Zeppelin!

Zeppelin over London
Zeppelin flying over London

I think that even now, 90 years after the end of the First World War, the phrase “Zeppelin flying over London” has a slightly sinister ring to it.

This afternoon, on the way to meet Tigger from work, I took the photo on the left. It shows a modern Zeppelin airship flying sedately through the hazy London sky. Fortunately, its pilot’s intentions are peaceful, being concerned with tourism.

According to the information I have to hand, the Zeppelin will take you to explore London at a height of about 1,000 feet (300 metres), travelling at 30 mph, for ticket prices ranging from £185 to £360, depending on the length of the flight. You will have to hurry, though, because the flying season, which began in the second week of July, ends on August 21st.

You will be pleased to hear that the airship, a Zeppelin NT07, is filled with helium, not hydrogen, thus ruling out any disaster of the sort that overtook the Hindenburg.

I first spotted the airship as I emerged from Borough tube station. It was crossing Borough High Street or Newington Causeway and that would have been a perfect shot but it disappeared behind the buildings within seconds. I kept looking out for it and finally spotted it when looking along an alleyway at the end of Borough High Street.

I think you must get a wonderful view of London from up there on a clear day and Tigger and I would certainly like to take the trip but the cost is prohibitive. We will have to stick to surface travel for now!

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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7 Responses to Zeppelin!

  1. Chris says:

    Well, at least it wasn’t a Led Zeppelin. If you hadn’t said what it was, though, I’d have thought it was a blimp. How’s that for sheer ignorance? That’s quite an artistic arrangement of chimneys underneath. They are chimneys, aren’t they? Not the barrels of a giant anti-aircraft gun emplacement, by any chance? London can be a jolly dangerous place, so I hear.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    So they tell me.

    London is a city of chimneys. There are chimneys of all ages and all styles, some with strange and wonderful attachments. No wonder it used to be called The Smoke.

  3. Em says:

    It’s a great shame that this airship sightseeing is such a premium price.There was a short lived service running between Bedford (I presume) & London back in the late 80’s, early 90’s but legacy attitudes & reluctant funding seem to keep the airship off the list of viable commercial transport options. It used to be a moment of great excitement when I was a child to hear the sounds of an airship approaching for which we would run out into the garden to spot it, but aside from your sighting, it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen an airship overhead.

  4. SilverTiger says:

    In many ways, it is the ideal way to travel, quiet and low enough to see the land spread out below.

    Perhaps if this service is a success, the company (and possibly others) will be encouraged to extend the routes and the prices will come down.

    I assume that the 30 mph speed mentioned is to enable passengers to see the sights and that for travel purposes it could be increased. The question is whether the carbon footprint and polluting emissions are lower than those of aircraft.

  5. Ted Marcus says:

    Here in Southern California there are two different blimps (nobody calls them Zeppelins). The Goodyear Blimp is the oldest, and its West Coast base is not far from where I live. The sides of its envelope contain a full color array of lights that can display advertising at night. It also serves as a camera platform for aerial shots of televised sports. The newer blimp belongs to Fujifilm. I think it does some television work, but its exterior offers only the green Fujifilm logo. Neither sells flights to the general public.

    Decades ago, the sight of the Goodyear Blimp would activate the territorial protective instincts of my late (adopted canine) sister. She would bark up loudly until it flew out of sight. We’d always praise her for doing such a fine job of “woofing away the Sky Monster.”

  6. Big John says:

    I tried to get a shot of that when I was in London last week, but it was too far away. I wonder how many UFO sightings have been reported ? 🙂

  7. SilverTiger says:

    When I lived in Hendon we used to see a “blimp” like a small Zeppelin which used to float over Wembley Stadium during matches. I imagine that too was for the purpose of filming and photographing the action.

    The Zeppelin, however, is bigger. The blimp had a platform hanging from it for the people to sit in but the Zeppelin carries its passengers inside, like a bus or a plane.

    The dog possibly thought the “Sky Monster” was a predatory bird. Birds of prey, such as buzzards do fly slowly along in a similar way.

    We saw the Zeppelin again today but it was rather far away. Also we were on a bus and I don’t like taking photos through bus windows as they are usually streaked and give a bad result. Also my camera doesn’t cope well with taking photos through glass: it focuses on the glass, not on the object beyond it. I will have to try putting the camera right against the glass. That may fool it 😉

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