Hello Peaches! I hope you are all fab and keeping warm. Come to think of it, I should have started my blog sooner. So many travel and life experiences I’d love to share with you all, guess I’ll just do a throwback of my favorite places any Thursday I’ll be free to post; Hashtag throw back Thursday. Let’s throw it back to the magnificent London Eye shall we?
The London Eye is 443 feet located on the south bank of London. Situated right across the Thames from the palace of Westminster, Whitehall and Downing street. Trust me, it’s magical to look at and from.
Among the magnificent landmarks of London, it was finally off my bucket-list. It was 20th of July; Summer, a few days before leaving the United Kingdom that I decided to visit the famous London Eye. I was ecstatic although I had to tour alone. My friend had to link up with a relative in Canary Wharf but she had promised to take me on her way there since I was adamant about going. We took the train of course. First of all, we didn’t alight at the right station – the right station should have been Waterloo Underground Train station which is literally a 5 minutes-walk to the London Eye – I came to find out on my way out, because the London Eye train station definitely wasn’t it. Reason being, we had to walk for a good 30 minutes in that scorching sun just to get to the London eye. Luckily on our way, we found a bus stop and took a bus that finally got us to the London eye in like 5 minutes.
The first thing I saw at the entrance was a bronze sculpture of the former President of South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela, mounted on a small plinth paying tribute to the world renowned revolutionary for his efforts to demolish apartheid in South Africa. That was very impressive to see.
However, time was not on our side hence we didn’t do much of exploring, but went straight to the London eye although I remember this hotel which had such strikingly beautiful ceilings.
Coming out, I saw these cheerful kids playing in the dancing fountain, as always, kids win my attention. It was so lovely seeing them happy, which is the kind of happy I’d like to be 24/7. Oh, how being a kid is blissful! Take me back somebody!
Afterwards, I walked to the booking office. Wax lady American Actress and Humanitarian, Angelina Jolie, in her stunning silk red-carpet dress, welcomed me and of course I couldn’t resist a picture with her. I mean, even as a wax figure she’s that attractive, I can’t imagine meeting her in body and flesh. Damn Jolie! She’s goals!
Okay, done obsessing now back to the paying part. I walked to queue in for the tickets and on reaching the counter, this fine gentleman showed me a brochure of all the attractions inside that I would have loved to experience. As much as I wanted to, I had to politely cut him short to pay for the London-eye ticket because they were about to close (although it is more advisable to book online). I quickly paid for my ticket and was ready to board. That queue was so long that I didn’t think I’d get in anytime soon! But I was patient enough to withstand it and got into the capsule which by the way, doesn’t really stop but just slows down. Rushedly, I entered and sat with lovely strangers.
I came to learn a few interesting facts about the London eye while in the capsule that day. Firstly, the capsules on the London eye are numbered 1 to 33 superstitiously for good luck as no. 13 is weirdly missing. Also, the London eye can carry 800 people each rotation: 25 people per capsule which is comparable to 11 London red double decker buses. Last but not least, the 32 capsules on the London eye are representative of the 32 London boroughs.
I was just enjoying the breathtaking view of London’s famous landmarks in the world’s tallest giant cantilevered observation wheel. We were soaring through the urban sky line at a leisurely pace of 26cm per second which is twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting. The self-stabilizing powered capsules were so comfortable to move around freely. The complete revolution took us 30 minutes that at some point, I couldn’t wait to get off because I was becoming restless. Notwithstanding my shift in mood, I mentally cheered myself up so as to swoon into the moment and gaze at the alluring city as if time had stopped for the wonderful city to unveil its face that smiled at us and inspire us with bewilderment and rhapsody. Everyone in the capsule was euphoric, in awe of the marvelous jaw dropping view, as though they couldn’t believe their naked eyes. As they were taking pics, I noticed that my phone battery was draining so I managed to take one picture and decided to just enjoy the amazing 360-view of the beauteous city of London – 40 KM in all directions stretching to Windsor castle. The dominating of the skyline view though was Big Ben, the eye-catching Gherkin Building, Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
On alighting the capsule, I felt like I could tour all I wanted since I had achieved my goal for the day. But then I remembered that I had to do dinner with my friends so I didn’t have much time. Just as I was about to take selfies before my phone died, these youngsters decided to photo bomb. “How rude,” I thought. But then they looked like they were just young boys having fun so I thought not to be a kill-joy by not minding that selfie. They were chuckling and nudging each other then came close to me teasingly asking me, “Are you Rihanna’s sister?” LOL I burst out laughing and that peaches, was the highlight of my day! So they were literally following me like lost puppies waiting for another selfie to bomb into but I put my phone away. Somehow, I wasn’t with it because of my paranoia and they mysteriously dissapeard.
While touring, this stranger came up to me and asked me where I was from just to strike up a conversation I guess, and if I consented to being assisted with taking pictures with my phone. Weirdly, I didn’t refuse, I mean who wouldn’t want pics taken next to the London eye! And Big Ben!
The Comedian Mr. Bean theme was somehow trending that day. I couldn’t really fathom the reason behind it but maybe it was part of the entertainment I guess, because I passed one man who almost nailed it as Mr. Bean; if you squinted a little. He was part of the attraction and cashing in too mate.
On my way out, those boys again! One of them wore a Mr. Bean mask. It was so hilarious. They were a fun lot I wouldn’t disagree because they made passers-by laugh and that itself is a blessing.
Called it a day and rushed to the Waterloo Underground Train station that I had sighted which was just literally outside the main exit of the London eye. Basically, I felt like we played ourselves walking that long earlier but relieved too since I was so exhausted but it was totally worth it.
In a nutshell, it was so surreal. Words are redundant to describe how just being on that gigantic wheel felt. The London Eye puts the whole city into perspective; an epiphany of the globe as a whole, eliciting admiration for God’s Mightiness. Even though my stay was not long enough to vastly tour the United Kingdom, the London Eye gave me gratification that I had a glance of it all, the city and the countryside beyond. ☺️