The London Eye & surrounding area

England Travel Blog

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My Mum at the London Eye in 2005, she loved it

London Eye " London, UK (1998 - 2005):  I do not recall the London eye in 1998 when I visited my cousin Grace in England. I was on the East Side of London and did not take any tours or pictures. I do however recall that in 2000 the millennium year, the London eye was big in the news in the United Kingdom and worldwide. It said the wheel would be opened to the public " "iconic landmark and a symbol of modern Britain", the press called it. In the same year during the World Travel Market (WTM) tourism fair held yearly in London, the London eye won the award for best architecture and engineering

I was not in London during the millennium celebrations, but I still remember as if it were yesterday, the brightness with which the lights on the wheel glowed.

My daughter at the London Eye, she would not stop talking about seeing the world from up there
By the second year of it’s opening, it was drawing almost three million tourists and became the highest paid tourist attraction in England. I’m afraid of heights so I have never really gone on the wheel. It is very tall and I understand from my sister who has actually gone tot he top that you can see most of London from up there. Some day I will have to bury my fear and go to the top.

In 2005 my daughter went for summer break to England where my sister was stationed for four years as a diplomat. My mom visited the following year and each year she took her family tot he London eye. My daughter could not stop talking about the wheel and how she saw the world from up there. My mom could not describe what she saw, she was dump founded. This was her first trip outside of her country. At an incredible one hundred and thirty five meters high, the London eye is one of the highest eye views standing between Westminster Bridge and the Waterloo station.

My daughter stealing the show from her cousin Keith
Across from it is “Big Ben" the Parliament building. Across the Themes River, the reflection of the wheel is incredible.

I still remember the unbelievable queues for ticket purchase to the London Eye. I would advise you buy your tickets in advance if you plan to take a tour of the Eye, otherwise the sheer number of people in queue will disappoint you. I don’t remember how much it cost then (probably twelve pounds), but it could be about fifteen pounds now. Well I never bought the ticket as I was afraid of going tot he top of it. The best way to get there if you are a budget traveler like me is to use the underground. Exit 1, which is the Westminster Pier, would be your best option and Waterloo both are walking distance offering an opportunity to see other attractions along the way. I remember doing the bus tour, which was not that bad at all. There are three bus routes to the London eye; routes 11, 211 and 24. I used the 211, which is the British Airways London Eye tour. What I noticed is that most tour buses have then advertised right on the sides of the buses.

 

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Mum and her grandson Kevin
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