Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Day 2 in the Capital - 29th July

This morning we decided we would go to the O2 Arena and the Emirates Air Line so we took a bus to Westminster Bridge with the intention of going by river bus but the queues were so long to get a ticket that we thought we would try a bus. No luck there either. So we went by tube after buying a Day Travelcard.
We were soon at North Greenwich and the O2 Arena. Walking inside I could not believe how big it is. You see it on TV and it seems quite small but it is enormous. It has shops and restaurants around the edge inside the tent and even a cinema. If you wish you can walk over the top.
2 O2 arena
Next we moved on to the Emirates Air Line cable car across the Thames to the Excel centre. It was opened in 2012 and rises to a height of 295ft and covers 1103 metres .
3 Airline 1
It has amazing views of the river way out to the Thames Barrier and back into the city. As you approach the other side you look down onto and artificial beach with people swimming in the old dock which is now surrounded by smart apartments. The cruise Ship Seaborn is now docked there as a hotel and restaurant.
4 airline 2
After a quick lunch in the Excel Centre we took the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to Stratford International station and the Olympic Park. It was buzzing with people and the Aquatic Centre is a sight to behold. The Main Stadium looks as though it is being demolished as there only appears to be the seating and main frame left.
5 aqua stadium
The children were enjoying the fountains and as they suddenly shot up there were shrieks of delight from them. A couple of water buses are moored on the river. Such a shame it is not open to boats as it looks a great place to visit.
6 aqua stad
The sight of the Orbit meant that we could not resist going up it and it was well worth the money. Fantastic views for 20 miles all around London. From the transmitter at Crystal Palace to Wembley Stadium to the Thames and the City as well as great views over the Olympic Park.
The Arcelor Mittal Orbit is a 114.5 metre (376 feet) tall sculpture and observation tower. It is Britain's largest piece of public art, and is intended to be a permanent lasting legacy of London's hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, assisting in the post-Olympics regeneration of the Stratford area. It is made from 2000 tons of steel and has a 455 step spiral stairway to come down from the two observation platforms.
9 orbit
We walked back through the Westfield Shopping Centre to the Stratford station of the DLR and caught the next train to Canary Wharf which again was buzzing with people. We had intend to walk to Limehouse but time was running short so we continued on the DLR to Limehouse and arrived at the Thames lock just as a cruiser was going out at high tide and a yacht  coming in.
7 limehouse
It was interesting to see the road bridge being swung open and the lock gates opening to let water into the lock as the river was higher than the canal basin. It will be different when we plan to go out as it will be before high tide. The lock and marina basin were much smaller than I had imagined.
8 limehouse 2

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