London is changing!

By London Swaminathan

London is changing. London’s skyline is changing fast. If you had been to London 15 years ago and talk to your friends or grand children about London today, you must know it is not the same old London you had seen. I have been living in London for over 25 years.  I did not see any significant change in the first 15 years. Everything was same for the tourists: Big Ben, Parliament Building, the old Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Madame Tussuads (wax museum), Thames River cruise etc. But in the past ten years new shopping malls have come up. New attractions like London Eye, Cable car across Thames river (they have given a misleading name for this cable car as Emirates Airline!), Shard-Western Europe’s tallest building have been added.


London is looking new with preparations for the Olympics. The exciting opening ceremony is on Friday 27th July 2012. This is the third time Olympics is held in London. I went round London this morning to look at the new attractions. Before comparing the three Olympics in London, let us look at the new attractions:

London Eye:

Location: On the banks of River Thames, near Big Ben.

Nearest underground: Westminster

Height: 443 feet

Opening: Year 1999

What is it: You can board any one of the 32 capsules and go up the Giant Wheel. You can have a bird’s eye view of London. Since it is moving very slowly, no one will feel sick.

Each capsule can hold 25 people.

Tickets: You can buy it at the entrance.

See the impressive picture.

Cable Car (Emirates Airline)

Location: Linking North Greenwich and Victoria Docks

Nearest Underground: North Greenwich or Victoria Docks (Docklands).These two stations are on either side.

What is it: It is a five minute ride across the river Thames in capsules of cable car. It is not very exciting. But the price is not high compared to London Eye or Madame Tussauds.

Dimensions: Height 300 feet above the river, Total length both ways one kilometre, carries 2500 passengers every hour.

Opened in June 2012

Shard-Tallest Tower in West Europe

Location: London Bridge

Nearest Underground: London Bridge

Height: 1016 feet (95 floors),covered with glass.

What is it: Tall building with space for residences and office. A restaurant for general public will be opened in February 2013.

Ticket price will be equal to Empire State Building in the USA.

Opened: in July 2012

The tallest building of Europe is in Russia.



1908 Olympics in London: 2000 athletes from 22 countries, 22 sports (110 events)

1948 Olympics in London: 4000 athletes from 59 countries, 20 sports (150 events)

2012 Olympics in London: 10,250 athletes from 205 countries, 26 sports (300+ events)

Another 4500 athletes will take part in Paralympics.

It has grown from 2000 athletes to 10,250 athletes! USA alone sends 2500 TV staff to cover the Olympics on TV!


Six medals for India?

Sports analysts predict India may win up to six medals including two gold medals. Let us wait and see. Archery, Rifle Shooting, Wrestling, Boxing and few other games are our strong areas.

For more information, contact: or