Last Monday evening, as I walked towards Docklands Light Railway, I found myself quite by chance at the ticket office of the Emirates Air Line. Swooping up into the night sky before me were the cabins of London’s new cable car. This called for an immediate detour to my planned route back towards town.
No wrestling with skis or hiking poles. No standing in tedious queues at the ticket office and then again to board. One touch of an Oyster card and I was up and away.
A giant video of happy Londoners waving me off meant that I couldn’t help but embark with a smile on my face. But that was soon swept away by a wobbly feeling in the pit of my stomach as I soared up past extraordinary office buildings and realised I was nowhere near the top. Swaying high above the Thames I went up and up. And still there was further to go. It was only when I reached cruising altitude that I could relax and gasp at the O2 dome, with the lights of Canary Wharf behind.
But then came the sparklers on the cake: everywhere I looked there were fireworks shooting up. Of course! It was November 5th, and this was the best vantage point for the show.
A plane flew overhead. Several boats passed by underneath. Now I was leaving Bonfire Night behind and coming back down to earth. What a fun way to end a day’s work and take London Transport back home.