To be honest, as I’ve trundled around this big wheel, from one side of the Thames to the other, and I think – “it’s only a Ferris wheel, what’s the fascination?” So true. Such is my cynical mind at work.
London touches my soul and she inspires me to push my limits. I’m no fan of gentrification though I do appreciate London jumping into the twenty-first century with zeal. But, when I visualise London with my eyes closed I see cobblestones, the grandeur of Regent Street, the Gentlemanly Jermyn Street, Leadenhall Market and a jovial night at my club. That said, I do love a walk along the Southbank.
I do have to ask, however, how many ways can you photograph the London Eye? While you think about my question, you might find the following London Eye facts interesting:
The London Eye had had several names including the British Airways London Eye, Merlin Entertainment’s London Eye, the EDF Energy London Eye, the Coca-Cola London Eye, and it has also been known as the Millennium Wheel.
The London Eye was designed by several architects including Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Julia Barfield, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, David Marks, and Mark Sparrowhawk.
On New Year’s Eve, the London Eye was tested without passengers. On February 1st, 2000 it was tested with its first passengers. On March 9th, 2000 the London Eye opened to the public.
The London Eye cost approximately 70 million pounds to build.
The London Eye is 443 feet tall and its diameter is 394 feet.
The London Eye resembles the wheel of a bicycle with tensioned steel cables supporting the wheel’s rim similar to spokes.
The London Eye has 32 air-conditioned and sealed passenger capsules that can hold as many as 25 people. Inside the capsule, passengers can move around or sit in the chairs provided.
Each capsule of the London Eye weighs 10 tonnes.
It takes 30 minutes to ride the London Eye, and does not stop to allow passengers on and off.
The 32 capsules of the London Eye are symbolic with one for each of London’s boroughs. There is no number 13 due to superstitious beliefs so there is a number 33 capsule.
The London Eye in London is symbolic to its people in the same way that the Eiffel Tower is to the people of Paris.
The London Eye is the fourth tallest Ferris wheel in the world today, but it does not even rank in the top 20 tallest structures in London.
Approximately 3.5 million people visit the London Eye each year and it is the U.K.s most popular (paid) tourist attraction.
The London Eye is a popular place for proposals. More than 5000 engagements have begun while riding the London Eye.
From the top of the London Eye on a clear day, it is possible to see Windsor Castle 25 miles away.
The London Eye was not the first giant Ferris wheel constructed in London. In 1895 the Empire of India Exhibition took place in London, for which the Great Wheel was built. It existed until 1907 when it was torn down. More than 2 million people rode the Great Wheel.
Although not the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the London Eye is the tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the world.