Today’s walk is much less of a walk than ever, as it involves way more sitting than walking. Why? Because I’m taking the Emirates Air Line, which, in case you didn’t know, is a cable car link connecting North Greenwich and Royal Victoria Dock on the other bank of the Thames. To get there I take the Jubilee line to the North Greenwich station.
The famous O2 Arena is here as well, right next to the station. Out of all the famous places in London, I think this one is probably the ugliest!
One may think that it’s very close from here to the Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory (which I wrote a post about about a month ago), but in fact they are quite far away, even though they are part of the same Borough of Greenwich. Where I am at the moment is the Greenwich Peninsula.
The Emirates Air Line terminus is very close to the tube station too, being literally two minutes away from it.
On my way to the terminus I’m quite surprised to spot a few young apple trees. There aren’t any fruits left at a reachable height, unfortunately, so I don’t get an apple.
Given that North Greenwich is just one Underground station away from Canary Wharf, no wonder that the high-rises of the latter are clearly visible from here. I probably need to start a collection of photos of these Canary Wharf buildings, which I’ve taken from different places in London!
I once heard that the idea of this cable car link had been taken from the metrocable link in Medellín, Colombia, where it is part of the city’s metro system. However, while in Medellín it came in really handy and useful, connecting its underdeveloped suburbs in hilly areas with the city centre and thus allowing people to commute to work more easily, in London it’s hardly been as practical. It looks like it’s used more as attraction than for commuting.
Here I am in a cable car, ascending to its maximum height of 90 metres, at which it crosses the Thames.
Looking down, I see a lot – and I mean A LOT! – of construction going on around. As the audio guide inside the cable car is telling me, in addition to the City and Canary Wharf, a third London’s major business district is being constructed in the Royal Docks area, which is essentially going to be an Asian Business District.
This is what I mean when I call the O2 Arena building ugly – it looks to me like a mechanical hedgehog, which is hardly the most beautiful thing in the world!
But otherwise, the view from the cable car is absolutely stunning and breathtaking! I also can’t help feeling slightly nervous, realising that I’m 90 metres up in the air above the Thames!
Here is the next addition to the ‘Views of Canary Wharf’ collection of photos, in case I actually end up starting one.
You may notice that the water suddenly started looking cleaner in the next picture. That’s because this is no longer the River Thames, but the Royal Victoria Dock, with the other terminus of Emirates Air Line located on its waterfront.
That looks like a nice sandy beach down there!
Seriously, just a few minutes ago I was saying that the hot weather makes me feel like I’m having a proper summer holiday on some resort, the only thing missing being the beach, and here is the response from the Universe! I should have taken a bikini 😀
I’ve already “landed” (well, referring to a cable car trip as a “flight” is actually part of the service’s branding, so I can legitimately say that I’ve landed) and am now looking across the dock at the Crystal Building, which I’ve been to and which is home to a very interesting exhibition about sustainable development.
On the other side, there are quite a few identical cottege-like buildings, and I’ve got no idea what purpose they serve.
The cable car journey was absolutely lovely and it does indeed offer quite a unique and unusual view of London. Not to mention that it connects two places, which I wouldn’t necessarily come to just to walk around, maybe if only to visit the O2 Arena or the ExCel London (which is a huge exhibition centre somewhere close to the Royal Victoria Dock).
Time to go back home, and the closest station is the Royal Victoria Dock DLR station, which goes to Tower Hill.