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London Eye ferris wheel

London Eye ferris wheel

Opened in 2000, the London Eye is located on the south bank of the River Thames. Originally called The Millennium Wheel, architects created the London Eye to celebrate the dawn of the year 2000. Why a Ferris wheel? The turning of the wheel was meant to represent the turning of the century.

The London Eye stands 442 feet (135 meters) tall — which means it’s taller than a football field is long. It has a circumference of 1391 feet (424 meters) and sits on the bank of the River Thames, near Jubilee Gardens. In 2000, when it was first built, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. But that soon changed. The Singapore Flyer, completed in 2006, stands 541 feet (165 meters) tall, and the Star of Nanchang, completed in 2006 in China, stands 525 feet (160 meters) tall. The Beijing Great Wheel in China is set to outdo them all. Slated for completion in 2009, it will be a whopping 680 feet (208 meters) tall.

The London Eye is the brainchild of David Marks and Julia Barfield, of Marks Barfield, a husband and wife architecture team. A 1993 competition organized by London’s Sunday Times called for monument ideas to mark the upcoming Millennium celebration. Marks Barfield’s concept of a city-centered, ever-turning wheel offering a unique bird’s-eye view is now the No. 1 paid-for tourist attraction in London.   As of June 2008, 30 million people had visited the London Eye — not too shabby for a glorified Ferris wheel.

Ireland – Eask Tower

Dingle Tower

The Eask Tower is a solid stone tower on the top of Carhoo Hill, in Kerry Ireland, over-looking Dingle Harbor.

Eask Tower was built in 1847 in order to guide the ships into the mouth of the blind harbor.  The Tower is of solid stone. The building of it on Carhoo (Ceathru) hill, 600 feet above sea level, provided work during the great famine, at the instigation of Reverend Charles Gayer, Leader of the Protestants, in an attempt to win converts. Twenty-seven feet was its original height, but at the turn of the century, the old hand was removed and an extra thirteen feet of stone was added to its height. A new hand was placed, roughly at the beginning of the extension.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz province, Argentina.  It is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Argentine Patagonia.  This magnificent glacier is 19 miles in length and is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile.  This icefield is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water.

Images from around the world!