Trying to go through platform 9 3/4 and Flying the Eye 4

Once we managed to find our hotel ( Kings Cross Premier Inn ), we take a short break and catch our breath.  The fact that we’re in London catches up with me here. Or maybe it was the exhaustion.

We decided that to get our systems adjusted to the new time, we needed to NOT sleep, despite the “late” time that our systems were still on. ( Noon, technically, but for us it was 5 AM without any sleep to speak of…) So, we headed out to get our first real look at London.

First, let me say I’m not a big fan of cities, with the scale of my dislike for them being proportionate to their size. Generally speaking, if I’m in one, I’m ready to get out just as soon as my business there is complete. Not so with London, which I really like.

We decided we should take the underground from King’s Cross to the Waterloo station and walk from there to the London Eye, the huge “Ferris Wheel” on the south bank of the Thames.  While at the King’s Cross underground station, we went up top to the train station to check on train tickets for the following day to Wales.

Kings Cross/St. Pancras station is quite attractive and from the looks of the ceiling, old enough to have seen steam trains. We set out to see if we could find Platform 9 ¾, of Harry Potter fame.  For anyone who hasn’t read the books,  young witches and wizards take the train to boarding school from that platform, which is reached by passing through the wall between platforms 9 and 10. At King’s Cross station, the wall where that would be located is currently under construction, but they’ve “moved” it to another location and fastened half a luggage cart to the wall. We were happy to find it and took a goofy tourist photo with Jeanette at the cart, going through the wall. Then, off to Waterloo and a breezy,  brisk walk to the London Eye.



The Eye, unlike a normal ferris wheel, doesn’t have an open car, instead it’s got acrylic pods the size of a small bus that are mounted on circular tracks so they can stay upright as the Eye rotates.  Also, unlike any other Ferris wheel of my previous experience, they generally don’t stop and start to load passengers, though it will do so for passengers with limited mobility. Instead, it keeps slowly moving while you get on board.


The concession that runs the Eye calls your ride a “flight” and in some ways it’s an apt description. The view is pretty good, almost helicopter-like, but frankly, I’d like my flight to cover a little more ground. Still, the view was pretty spectacular.




After the eye flight, we walked over the Thames to the Charing Cross underground station and headed back to the hotel. I think we’re getting the hang of the Tube.

We had a nice dinner in the restaurant at the hotel and fell asleep at 9, utterly exhausted, but eager for tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “Trying to go through platform 9 3/4 and Flying the Eye

  • kyle mason

    I believe you CAN sleep like a log if you have a viable cambium layer that is attached to leaves that are doing their photosynthetic duties. I like the reference to sreet performers. Your reference to the performer who stood still reminds me of the Gold Man at Mallory Square who Is in jail or may have died. I can’t remember. Enjoy the richness of history and bring back what you think is good and share it with us.

  • Airmon

    @Cee – The Tube is fun. Essentially, <6 quid and you can ride all day, anywhere in the city. If you just want to stay downtown, even less.
    Also, if you take the wrong train you just get off and head back the other way or whatever.
    We were worried that we'd not get where we were headed in time when we first got there, but with just one day of riding, it was easy.
    The map is in every station, on every train. it's just one page. I'll bring the map in when I get back and show you how it's done.