The London Eye

Bob Borson —  October 3, 2011 — 7 Comments

I had a great time in London and my head and body and finally coming back around from the jet lag. One morning the entire group walked along the Thames from our hotel to our first event of the day and we passed right next to the London Eye.

London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

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I’ve seen pictures of the London Eye before but they don’t honestly do it justice. This thing is big … really big, and I couldn’t help but stand in awe at the engineering. The London Eye is just under 443′ feet tall with a wheel circumference of 1,392 feet (that’s the equivalent of almost 4 and a half football fields)

London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

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The London Eye was opened for business starting in March of 2000 and since that point has averaged more than 3.5 million visitors a year. Unfortunately it wasn’t open as we walked by and since this wasn’t a scheduled stop, most of the pictures I took happened as we walked by on our way to the Poggenpohl UK showroom.

London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

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I had every intention of coming back at some point and taking a spin on the London Eye but I never did find the time (guess I’ll just have to come back…).  Standard tickets run around $20 per person but you can splurge and go for a private capsule for you and 24 of your closest friends for $720. Since you get to travel one complete circle – and each rotation takes about 30 minutes, it might be the most fun you’ve ever had at $0.96 per minute per friend. Talk about making an impression and a memory.

London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

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There are 32 capsules on the London Eye, each representing one of the 32 boroughs of London … except for the one that appears to be missing. Each one of those capsules has it’s own heating and cooling properties and weighs 20,000 pounds.

London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

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London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

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London Eye

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London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

Since I wasn’t planning on seeing the London Eye on the day I actually did see it, I didn’t have the right lens on me. I was prepared and had my camera outfitted with a 10-18mm wide angle lens fully expecting to be in showrooms where I would not have much room to back up. As a result, the distortion on some of these picture is disturbing – not that I’m not amused by the pictures I took. I can assure you that the London Eye is not leaning towards the Thames … it is straight up and down, just like you would expect it to be oriented.

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London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

However, because I had my wide angle lens, I was able to get some shots that otherwise would be impossible. Yes, it kills me that the right hand side of the wheel is clipped off in this picture… <sigh>

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London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

Just imagine, 25 people can comfortably fit inside each on of those capsules …

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London Eye, picture by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

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I was going to bring my wife and daughter along with me on this trip but things didn’t work out so they had to stay at home. Despite the lovely gifts I brought home from Harrods, I did promise to schedule a return trip in the near future. There are so many things to do and see in London and 5 days simply isn’t enough. I imagine one of these times when we make it over to London, my wife will show me where she was born.

If you are planning a trip to London, please make time to actually take a lap in the London Eye – just don’t tell me how amazing it was and rub my face in it. You can find the site to check schedules and buy tickets in advance here.

**UPDATE**

I was sent this infographic on the London Eye from my friends at Confused.com it’s full of, well… information presented graphically. Enjoy!

London Eye Infographic

click for the original file location on Confused.com

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even better

  • http://www.tendtotravel.com Amer

    The London Eye is definitely my favourite London icon surpassing the Gherkin. I love the originality of the idea – having a ferris wheel right bang in the historic quarter of the city. Also the amazing architecture and engineering blending seamlessly. London’s designers at its best!

  • ABC Dragoo

    I quite like your photos Bob. The weather that day was so perfect for a spin on the Eye – I bet you could see forever from there. Don’t feel bad about not going on it though. I’ve been to London no less than 50 times since it opened and *still* have not taken a ride.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      thanks … and you’re going to have to fix that.

      I did have one picture of this lady who timed her jump right in front of my camera, I thought about using it but there was a lot of ear involved.

      Cheers,
      Bob

  • http://twitter.com/cupboards Nick @ Cupboards

    What a bummer that you guys didn’t get to take a spin! Great photos, Bob… Thanks a lot for sharing!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks Nick!

  • Mdstephens

    You can also get a champagne special trip; couple glasses champagne + guide-card at not much more than standard price, you’re with other people rather than closest friends ;-)

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I saw that option – I’d have been to busy trying to take advantage of the 360 degree view of London and taking pictures like crazy to actually hold anything other than my camera!