London Part 2: Eye in the Sky

Disconcertingly the pods on the London Eye don’t stop, so you have to step on as they pass in front. MWF and I made it aboard without trouble. MWF isn’t the best with heights and yet this is the second time that we’ve incorporated it into a holiday.

MWF had been on the Eye before, and hated it, but knowing that I wanted to she had bravely agreed to ride it once more, making it abundantly clear that this was the only time she would do so.

I enjoyed the view although it was limited as I couldn’t navigate around the pod due to having MWF clinging to me like a limpet. I still managed to take a few snaps, like the one below, and even walked around a bit.

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It was here I made a mistake. I took a step forward to the end of the pod. There’s something about placing your foot and seeing a long drop behind it that shakes your confidence.

I’m standing in a glass bubble hanging several stories above the river. What the hell was I thinking?! And the guide told us the Eye was only supposed to be up for 5 years! It’s over ten years past it! If this breaks, I’m doomed!

I had a weak knees moment and moved back to the centre, and MWF’s iron embrace.

Getting off we needed something to steady us and set out in search of coffee. Unfortunately the nearest was Starbucks. I took a bit of a gamble and decided to have a peppermint latte, which thankfully was quite nice as I’d have been more than a little annoyed if I’d given tax dodgers cash for something which was undrinkable.

MWF went to the bathroom, but it was blocked. Returning she informed the barista who responded with a helpful “yes, it is.” I don’t know if she thought MWF was just letting her know, but it wasn’t helpful. MWF asked what she was supposed to do and was informed that the nearest bathroom was at the London Eye.

It was a frustrating exchange as the woman seemed unsympathetic and unhelpful, and the staff had clearly just accepted that they had no working loo without trying to sort it. I bet there was a staff toilet that worked fine, which is why they didn’t care.

If Starbucks aren’t going to pay tax they could at least invest some of the cash they’ve saved in training their staff to be a bit nicer,or to hire a plumber.

After coffee we legged it back to the London Eye to answer the call of nature and go to the 4D experience which was included on our ticket and was fun in a cheesy way.

Afterwards we debated our next move. MWF dismissed the Sea Life centre as “boring” and fancied the London Dungeons, but that would be almost £50, which was ridiculous.

MWF then realised that there was a Florence Nightingale museum, so we headed there. It was a no-brainer, really, what with it being International Women’s Day and MWF is a student nurse.

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It’s a small museum but quite a good one, and it was interesting to hear more about Florence and her work. Like most people I’d heard of her briefly at school so it was cool to learn more about her life and work, especially the lasting impact she had on nursing practice. MWF was even more interested, and raided the gift shop on the way out.

Leaving there we headed across the river to have a look at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and then set off towards the Palace cutting through St James’s Park.

I’ve never been in the park and it was gorgeous, with squirrels rushing everywhere and a chance to see a heron closer than I ever have before.

We stopped briefly outside the Palace, where the guards did a bit of marching. One of them was clearly new as his timing was off and even at distance he looked oddly boyish, maybe he was on work experience?

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It’s odd that the guards with their daft hats get so much attention as they do the same job as the armed copper who stood a little further on, ignored and without a little hut to shelter in.

We had lots of time before we had to go meet my friend Dan, so we strolled through Green Park and decided it was time for another cuppa. But where to go?

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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