Well, the time has come: my three months in London are almost over, and I fly home in just over 12 hours. I had good final full day here, though. It didn’t start off particularly fascinating, seeing as I spent most of the morning doing laundry. 🙂 This afternoon and evening, though, were all about fun.
I went up in the London Eye this evening around 5pm. I had always planned to do the Eye on one of my final nights here, so I could get one last look over the city. Since I went up during the day when I was here in 2009, I really wanted a chance to look out over London in the dark, when it was all lit up. It ALMOST wasn’t dark enough by 5, even though the sun set at 4:30. I dawdled my way through the line as much as I could without making anyone suspicious, though, and gave the sun a chance to set just a little bit more. By the time my capsule reached the top of the wheel, it was definitely night. It was SO WORTH IT; before the sun dropped completely away, I felt like I was in that scene from Mary Poppins when they’re on the roof, looking out over the city. The skyline is just slightly more modern now, of course….and not part of a Hollywood soundstage. 😛
I thought nighttime photography was tough when I was standing in one place, but trying to take pictures with slow shutter speed in dim light in a moving object with my shaky hands was even tougher. The fact that I had nothing to brace myself against didn’t help. Once again, I found myself wishing for my tripod (which probably wouldn’t have been allowed on the Eye), but I did okay without it:
The London Eye is one of those expensive, touristy things that I think is worth it. You’ll save money if you book online ahead of time, and you can buy combo tickets that will get you into other attractions as well. I also saw something about an option that lets you ride twice in one day: once when it’s light out and once in the dark. That’s not a bad idea, if you can’t decide which you’d prefer. I’m not sure I could decide, now that I’ve experienced both; photo opportunities are better during the day, and when the weather is good, you can apparently see as far as Windsor Castle. There’s just something about London at night, though…I wouldn’t hate going again after dark!
After I was done on the Eye, my friends took me to a local pub for dinner. That was something I had been wanting to do for ages (I also wanted to back in 2009), but I never got around to it. It was fantastic; the food was great, and the prices were amazing. The place wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be, given the aforementioned prices and good food. I’m told that the smoking ban has a lot to do with why some pubs are a bit less populated than they used to be. That’s a shame, but as a non-smoker….I don’t totally hate it. 🙂
It’s after 2am right now, and even though I’m not particularly sleepy yet, I think it’s time I start winding down. Tomorrow morning is going to come awfully early, and I’m planning to start for the airport early. At some point within the next few days, though, I’ll be back to summarize everything. 🙂