Friday, 6 February 2015

Emirates Air Line

A couple of weeks ago I met up with my friend James. Something we really don't do often enough. I've known James since the summer of 2008. We met on a train up to Edinburgh, where we would both spend 4 days on a scheme aimed at giving young, inexperienced creative types a better practical knowledge of working in the television industry.

Here we are pictured together looking young and as fresh faced as you can after 4 days and nights of constant drinking:

(That's me on the far left and James is the one stood next to me.)


We had such an amazing time in Edinburgh and after I followed him down to the big smoke - not literally but chronologically - we've done an ok if not a brilliant job of staying in touch.

So a couple of weeks ago we met up in Shoreditch on a cold but dry Sunday afternoon and took the short walk to Brick Lane - which of course was insanely busy - grabbed something to eat from a - off the street - street stall and stood chatting moaning about dating or the lack of and how hard it is to meet someone.

And then we headed to Royal Victoria to get on the Emirates Air Line. For anyone who isn't familiar with the Emirates Air Line, it's a 10 minute gondola lift link across the River Thames.

When we got there we posed for pictures like teenage girls:


(How is this man single?)


Then when we'd finished posing, we went up to the terminal to board the cable car. It was very quiet and so we didn't have to queue. As soon as we got on I started to feel a little wobbly. Now I didn't tell James this until we were actually on it but I'm terrified of heights. Although that's not exactly true. It's not as much about being scared - which I am - as it is about feeling unbalanced, wanting to lie down and curl up into a ball or even jump off. It's a physical thing and not something you can fully understand unless you know the feeling personally and so it's probably easier to just say that I'm afraid of heights.

So this is what you look like when you're pretending not to be scared:

(And not doing a very good job of it)


And this is when you're genuinely enjoying yourself haha:



You see, the worst things for me are bridges that have little gaps in them so that you can see the river or road below. I think knowing that there is nothing underneath me holding me up, plays a big part in my fear and so as you can image, cable cars aren't normally my idea of fun.

This one reaches a height of 90 metres. Which on the grand scheme of things maybe isn't that high for a cable car but it certainly felt more than high enough. Even so, I still really wanted to give it a go. Why? The main reason was the same as always. I had not been on it before and as I say time and time again: that's what the Year31Project is supposed to be all about. I also thought hoped that if I was able to get past the fact that we were dangling from a thin metal cable 90 metres in the air, I might just be able to enjoy it.

And enjoy it I did. I started to relax, sat back and enjoyed the view:



There were a couple of sketchy moments -  namely the going up and the coming back down - but overall I enjoyed our little ride. Now if you suffer with vertigo like me then it might not be for you. You're up there for 10 minutes and although that doesn't sound like a very long time, you know that if you're hating it those 10 minutes will feel like 10 hours. Otherwise I'd say go for it. It's not expensive. You can pay with your oyster card and I'm not sure but I think it's the same price as a normal pay as you go journey. And it's worth it. The 360 degree panoramic views are excellent. Unfortunately we went on a bit of an overcast day. Otherwise we might have gotten to see a sunset which would have been nice and (b)romantic haha. But you can't have everything.

So yes, I would definitely recommend a trip on the Emirates Air Line. Especially to those of you who aren't scaredy cats like me and if you are, then just make sure you don't go up when it's blowing a gale like we did haha. At some point it felt like we were really swinging from side to side and that I didn't like. But all in all I have to say that I really enjoyed our little journey.

HAPPY SWINGING ;)

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