Thursday, March 3, 2011

The London Eye

Travel Thursday

Have you ever been on the London Eye? A very neat experience when in London.

Though I must tell you my experience in London that day was not the best. I'd had a horrible day in London, jetlagged and waiting in the lobby to be let in my hotel room for hours for a bit of sleep. After napping later on, I dressed and ventured out to accomplish this one sightseeing event for the evening to see the London Eye. But as my hotel room was right next to what I thought was an Exit stairwell, turned out to be an emergency escape only. Although, I would hate to think what would happen if there was a REAL emergency, because I got trapped in the stairwell for 15 minutes! I have never been so panicked. The first floor door to outside was deadbolted shut with a padlock and all the doors on all five floors of the hotel were locked from the other side, and I couldn't get back in. I was tucked in the back wing of the hotel and the hallway curved so the chance of someone seeing or hearing me at that time was slim to none. I grabbed my cell phone to dial information internationally to call the hotel and have them let me out, but I got no reception in an all concrete stair well. Panicked I ran to the top to see if there was roof access... nothing but a creepy attic.

Let me just say I did pay attention to what the exit sign looked like before entering that stairwell. It was a green sign with a man walking down the stairs, no words. In America, if there is no exit, you will see a red sign that clearly reads, No Exit. I assumed the little man walking down the stairs in green meant "go ahead and exit this way". Clearly not.

So I contemplated punching my fist through a thick window to escape to the center of the hotel where I still would have been stuck in a courtyard of generators and other nonsense, but decided to use that as a last resort. I went back to the fourth floor where my room was and proceeded to pound on the door and peek through the little window and wait for anyone to hear me. Fortunately a Muslim girl heard me and didn't think I was some crazy person trying to break in, and turned around to open the door for me. She saw a panick-stricken girl with tears in her eyes, I was so happy I almost hugged her. As stupid as it sounds, I was terrified and didn't know when someone would hear or how long I would be stuck in there. It was the longest 15 minutes EVER.

After that I took the tube to the London Eye, and after my "delay", I arrived at the gate just as the guy had closed it and told me I would have to wait until tomorrow to come back. I explained I couldn't the next day as I had a tour at Stonehenge and Bath. Luckily, he opened the gate and let me go. I swear my horrible day was just like in the movies, and now I never take for granted that anything can happen. I didn't know what was wrong, usually I'm such a street-smart traveler, but that was the worst travel day ever.

To top it off, I had a spider that appeared to be as old as London and as large as the spider in the movie It. He dropped down from the ceiling vent that night as I was watching tv, I felt like Little Miss Muffet. Never in my life have I ever thrown a shoe at a spider, but I had one shot to aim at him and get distance before I battled him so he wouldn't fall on me. I won the war that night.

Ever had a scary experience where you didn't know what to do?

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  1. oh my gosh!!! this sounds so awful, i'm sorry!!! at least you're look back on it now!

  2. Collette ~ SUCH a scary, scary experience (made for a fabulous post, however!!!) I know how panicky it feels to be trapped ... the scary thing is not knowing if someone will hear you or EVER come!! I was on an elevator once while shopping with my mom. This creepy guy was on the elevator at the same time. When he got off, we noticed a strange chemical-like smell in the elevator as the doors were closing. What a panicked feeling, wondering if he had somehow tried to poison us by spraying something (I know ... after the fact, these stories sound kinda silly, but when you're in them ..) anyway, we both got big eyes and held our breath and the elevator doors wouldn't open!! Panicky few minutes!! I hadn't thought of that experience for a long time! And I'm very skeered of spiders, so the sound of a big hairy spider coming down toward my bed ... NIGHTMARE!

  3. Oh how horrible! I learned a long time ago that in other parts of the world stairways may not be lit and elevator doors open with the empty shaft staring at you.

  4. I will be sure to pay attention to exit signs for sure...I would be panicked too, especially since I am claustrophobic to some degree! As for the London Eye, I went on that years back and the views were just lovely!

    Liesl :)

  5. That does sound creepy! I'm always terrified of getting locked on our roof when I'm taking photos for Sugarlaws -- the doors automatically lock when they close and someone has to open them for you from the inside!

  6. What a story!!!! I do love London too.

  7. Oh so scary!

    I really want to visit London, but it may be a while before I make it over there, though!

  8. ciao colette,
    your London Eye story reminds me something like that I experienced two years ago.
    In my case, I locked myself in a toilette on the upper floor of a cafè in Siracusa,where I live.
    It was impossible to open the door...the toilette room was so small, just the room for the wc! No window and such a hot temperature because it was next the Hoven!! And that summer in Sicily it was about 40 °
    No one could hear me! Paninc! My mobilephone had no connection there! I answer..panic!
    I think I shouetd for about 15 neverending minutes or more. Then I switched my phone off for a while and when I switched it on again I had line for a few seconds..enough to call my friend living not far from the cafè shouting a few clear words to help me. He came and set me free!!!
    Mamma mia! I had a dreadful sauna there!

  9. Whew, that was quite the day. I so wanted to go on the London Eye but didn't quite make it this time around...will absolutely do it next time! I have been in quite a few scary situations and luckily have lived to tell about them! Happy weekend to you! xxoo :)

  10. I have to go there one day. I would have totally cried too & freaked out. Yeesh!!!

  11. That is pretty darn scary, but hope you can laugh about it now... I've never been stuck but had the same experience as Sandy once... that scared me, I got right off the elevator and pretended I forgot something.

    Glad to know you were okay = ) gosh.. I thought I traveled..any plans soon?



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