The London Eye on the south bank of the River Thames stands at 443 feet (135m) with a diameter of 334 feet (120m) so it’s quite big. And if you’re 25cm tall like me, it looks even bigger. But that didn’t stop me from taking a leap of faith with John last weekend when we drove to the big smoke to take a ride on London’s observation wheel, the Millenium Falcon, oh I mean Millenium Wheel. Wouldn’t it be great if it was the Millenium Falcon with Han Solo and Chewbacca at the helm! Worrying I didn’t see anyone at the helm of the Millenium Wheel and I had read previously that there was an incident when they stopped the wheel for safety checks after a faulty part was discovered and people were suspended in one of the pods 450 feet above the ground for an hour. I suppose one incident with no injury in 16 years isn’t bad and apparently there are supplies of water, blankets and even commodes in each capsule to cater for basic needs. Although if John and I got stuck up there it would take more than a hot drink and a refund to soothe my nerves!
The actual experience was pleasant and the clear blue skies provided an unobstructed view. John pointed out lots of interesting landmarks to me including the Can of Ham and the Gherkin, the Salt Cellar, the Cheese-grater and the Walkie-Talkie. No this isn’t a list of the snacks John keeps in his rucksack! They are nicknames for a collection of unusually shaped structures that have been constructed in the city, namely St Marys Axe office buildings, a glass clad skyscraper of triangular design called the Shard, the Leadenhall Building (office, retail and dining space) and a handset shaped tower that contains office space and an indoor garden close to St Pauls Cathedral. The pillars and arches of Westminster Abbey are now surrounded by the slopes and curves of modern architecture that, in London anyway, often have peculiar shapes reminiscent of everyday objects. I would like to see a cat shaped shopping mall with a rescue centre attached!