London's unusual sunset spot: Emirates Air Line

Posted on December 4, 2019 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

emirates air line

 

I feel that sometimes when we live in a place for a long time, we would start taking things for granted, and stop noticing our surroundings. Yet if you talk to tourists or friends visiting from abroad, you are likely to be surprised by their discovery and knowledge about your home city/town/village. Maybe we all have act like a 'tourist' sometimes in order to appreciate what is on offer around us. Personally, I find it hard to get bored in London, as I am always discovering something new about the city and I love being a 'tourist' here.

The most famous quote about London was recorded in 1777 by Samuel Johnson to James Boswell: "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

Of course, there are things that I dislike about the city, and have thought of moving away for the last few years, but I have yet to find a place that is on par with London (I can say this after living in New York, Hong Kong and Moscow).

 

emirates air line

 

Recently, I had to go to the Greenwich Peninsula one afternoon, as I was leaving, I was captivated by the sky colours and walked towards the river. Standing by the rirver, I saw the Emirates Air Line, the cable car link that brings passengers across the River Thames. Costing £60m to build (more than double the original estimate) and masterminded by London's former mayor Boris Johnson, this unpopular project has been viewed as one of Boris' vanity projects. Emirates has signed up to provide £36m in sponsorship for 10 year, but what will happen after that, I am not quite sure.

The only time I took the cable car was back in 2014 with an Italian friend from Turin. We went to see an immersive show nearby one evening, and thought it would be fun to take the cable car across. We enjoyed the night view of of the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, but I never had the urge to return after that.

On impulse, I headed towards the cable car's ticket area, and paid £3.50 for a single fare using my oyster car. As soon as I stepped onto the cable car, I saw the screen reminding me that the project was partly funded by the EU, and my heart sank immediately... I wonder if this link would be scrapped after we leave the EU? I am not sure how many Londoners use this link as a commute transportation, but judging from the empty cable cars around me, I doubt many Londoners would go on a protest if this gets scrapped.

 

emirates air line

 

Although I don't see much point of this project, but I certainly did enjoy watching sunset from 90m above ground. Sunny days are hard to come by in winter, so I was extremely lucky with the weather. Before today, it never occurred to me that the cable car would be a fantastic sunset watching spot.

 

emirates air line

emirates air line

emirates air line

emirates air line

emirates air line

emirates air line

 

The 10-minute ride seemed rather short since I was focusing on the sunset and surroundings. When I arrived at the other end (Royal Docks), I felt uplifted and yet disorientated at the same time. I did not know my bearings, and the DLR Royal Docks station was not convenient for me, so I used google map to direct me towards Canning Town. The poor transport link on this end probably explains why this cable link is not as popular as The London Eye.

After the ride, I still couldn't decide how I feel about this project. Do I think it is a vanity project? Yes, definitely. But was the ride worth £3.50? I would say yes to that, too. Who knows what will happen to this when the funding and sponsorship stop, but at least I would always remember this ride where I saw a beautiful sunset on one winter's afternoon.

 

emirates air line

emirates air line

emirates air line

sunset

sunset

 

 


This post was posted in London, Nature, Transport and was tagged with London, nature, sunset, Emirates Air Line, cable car

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