Eye do

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today we toured Westminster Abbey {which is as fascinating as it is gorgeous!}, saw a lunchtime concert at St. Martin in the Fields and then took a ride on the London Eye. The Eye is technically an "observation wheel." The capsules are enclosed and can hold up to 25 people. And unlike a ferris wheel, it moves very slowly - a full rotation takes about 3o minutes!

After boarding, we noticed a flurry of activity going on in the next capsule. As staff members busily hung garland, we wondered if it had anything to do with the smartly dressed group behind us. Sure enough, about twenty people in suits and dresses hopped on and a wedding ceremony began! I couldn't decide whether I should look at the views or the exchanging of vows, so I did a little of both and after they said "I do" we all clapped and they happily waved back at us.

I was curious how one would go about setting something like this up {you know, just in case I happen to meet someone in the next couple weeks} and decided to do some research. It turns out that this ceremony comes with a sky-high price tag - £2,700 {$4,300} and up! It includes two rotations on The Eye, flowers, champagne and a wedding coordinator. That's more than my entire budget for this trip, so I guess it's not in the cards for me...

Here are a few other fun tidbits about the London Eye:

A TEAM EFFORT
It took seven years and the skills of hundreds of people from five countries to make the London Eye a reality

A VIEW FIT FOR A QUEEN
You can see around 40KM (25 miles) from the top as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day

FLYING HIGH
The London Eye welcomes an average of 3.5 million customers every year. You would need 6,680 fully booked British Airways Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets to move that number of fliers!

DING! DING!
The London Eye can carry 800 passengers per revolution - equivalent to 11 London red doubled-decker buses

HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
Each of the 32 capsules weighs 10 tonnes. To put that figure into perspective, it's the same weight as 1,052,631 pound coins!

SLOWLY BUT SURELY
Each rotation takes about 30 minutes, meaning a capsule travels at a stately 26cm per second, or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour - twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting; allowing passengers to step on and off without the wheel having to stop

THE ONLY WAY IS UP
The circumference of the wheel is 424m (1.392ft) - meaning that if it were unravelled, it would be 1.75 times longer than the UK's tallest building - One Canada Square in Canary Wharf

TONNES OF FUN
The total weight of the wheel and capsules is 2,100 tonnes - or as much as 1,272 London black cabs!

UP, UP AND AWAY
The height of the London Eye is 135m (equivalent to 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other) making it the fourth tallest structure in London after the BT Tower, Tower 42 and One Canada Square in Canary Wharf

BLAST OFF
The spindle holds the wheel structure and the hub rotates it around the spindle. At 23 metres tall, the spindle is around the size of a church spire and, together with the hub, weighs in at 330 tonnes: over 20 times heavier than Big Ben

Source:

http://www.londoneye.com/ExploreTheLondonEye/InterestingFacts/Default.aspx

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