We jumped in with both feet and played London tourists.
It took a few visits before finally getting to the London Eye, that iconic Ferris wheel-style attraction that looms over the Thames and promises great bird's-eye views of the city and beyond.
We always been put off by the idea of queuing up in those long lines and paying those steep prices for what is essentially a short outing. But, deciding you readers were well worth it, we put it on the agenda for review this time around.
The London Eye . . . (It's the Coca-Cola London Eye, officially, since January 2015. What the hell isn't sponsored these days?)
Anyways, the London Eye opened in March 2000 on the South Bank of the city's famed river. Back in those ancient times, the 394-foot diameter and 443-foot tall wheel was the highest public viewing point in London. It lost that superlative in February 2013 when the 804-foot-high 72nd floor observation deck of the Shard building opened.
The London Eye held the title of tallest Ferris wheel in the world until 2006 when it was surpassed by China's Star of Nanchang (525 feet), which lost its title in 2008 to the Singapore Flyer (541 feet), which was knocked from the throne in 2014 by Las Vegas' High Roller (551 feet).
Yeah, USA! USA! USA!
Despite its diminished status in the great global Ferris wheel space race -- hey, it's still the tallest wheel in Europe -- we gave it a go.
These options end up being nominally more expensive (like a couple more bucks for each type of ticket as you have a less narrow time frame for when you will ride).
Speaking of those capsules. The London Eye has 32 of them that fit up to 25 people each. You can sit on benches in the middle, but most people stand at the windows to get a good view. It's polite to rotate around and not spend too much time in one spot so that everyone can enjoy all possible vantage points. So, views are obstructed by the structure of the giant wheel itself, of course.
On our day, the sky was almost completely white with clouds. I am sure the views are much more inspiring with blue skies and sunshine, but we enjoyed seeing all the buildings lining the river and off in the distant reaches on London. You will be right across from Big Ben and Parliament Square, offering the most iconic sightings from way up top.
I'd say once is enough just to say you have been, especially at the prices. It was nice not to have to wait in a long queue, though. The attraction gets very busy in the summer and high tourism season, so definitely book online and get a fast pass if you decide to ride.
Thanks for ready.
Always travel happy,