Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Eve Fireworks in London

On New Years Eve, Laura and I braved the crowds and the sub-freezing temperatures to see the big fireworks display on the River Thames. The fireworks display was directly over the river, many of them shot directly from the London Eye.

We arrived at the mob scene at about 21:00 (24 hour time used here in honor of the European preference for it) wearing long underwear, sweaters, big scarves, skull caps, two pairs of wool socks, and our thickest jackets. (I even wore a second jacket underneath my big jacket.) At about 21:30, trees started getting toilet-papered. At 22:00, the music started. At 22:30, the cold was starting to creep through all our layers. Around that time, famous people like Ricky Gervais, Michael Caine, and Homer/Marge Simpson started dispensing well-wishes via an enormous projection on a building behind the London Eye. Finally, at about 23:50, they started pumping the crowd up with louder music and lights on the Eye, followed by a countdown on the aforementioned building and the chiming of Big Ben at 24:00. Then the fireworks started and ran for about 10 minutes. I'm not a big fan of fireworks, but it was a very nice show.

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