Monday, 6 October 2008

Greater London, - an understatement - Part 3






With the Palace, Westminster and the Royals safely behind us we crossed Westminster Bridge to the sight we had caught only glimpses of, from St James Park and the streets past the Abbey, - The London Eye !
The sight of it was just stupendous and nothing as piffling as a lowly Southern Hemispherian would, in cavalier fashion, make it out to be.

At 135 metres high, the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel was overwhelming, not only for it's height, but for the fact that it's accessible to the people, to be uplifted and to see all of the heart of London from this giant loop in the sky. The 32 passenger capsules hang from the exterior of a huge spoked wheel which continues to rotate, albeit so slowly that it takes 15 minutes to arrive at it's zenith. Then, the view over the City is marvellous. To have missed the Queen's corgis was a pleasure, but to have missed riding on the London Eye would have been unforgivable !!!

I felt that Dive, Madame and I had achieved something memorable. We had come together as mates; an Australian tradition, a group of happy like-minded souls sharing common interests of blogging, of humour, of sightseeing. We had the desire to see some of the history of our own roots; a little of the land whence our forebears sprung. What we received from Dive was his depth of knowledge, his care and his wisdom. His time was our time and for all these things we are thrilled and we are so deeply grateful. (It was a bugger that we kept him so long, he missed his train back home to Norfolk and didn't arrive till after midnight. I think he had only a few hours sleep before starting out for work the next day !! )

To a wonderful, kind and thoughtful bloke, we say thanks, cobber ! You are a gem. We had a simply rip-snorting day with you in London, a day that we will cherish. Thank you Dive.

19 comments:

Thib said...

Bonjour, les Benaut! Happy to see you're back safe!
It's good fun to read the details of your European tour. I'm going to spend my (rainy, cold) afternoon reading your 2 blogs and enjoying all your photos.

I went to the London Eye last November, one late evening! London by night from so high is really great.

M.Benaut said...

Howdy Thibault,

It's wonderful to hear your happy voice so far from Paris.

We had an amazing tour of France and that other small country across La Manche.

If you are to read my European tour it will take longer than the tour itself but I hope you will enjoy it. There is so much to tell.

It was 30° when we in Paris so I hope it's not too cold now. Perhaps you will feel warmer when you read my Montpellier episode !

dive said...

Thank YOU both for a wonderful and thoroughly fun day!
I enjoyed every single minute of our time together and only wish it could have been longer.
The Eye is quite spectacular once you're inside it. And at least it has somewhere to sit, so Mme could rest after I'd dragged you both miles and miles around the city.

Now I can't wait to see what happened the next day when you crossed the channel to la belle France!

MmeBenaut said...

I just have to add my thanks too, Dive and please tell your mother that it's nowhere near as scary as these photos suggest. It was comfortable and travelled at a speed which was very gentle. Most of the view can be seen from the seat too which means that if you suffer from vertigo you don't need to go close to the glass as the seat is in the middle. However, I would recommend making the effort, for a tiny peek! What an amazing place London is but aloft, one can't hear the traffic!

lynn said...

Gosh Dive really did show you the sights! Ok this might be the other place I want to see when I finally meet Dive in London. That and Fortnums and I'll be happy. I might even go the window for the photo opps but he'd have to be holding my hand. Actually holding ME I reckon. Eek.

What fun it is to read all this, I don't want it to stop!

Coltrane_lives said...

Dizzy and dazzling with delight! Merci for sharing these extraordinary views. Great fun to share in your journey.

lynn said...

Forgot to say what a great shot that top one is! Also, the one with the pink fabric in - can't quite work out what it is. Could it be someone's shoe, as they lean as far as possible to the edge ? Oh and I just fainted...!

Petrea said...

I agree, Lynn, the shot with the pink fabric is great--having that in the foreground makes the fall to the Thames seem even more vertiginous. They're all great shots!

Oh how I love London. I, too, did a huge circuit on foot during my first trip there. I returned in a couple of weeks and spent ten foot-pounding days, loving every minute of it. A city of delights. And this was 1999, before the Eye. I must return!

Virginia said...

My head is spinning at the very thought. I am thrilled you three enjoyed it but I think I would have been on the ground waving up to you. WHeewwww!

Webradio said...

It's very high !
Great photos...

Jules said...

I think Dive needs to be made an Australian citizen - we need more Aussies like him!!!!

Dive's Tours of Greater London - catchy hey?? Maybe a career change is in the wings???

Gramma Ann said...

Enjoyed the commentary of your vacation in London. It sounds like a great time was had by all. And the ride on the London Eye sounds wonderful, what a way to see London!! I'm looking forward to more of your vacation and will be back tomorrow to tag along.

Shan said...

I am enjoying all the photos of your trip over here and at Mme's place, M.B. It sounds like you had such a wonderful connection with Lynn and Dive! Next time maybe the four of you can do London together! Glad you have such great new friends all around the globe.

M.Benaut said...

Thanks everyone,

Dive, as I said, we loved every minute. Sorry about your own personal train jet-lag. We had a ball !!!!

Lynn, both of us would hold you. Just say, when.

Coltrane, just stay aboard, ther lots more. Merci à vous.

Lynn and Petrea, the pink stuff is a little girl.

Virginia, if you get to London in November, this is a must.

Webradio, Il n'était pas aussi haut que le Viaduc-Millau ni le Tour Eiffel mais les vues, donnant sur Londres étaient superbes.

Jules, howdy mate, shall we naturalize him up your way or down here. I reckon, both, is the way to go !!

Shan, you're darn tooin' right !
Photo-blogging has opened up a whole new world of teriffic friends. Please stay on for the ride.

lynn said...

"When!" :)

M.Benaut said...

Lynn, you're just a little devil, - you are !!!

Alifan said...

Thank you for the update, am loving seeing your journey glad you saw the nice side of young Dive!!!!and yes I will go on the eye one day I hope.....him and Full are determined I should..

Looking forward to the next leg of your trip...

M.Benaut said...

Mother's always worry 'bout their little boys; do they not ?
I must say that his nice side was the only visible side.

But like me, we all have facets that express our bursting energies, our creativity and our desire to be boys.

Hannibal took his elephants round the back way to surprise a few folk and we also enjoy the back road sometimes.

Young Dive is more Scottish that one may think. While I took the low road, he was on the high one, but neither of us got to Glasgow before ye.

Perhaps there's a time and place - for people with this man's talents. I certainly believe it.

Your son is an individual with creativity beyond most men's dreams. We now miss him dreadfully. That's a credit to his Mum.

Alifan said...

Thank you xx