Samiul Raijul: Visiting the tourist attractions in London is quite exciting and interesting as it comes with lots of fun and enjoyment. One such destination is the London Eye which is a large Ferris wheel by the south bank of the River Thames in Central London. This Ferris wheel, adorned with lights, takes about half an hour to complete a full circle, or one revolution.
The diameter of the wheel is 394 feet. This is the third largest wheel in the world after the High Roller (America) and the Singapore Flyer (Singapore). The London Eye is also the largest wheel in Europe. Visitors get a half an hour ride with a view of the beautiful Thames and its surroundings from almost 400 feet above the river water level.
My brother and I decided to go on the London Eye, and as we wanted to ride it in the evening, we booked tickets for the 6 pm ride. One can book tickets every half an hour starting from 10 am to 8:30 pm every day, upon availability.
As we arrived early with our pre-booked tickets, we planned to take a tour around. The entrance and surroundings, especially the array of trees along the road leading to the entrance, were adorned with blue colourful lights.
The view was indeed majestic as it was during sunset, thus a beautiful and eye-soothing atmosphere was created along the river bank, seemingly to give visitors a warm welcome. The wheel rotates clockwise if seen from the other side of the river. As our 6pm ride period started, the security and the curators ushered the visitors to get into a line. We got into the queue and went through the security check.
As the wheel is always slowly rotating, the visitors must get on it in its rotating motion. The London Eye’s rotating motion can be compared with the speed of a typical escalator. The wheel has rotating motion of almost 10 inches per second.
The big wheel has 32 capsules attached to it, and each capsule can hold up to 25 visitors. We waited at the standing platform for a capsule to come close to us and we, in no time with a small leap, got onto it. Security locked the gate securely from the outside as soon as a specific number of visitors boarded the capsule.
The capsules are made of see-through glass, except for the floor, which is opaque – much to my brother’s relief due to his fear of heights. The egg-shaped capsules also have built-in rounded seats. Visitors can enjoy the beauty by leaning on the capsule wall except for the door area.
As the wheel was slowly taking us upwards, I could start seeing the things clearly. Things that are seen from the ground look totally different when seen from London Eye. The long Thames flowing windingly with bridges built across it is the main beauty.
The Tower Bridge, the Millennium Bridge, and the Waterloo Bridge are the main thoroughfare bridges that are seen clearly. There were boats and yachts floating on the river for the visitors wishing to have a fleeting journey on the Thames. The British Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Whitehall and the Big Ben are also visible.
By the time we reached at the top of the wheel, we found the view more appealing. We started to come downwards when an announcement was made to urge the visitors to stand at the photo-zone area, where we to be photographed. As the wheel completed the circle we got down the same way we had got into. The photo that was taken is offered to the visitors if they want to buy it upon exiting.