Tower of London
Here's a short who's who of noble prisoners: Edward V was here because his uncle wanted the throne. Anne Boleyn was here because of high treason, just as Catherine Howard. Jane Grey and Maria I. fought for the throne - Jane Grey lost the fight, was imprisoned and lost her head on the scaffold. Elisabeth I was also accused of high treason, however, got free and took over the throne. Later, Henry Oldenbrug was imprisoned here for dangerous endeavours; and also the only American - Henry Laurens - was here, and much later on Josef Jakobs as well. Accused of espionage, the latter was the last candidate on death row in 1941. However, the nobles were not only killed in the Tower of London. Many lived there as well, at least up to the 17th century. Later, the kings and queens moved out and the armoury, the crown jewels and a few lions moved in - a birthday gift, so to speak, with warmest wishes. Conclusion: The Tower of London is a neat potpourri of what life is made up: life, death and diamonds.
A cold period, a lot of dirt and a Giant Ferris Wheel: the Thames has seen a lot. In the 17th century the Thames was frozen most of the time and people went ice-curling and sledging on it. With the onset of the thaw period the focus shifted onto coal: The 18th century marked the era of trade ships, providing the Empire with coal and wealth. But doom was inevitable: The biggest maritime disaster in English history happened here as well, when a pleasure boat collided with a cargo ship and 640 people died. The river was in a bad shape back then: Due to misrouted sewage even the Parliament hat to move out because Westminster - and the whole town - was reeking. Today, when sewers and filter systems get rid of the dirt, the Thames is one of the cleanest rivers once again. And probably the whale that got lost in it in 2006 thought the same - even if he didn't find the way back to the sea again anyway. You see: A walk along the Thames is worthwhile. It's not just any river but one that defied the cold, the dirt and an inconvincible whale. And the buildings on its banks - Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster or London Eye - are quite nice as well.
London has had its own Giant Ferris Wheel for ten years, stealing the show from Vienna with a height of 135 metres compared to the Viennese landmark of a mere 60 metres of height. But the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna's Prater amusement park is faster, one round-trip taking 10-12 minutes depending on the visitors that want to get on it at the bottom. The London Eye won't stop but takes on visitors at full speed - and still it takes 30 minutes for one round-trip. You won't get bored anyway as on clear days the view takes in 40 kilometres. That means you can wave all the way from the glass capsules to Windsor Castle. In the mood for a stylish party? The London Eye can be rented for birthdays, weddings or Halloween, and if you feel like cuddling up you can also rent yourself a private capsule along with champagne and caviar. What the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel and the London Eye have in common: they were both designed by Britons. The occasion in London was obvious: The Giant Ferris Wheel, after all, symbolises the wheel of time and the movement into a new millennium, whereas in Vienna it was only the Emperor who celebrated an anniversary.