Riding the Wheel

Poor Melissa.  When she was little, we had to find ourselves at the very top of the Ferris wheel when it stopped to let passengers on and off to discover she was afraid of heights.  She freaked out and started crying and we did our best to comfort her for the rest of the ride.

We had only just got on and I must admit, it was “THE” longest ride on a Ferris wheel in recorded history.

Seriously, we got our monies worth, all the while silently praying the blasted thing would stop as she rode the waves of a perpetual panic attack.  She was only five years old and frightened beyond any comprehension within her little heart.  I cried, she cried, and her big sister cried while her other big sister laughed and hocked a loogie over the side.  (She got a stern talking to from her father – after he stopped laughing.)

Granted, that was almost 24 years ago, yet, even so, I was still surprised she said she’d go on the Wheel of Brisbane with me.

This is no portable showground toy, dismantled and carted all over the country.  This wheel is the stuff of serious engineering, a giant observation wheel permanently fixed in place (Hello Captain Obvious) and a landmark in Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands.  It stands at a height of 60 metres (196.8 feet) and has the capacity to hold 332 passengers across 42 gondolas.

The Wheel of Brisbane was opened almost 10 years ago and I’d never been on it.  As I was in Brisbane, spending a couple of nights with Melissa in a hotel across the street, I thought it was time to see the city lights from a lofty height.

I’d completely forgotten about Melissa’s fear, and although there was that one moment of panic just before we stepped into our gondola, she relaxed and enjoyed the ride.  It helped that I kept her talking the whole time.

Our ride was over almost a quickly as it started, but we did count five rotations and they were at a reasonable pace to enjoy the scenery, albeit at that time of day, the lights of the city were almost the only sight we saw.

Brisbane City viewed from South Bank at Night

That photo was not taken from the wheel, and I said the lights of the city were almost the only sight we saw because, while we were up there, we spotted the rising Moon.  It was big, and beautiful, and still orange from the glow from the setting Sun although the Sun had long since disappeared.

The Moon, May 2, 2018 – Two Days Past Full

Times like these I wish I had a tripod.  Actually, I do have one.  I wished I’d had it with me.

I believe that’s Jupiter to the right of that building, as Jupiter reaches opposition on May 8.  That means it will be directly opposite the Sun, rising in the east as the Sun sets, and visible all night as it tracks across the night sky.

Who would have thought riding the wheel would have brought that to my attention?

I will be getting my telescope out to take a closer look.


In response to the WordPress Photo Challenge – Lines

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