During my recent visit to the O2 to do the London in the Sky experience I thought, I might as well check out the so-called Emirates Airline, i.e. the cable car connection between the O2 and South London.
I always felt a bit ashamed that as someone who has been living in London for nearly 15 years I still had never made it onto one of the cabins. And about half the consultancy assignments I take over are in Canary Wharf, just a stone throw’s away. I think part of it had to do with the fact that I had become a UK citizen and more and more English in my ways (despite having been born a German).
And that, as we all know, apart from fair play and being a gentleman, mainly means one thing and one thing alone: if someone has a mishap, you ridicule them and laugh about them. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone accidentally dropping a full beer glass inside a pub or if it’s a giant, completely unnecessary, super-expensive infrastructure project raking in millions in losses while not attracting any passengers. There was a time, shortly after the completion of the project, when everyone and their dog couldn’t stop tucking their teeth into the good people that operate the cable car line, and rip them apart in the worst way possible.
What can I say. Huge mistake. For a mere £3.50 one-way (on Oyster Card) you get some of the most amazing views of Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier, the O2, the river Lee, and, of course, the Thames. At 90m high, it’s not ideal for people suffering from fear of heights, like myself. But despite there being a significant, moderate wind, the cabin felt like it was moving on rails and didn’t shake.
As soon as I had texted some photos to Ms B (who was not with me on the day, because apparently one of us has to make some money – I’m currently “between assignments”), she texted back to say that we’ll have to come back and do a round trip together, perhaps combine it with a walking tour of the Lee Valley and a search for the Bromley Seal.
For more adventures involving heights, check out our posts about rock-climbing near Porto, our helicopter flight around London, the ride on a jetlev, and our skydiving experience (both near Cambridge).