Once you’ve crossed the Tower Bridge, you’ll reach City Hall – quite a uniquely curved designed building. Walking further away from City Hall, you’ll reach HMS Belfast moored off the Thames river bank. Pay an entrance fee and you’ll be able to explore the ship.
London City Hall
HMS Belfast moored off the Thames river bank.
Full length of the HMS Belfast as seen from the riverside walk.
The last attraction for the day is going up to the 72nd floor for the view from The Shard. It is currently the tallest building in the European Union with 95 floors. For an entrance fee of £24.95 online, we choose The Shard against Eye of London due to the lesser volume of tourist. But still worried as readings from the internet indicated there are times The Shard is congested as well.
Luckily for our 5:30 p.m. entrance on 08.04.2015, there were no crowd. In-fact we were early and was allowed to go up immediately. The weather was a little hazy in the distance but the view from the observatory was considered good. On this floor, you’ll get a 360° view of London. Worth mentioning and experiencing …… go to the loo. On one side overlooking the London skyline, the wall is glass from floor to ceiling.
The observatory floor isn’t big and has a bar to cater for drinks. On a crowded day, I would imagine it’s near impossible to photograph without rubbing shoulders. If a sweet spot is being taken, chances you’ll have to wait till they move along. Quite difficult to squeeze in between others busy taking selfies.
So, being at this height, it’s naturally one of London’s photo spot.
View from The Shard overlooking Tower Bridge.
Another view overlooking The Sky Garden & The Gherkin.
Start of Day 2, it’s Emirates Air Line (Cable Car)
The Emirates Air Line is a cable car link across the River Thames. It was constructed with the sponsorship from the airline Emirates. Why it’s called ‘Air Line’ instead of Cable Car baffles me. From the cable car, you get spectacular views of the city from heights of 90 metres as you travel between Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and the Emirates Royal Docks vise versa. Avid photographers take note, the cable car is an ideal photo spot.
Emirates Air Line location map. Credit : TFL.
We got there by exiting the North Greenwich underground, walked pass the O2 and onwards to Emirates Greenwich Peninsula where the ride (flight as termed in website) starts. The ride takes 10 minutes end-to-end. If you require to take the train from Emirates Royal Docks, the nearest would be the DLR Royal Victoria. Over at the Emirates Royal Dock, we just walked around and then took the return ride back to Emirates Greenwich Peninsula. The return ticket cost £6.80 with an Oyster card.
Emirates Greenwich Peninsula cable car station.
When we arrived at Emirates Greenwich Peninsula around 10:00 a.m, the whole area was misty. So the views from inside the cable car was slightly hazy as can be seen from our photos.
From the Emirates Royal Docks, the O2 arena is very visible.
Descending to the Emirates Royal Docks station.
Exiting right of the Emirates Royal Docks, there’s a ‘halal’ food stand.
Unfortunately, the stand was still closed, so we were not able to try their food. There were also no sign when the opening hours and days of operation are.