Sunday, December 11, 2011

London Eye

the London Eye at twilight a few weeks ago

Yesterday we went and rode the largest Ferris wheel in Europe - the London Eye. My family bought us tickets to visit the Eye and the London Aquarium as a Christmas gift, which was so nice. These were two attractions that were very appealing to us, but kind of on the pricey side. I don't know if we would have sprung for tickets for ourselves, which made it a real treat.

It's hard to tell from the photos, but this thing is HUGE. I've heard it's London's answer to the Eiffel Tower. It is located on the South bank of the Thames and was pretty easy for us to get to since our tube line stops right by it.

Wikipedia tells me the Eye is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK. And you can really tell - they are set up to process a ton of people. Since it was a Saturday during the holidays, it was pretty crowded, but since it was 40 degrees, not terribly crowded. I can only imagine what a zoo it is during the summer. Or what it will be like during the Olympics. Eek.

Charlie fell asleep in his stroller while we were walking around looking for the ticket office. We only had a 10 or 15 minute wait to pick up our tickets and he slept the whole time. That is so sad, that these days 15 minutes is a huge nap for him. Anyways.

By the time we got in line for the Eye, we had to get him out and fold up the stroller. He laid his head down on Brad's shoulder while we waited in line.
Quit taking my picture Mom

I was worried about the grumpies, but as soon as he saw the Ferris wheel pods (??) going by, he was excited. He would yell out Fly Away! I guess they looked like little planes taking off? I'm not sure, but it was a very cute Fly Away.

This is what they look like:
As soon as Charlie realized he had woken up, he was hungry. Fortunately I'd already had a moment of mommy-genius and purchased a ham sandwich, brownie and water for Charlie to eat when he woke up. We cracked that stuff open as soon as we were in our pod for the ride and Charlie snacked the whole time and was very happy. 
Don't you love that hat? My mom picked it out for him. It's the first hat he's ever willingly worn.

The Eye is 443 feet tall. This provides an excellent view, given that London and the surrounding areas are pretty flat. Since it was early afternoon, the sun was already well towards setting the West (don't even get me started on how early the sun sets here), which meant Big Ben and Parliament were hard to catch on camera. This was the best we got:

Everything to the East, South and North, though, was lovely....

Charlie's favorite part was watching the trains speed in and out of Waterloo station....

He also liked watching all the boats on Thames... doesn't that water look yummy??
And here are all of us, posing individually because getting a shot all together is, in Charlie's words, Toooo Haaaarrrrddddd....
Doing his best Tom Cruise

After a week of being sick, it was nice to go do something fun and get out of the apartment for a while. There was a German Christmas market along the river that we walked by briefly, mostly because I am on the hunt for wooden Christmas ornaments and decor similar to what my mom and Aunt have from when my Aunt lived in Germany. I scored some cute stuff and we were all ready for a nap after that.

The tickets also include a visit to the Aquarium some time in the next month and I think we're going to go next weekend. I *love* aquariums and I wanted to have plenty of time to look at everything. I think Charlie will get a kick out of it too.

Thank you family for such a memorable Christmas gift! We had an amazing time!


Gena Marie said...

This REALLY makes me want to come back to London!

Katie Eaton Photography said...

How fun!