Some modes of transport have got it. And all the rest pale in comparison.
The cable car is the ultimate action accessory. You get your hero. Stick them hundreds of feet in the air without a safety net, stick in a villain, and Bob’s your uncle.
The cable does it properly, every time. Its backdrop is almost peerless when it comes to action films. But the cable car has hidden depths. It is possible it is even more flexible than we draeamed possible. Yesterday I espied a cable car which would not have looked out of place in the very first, seminal science fiction film ever made, the glorious Metropolis by Fritz Lang. Take a look at his city scapes.
Yesterday, as Felix’s birthday treat, we trundled across London to Greenwich. It’s the other side of London to us and thus, we never see it. It is like a foreign country to us.
But we were looking for the ultimate action experience for a 10-year-old boy. The London Eye? I volunteered. Nothing like a huge great ferris wheel to make a treat go with a bang.
But the London Eye is pricey, and though it goes up and then down again and has Parliament at its feet, Phil had a better idea.
A couple of days before the opening of the 2012 Olympics, a cable car opened, spanning the Thames between the Royal Docks and the Greenwich Peninsula. It cost around £60 million to build, and it rises almost impossibly high, supported up to 300 feet by three great white futuristic pylons. It carries 2500 passengers an hour.
And to go one way costs just £4.30 for a grown up.
It can, surely, be only a matter of time before superheroes and villains suss this place out. For yesterday the Shrewsdays took the Docklands Light Railway (which has no driver, so the kids can pretend to drive) to the cable car, and took a one-way flight to Greenwich.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the future, and it is here. Spectacular? You’ve never seen such a contraption as this.Classic, Hitchcock lines in an uncompromisingly modern setting, flawless organisation, comfortable travel. Fritz Lang would have put one in his cities if only he had taken a moment to think.
All the Thames Cable Car lacks is in-flight champagne.
The London Eye, the London Schmye. The Thames Cable Car does it right. I could see it all: the Thames Flookd Barrier, the Olympic Park, The O2 arena. and great Father Thames stretching broad below me.
I kept glancing over my shoulder for Mr Bond. But he was probably on top of the cable car, doing his day job.