Spring Break April 22 - May 1, 2000

London, England
You can click on any picture to see it larger

London Eye

Since we have pictures from London and Paris from earlier visits on this site, we tried not to duplicate too many photos.
We got into London on Saturday afternoon, the day after Gramma and Grampa. We checked into the hotel and went to lunch then headed off to check out the British Airways London Eye. It is the largest Ferris Wheel in the world at 450 feet. It was sold out until later that night (around 9 pm) so we bought tickets for the next morning (you buy them for a 1/2 hour time frame) and took off on one of the boat tours on the Thames. Unfortuantely (or luckily) I didn't take my camera, so no pictures of any of that.

This is the inside of the capsule.

Our view of Gramma (two people to the left of the orange jacket).

The capsule in front of us.

Up and down the Thames, the houses of Parliment and Big Ben.
This was our 'guide'. She gave us the background on the Ferris Wheel and pointed out the landmarks.

The main structure was built in Holland (using British Steel), the hub and spindle were cast in Czech Republic, the bearings in Germany, cables from Italy, and boarding and disembarking tests were performed in France using full-size mock ups of the capsules.

The parts were delivered and sent up the river Thames by barge. The wheel was then constructed in a flat position, lying above the river on temporary platforms built up from the river bed. It was then winched gradually into an inclined position, in a process that took 24 hours. The following week it was lifted into a vertical position and opened in January 2000.

We decided to stroll over to Buckingham Palace to catch the Changing of the Guards. This is where the old guard (the Foot Guards of the Household Regiment) comes off duty to be replaced by the new guard (in the incredibly slim chance you didn't know what changing of the guards meant).

They play music and march, it's pretty cool (great place to people watch too).

There is also the Changing of the Horse Guard, the mounted troopers of the Household Calvary. While we were there, they just stood and faced each other, not much changing going on.

Later though, we saw them down the street by the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Luckily we were right at the Disney-esk St. James Park, so we wandered around looking at the flowers and sat on a bench to relax for awhile.

On to
Kensington Palace