Cable cars to cross the Thames

London has been preparing for the 2012 Olympics by going on a huge building boom. Sports facilities have been sprouting up like mushrooms, and the organizers have just announced the latest planned addition–cable car rides over the Thames.

The cable cars will run from the Greenwich peninsula to the Royal Docks, connecting the O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) and the ExCel Exhibition Centre, both of which will host numerous Olympic events. Trips will take five minutes and the system can accommodate 2,500 people per hour in each direction. This will ease the burden on London’s transport system, which is already overburdened on regular days and which is scrambling to find ways to deal with the invasion of sports fans in 2012.

The route is too far from central London for passengers to clearly see famous sights such as Tower Bridge and Big Ben, but they’ll get fine views of the green hills of Greenwich Park and the impressive O2 arena, plus the high-rise business center of Canary Wharf. After the crowds and noise of the big city, soaring 50 meters over the Thames sounds pretty relaxing.

If you’re headed to Europe and you want to go for a ride right now, try the cable cars in Madrid.