Here at the Holiday Truths blog we’re keen to give you the latest news and best advice on the serious business of taking a holiday. But that doesn’t mean there’s no space for the fun stuff.
So, following last week’s opening of the Emirates Air Line Cable Car connecting Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Dock in London’s East End, I hot footed it down this morning to take a ‘flight’.
And I’m very glad that I did too.
I arrived at around midday at North Greenwich tube station before walking five minutes to the London Cable Car south terminal.
After a quick chat with the ticket staff I whacked the £3.20 charge on my Oyster Card and as I walked upstairs I had my first epiphany.
If this is public transport, then it really is public transport designed by an airline known for its strong product – staff are super glam in smart uniforms with big smiles and lots of lippie on the ladies.
Once upstairs the 12-person queue quickly disappeared and I was soon sat in a cable cab with five other tourists waiting for the off.
We quickly departed and before we knew it were at a height of around 300ft, cruising over the Thames as smoothly as the river flowed below.
Looking out to the east you get a bird’s eye view of the Thames Barrier while in the west the O2 arena squats in the foreground with towers of Canary Wharf looming behind.
Further away to the west, the Shard, the London Eye and the City can be glimpsed peaking through Canary Wharf while to the north the Olympics complex unfolds.
Beyond that lie London’s suburbs while the Crystal Palace tower is clearly visible to the south and this is where the ride is so successful.
Your views are unhindered for 360 degrees and stretch for miles in certain directions, meaning for 10 minutes you are given a brand new perspective on a fantastic city.
Everyone in my bubble was similarly enchanted and we chatted away, another massive discrepancy for London’s public transport and a further sign that this is first and foremost a tourist attraction.
The trip was over all too soon but I’d happily do it again, especially at the price I paid.
However, be warned, the 10 minute trip will be cut to five minutes during rush hour while the cable car’s operation can be affected by the weather so do check before you set out.
One thing of note is there are no family or group discounts available at the moment.
The woman in the ticket office told me they have already had feedback over this matter and it is hoped an announcement on group pricing will be made in the next couple of weeks.
I very much expect the new pricing will be in place by the Olympics so keep an eye out and do plan a ride on the Emirates Air Line on your next trip to London.