Emirates Air Line

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.

IMG_1573

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!

IMG_1574

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.

IMG_1575

The Emirates Air Line terminus is very close to the tube station too, being literally two minutes away from it.

IMG_1576

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.

IMG_1578

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!

IMG_1579

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.

IMG_1580

Here I am in a cable car, ascending to its maximum height of 90 metres, at which it crosses the Thames.

IMG_1581

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.

IMG_1582

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!

IMG_1585

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!

IMG_1587

Here is the next addition to the ‘Views of Canary Wharf’ collection of photos, in case I actually end up starting one.

IMG_1588

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.

IMG_1589

That looks like a nice sandy beach down there!

IMG_1590

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 😀

IMG_1591

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.

IMG_1594

On the other side, there are quite a few identical cottege-like buildings, and I’ve got no idea what purpose they serve.

IMG_1595

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).

IMG_1597

Time to go back home, and the closest station is the Royal Victoria Dock DLR station, which goes to Tower Hill.

IMG_1598

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Emirates Air Line

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s