I used to visit London regularly, mainly for work, which gave me a great chance to see friends and explore all the different parts of the city where they lived. With time spent in London either in work mode or seeing friends mode, I rarely did “touristy” stuff, and on the rare occasions I have done I’ve been underwhelmed.
Instead, London’s the sort of place where it’s worth exploring away from the tourist trail, exploring the streets, markets, canal paths and parks of this big and very diverse city. Each corner of the city is different, and they’re all (mostly) well connected by the Tube and other forms of transport.
So I’ve never really done the iconic famous things like the London Eye.
A few hours to kill in London on our way back from Luxembourg before we caught the sleeper home allowed us to do something that is unashamedly touristy but which we both fancied giving a go.
The London Eye is a recent but now firmly established feature of London’s riverside and skyline, and taking its 35 minute or so circuit is a great way to see the sprawling city from above – not least as darkness fell, which was the time of day when we found ourselves there.
I was glad to discover they were able to take us with our wee suitcase and small rucksack that we had with us on the journey, incidentally. The left luggage at St Pancras and Waterloo (the Eye’s closest station) would not offer any reduction on the staggering £8 fee for 24 hours, which was absurd given that there must be people always looking for shorter periods. So top marks to the Eye staff for letting us on with them.
It’s an impressive experience, and I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Though excuse the slight blur on one or two of them – it was hard to time the long exposure shots with the breaks in the slow rotation of the wheel.
After that it was time to grab some dinner not far from Euston station, and then hit platform 15 to board the sleeper for the long overnight journey home – one last train journey on the year’s last overseas adventure.