The London Eye 
Sunday-Monday, July 29,30.

We were anxious to ride this spectacular Ferris wheel. It was designed to be opened on January 1, 2000 for the Millennium. We crossed the Thames on the Westminster Bridge.
But, we had to kill some time before the concert started, and chanced upon this interesting free summer concert.
The piano concert was terrible. After the interval, we heard others comment to each other with statements like "Have you heard enough?" The boring pianist was scheduled to have a go at some Chopin that we didn't want to hear him ruin, so we left and took the tube back to our hotel in Earl's Court.
Shucks! The queues were horrendous. We would have had to wait until 8 o'clock to get on. The ticket taker at the London Eye said to return tomorrow morning early. We decided to attend a piano concert at Royal Festival Hall instead and come back the next day. 
Afterwards, they let all the kids bang around on the interesting instruments. Boy, did they have a ball.
We went back to our hotel, had a bit of duty free in our room with some cheese we bought, and had dinner at a wonderful restaurant called Indian Summer. 
Here we are, bright and early Monday morning. From across the Thames, Big Ben is brilliantly sunlit -- will be great for pictures from the giant wheel.
That standing chap immediately above is a Scotland MP. We met him and his wife in the queue. 
It was very easy getting tickets and only a few persons in front of us who bought tickets previously.
We've already boarded and this is the car behind us.
The size of these cars is incredible ... room for a party.
High enough for a picture of the houses of Parliament.
The houses of Parliament without the wheel struts.
I think we are at the top. You can't feel a thing. The cars must be geared to the frame. They certainly don't dangle a bit. Also, the movement is continuous -- it never stops, even to board and disembark passengers.
  A telephoto of the above picture. I think that is Westminster, Pimlico,  the Thames after bending west and Battersea Park.

 This shows the incredible engineering of this thing. There is support only from one side, the side not facing the river. Those cables are huge and connected to a concrete block sunk in the ground. We were told that the wheel rested on barges in the river, and they had trouble hoisting it to a vertical position. It was not ready for January 1, 2000 as planned.


Looking northwest down the Thames, you can easily see the dome of St. Paul's.
Right in the middle of the green is Buckingham Palace. This shows the string of parks St. James, Green, Hyde and Kensington Gardens.
There's the Scottish MP again. He's the only Conservative MP party member from Scotland and the news refers to him as the "Only pebble on the beach."
I'm really there. As I document these pictures, I'm looking at the same map I'm looking at in this picture.
A nice shot of Charing Cross rail station. We're coming down.
Notice the different platform levels for loading and unloading which is done while the wheel is moving.  It never stops.


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