Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Eye.

If you had asked me when I first discovered that I was going to London what I wanted to see, it probably would have been 'The London Eye'. Admittedly, it did number at 3 on my bucket list (after Tower Bridge and Big Ben) but it was definately in the forefront of my mind in the planning stages.

For some reason I left it to my second-last week, but that's cool because I could see most of the landmarks and go 'I've been there and there and...' well, you get the idea.

Decided to go on the 'flight' in the later part of the afternoon, so we'd get to see lights on the skyline as well. Moot and I arrived when the sun was still doing the 'eye-burning' thing, so I went looking for the fourth thing on the bucket list -

4. Cafe Manga (behind the London Eye)

So, I got a coffee and wrote a musing in the Travel Journal:

"Manga Coffee.
So, let's hear it for more incongruities with Frommers! (The travel guide I got for this adventure)
I was so keen for Cafe Manga that it hadn't crossed my mind that since the book was printed in 2009, that some things might have changed...
...evidently. Either that, or I was expecting a themed-cafe. That is what the blurb said, after all.
So now I'm in County Hall, and there is no Cafe Manga. There is a Chopstix with anime painted on the walls. It's an all-you-can-eat though, and I don't feel like spending £8 when I'm not really that hungry.
So 'Zen Cafe' it is. They have a 'manga coffee' which I am dissecting flavours on now. It is really odd.

There was half a mountain of whipped cream on top and since I stirred about half of that in, it is sweet and bitter at the same time.

It tastes like they've mixed chocolate in with the coffee, which might-or-might-not-be-flavoured. It has a slightly burnt flavour. The taste was smooth, but the smell is not. I suspect it's hazelnut.
The barrista is probably trying to figure out what I'm doing.

*UPDATE* I asked the guy. It was a coffee with chocolate poweder and hazelnut shot."

So, post the pulp-fiction coffee I went and watched the red pod on the giant ferris wheel make about three-quarters of a turn and suddenly noticed the expansive cloud cover ruining the clear day that was predestined for sky-soaring. The blue owl and I made it past the metal-detector and boarded the great hunk of steel.

The pod was constructed from a steel skeleton and double-glazed glass windows, and the skeleton stuck far in enough that Moot was able to sit on one spot and enjoy the whole ride. It got more exciting as we went further up. As we rose above the skyline, more and more of the buildings melted into the cityscape below us, until finally we sat on top of London.

At this point, I was moving from vantage point to vantage point, taking photos like a busload of Japanese tourists would when accosted by a Koala.

It. Was. Captain. Awesome.

I really enjoyed it and got to wanting to go for another circuit. As we descended I took more photos of the vista to the south of the Eye. I think that Moot really enjoyed the experience, whether he was animate or not.

If it is not yet clear, Big Ben is south of the Eye. And the clockface had lit up.

I seem to have developed some sort of stigma with the iconic clock. It's like, a first impressions sort of thing. Well, maybe not entirely first impressions, but definately...ah.

See, every time I see this I half-expect to also suddenly see Sora and co. fly around from the back, sweeping wide circles and firing fireballs at some giant wraith. I am also certain that the save point is located on the other side of the tower. I've seen it from three sides and still expect the glowing green thingie to be on the other side.

Nerd tendancies aside, I finished the ride on a high and impulse-bought the picture that they took. After all, I don't actually have many images of me doing things here. One of the many reasons one needs a bro' when travelling. Moot is in the photo also - my family has a tradition of anticipating ride photos and doing interesting things in them.

I don't know who the other guy is.

Here's to taking a photo of a photo of me acting like an idiot.


1 comment:

  1. I would love to be the 'bro' next time you go. Wow! Thanks for the word pictures it was the real deal. Keep writing!


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