Wednesday, 11 July 2012

a quick sunny flight on the air line

Untitled I'd packed a waterproof jacket for my journeying around town today. In practice it wasn't needed with some unexpected sunshine and blue skies.

A short excursion from Westminster to Canary Wharf gave me a few minutes to spare, so I thought I'd check out the new Air Line at the recently named Greenwich Peninsula - which was a five minute Jubilee line ride away.

It's interesting when areas get given new names (or previously existing names get emphasised). The Greenwich Peninsula is actually the area to the right of the Dome, when walking from Greenwich tube station.

They are also advertising new walks across the roof of the Dome at the moment, and I did spot a group of people doing this, although it looked like some sort of engineering expedition, with everyone in the same blue overalls.
My slightly whimsical objective was to cross to Royal Docks on the new Air Line gondolas, which have been opened for about a week.

It was actually very quiet, with a handful of other travellers, who looked mainly local and casually dressed, some families and a few people like me in suits probably checking out the route.

The flight time on the cable car is about 5 minutes, and gives some good views of the Dome, across to the skyline of Canary Wharf and along the Thamess to the Barrier and City Airport.

I was slightly amused that everyone in the cabin on the way to Royal Docks had a camera and was taking snapshots. Even of the somewhat 'under construction' area on the approach to Royal Docks.
I'm wondering if the lack of people was because most people don't know about this route yet, although it's not the most obvious way across the river.

I used my Oyster card to pay instead of queuing and it was a simple touch in/touch out for each half of the journey (and I think was discounted compared with the normal fare).

Boarding was like any cable car gondola, although this one seemed to travel particularly slowly in the station area and I was amused to see the TfL style seating which reminded me of a London bus.

It's already on all the tube maps as a normal route, it will be interesting to see what kind of uptake it gets.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

It looks like a wonderful thing to do....A very interesting Vantage Point, shall we say....!LOVE your pictures!

Lady Banana said...

I definitely intend to have a go on that! I'd have thought it would have been packed being a new attraction!

My daughter is about to walk across the Dome as I type this Friday evening.. I'd be a bit nervous as it is rather high.

RFM said...

I didn't know about this. I'm having vertigo just thinking about it.

rashbre said...

All Indeed interesting. Not what I'd call a 'seek it out' destination, but certainly something to do if in the area (e.g. within a couple of Jubilee stops or at the Dome for something else). And it's Oyster card friendly.

When I returned to the Dome, if I hadn't been between between work meetings, I'd have returned to Westminster on the river bus - which also has some great views.