That was easy!
(Heights aren't my thing... have you noticed?)
However, I'm not one to let a little fear stop me from travel, and experiencing such magnificent experiences.


The London Eye is worth the ride and the pennies, we rode it during July and only had to stand in line about 30 minutes. Besides, you can buy Ice Cream while waiting, so no complaints from me or the children!

The London Eye Website for discounted advanced purchases is HERE
And HERE you can book tickets or get information regarding the Thames Clipper

Thank you for stopping by, I love writing and talking about London and I'd love it if you said hello!
Have a great week,
Tammy

2 comments:

  1. Like you we've been to London more times than I can remember, but have never been on the Eye and it will never happen, You had a panic attack up there, I would have gone berserk, my fear of heights is totally unreasonable. Glad you enjoyed it though.

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  2. Well. Not quite a panic attack. But 15 minutes longer I may have needed a Xanax! :)

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