Friday, 3 August 2012

Week 2 - Summer Holidays 2012

I could tell you about the day at the beach or the TWO outings to buy new mobile phones but really Week 2 was all about what we did on Wednesday because on Wednesday we went to THE OLYMPICS!!! 

We had to get up very early but we were all up and ready to catch the 6.24am to take us directly to Stratford, realising how lucky we were to only have a short train journey. We didn't even get to use our free London train tickets. Getting from the train to the security check was easy and straightforward with happy, smiley purple uniformed staff wishing us a happy day. The army staff were happy as they checked our bags. Everyone was happy! It felt very exciting, a real carnival atmosphere and a real sense of exuberance in the air. We were even accompanied by a marching band walking to get a coffee, we never saw them again so goodness knows where they ended up!

We had applied at each round for tickets and missed out so I was relieved and so pleased to finally get some on the last ballot. We got hockey tickets which I was pleased with as the venue was at the Olympic Park. I'd have been happy to have just day tickets to the Park but it made it much more worthwhile to actually see some sport live. We were lucky as the first match we saw was Australia vs Spain which was a great match to watch. Australia are favourites to win and as Archie's cousins are Australian he decided to become an honorary Aussie for the day with Aussie t-shirt and cap. {Must point out that as soon as the match had finished he swapped his t-shirt and cap for Team GB ones!}

The match was gripping although Australia completely flounced Spain and won by 5-0. The next match we saw Belgium vs The Netherlands was less exciting and I spent quite a lot of time admiring the varied and extraordinary orange outfits worn by the Dutch supporters.

We did Mexican waves, we cheered, we clapped, we oooh and we ahhd.

The view from the Riverbank arena was pretty amazing. As it is an outdoor, temporary structure we were pretty high up and got a good view of the Park from our seats. 

The matches finished at about 1pm so we went off in seach of food. I had planned on taking packed lunches but the early start and restriction on bag size meant I didn't get round to it. I expected to get ripped off by disgusting offerings of "event" food but we were pleasantly surprised by the price, quality and choice on offer and our family of four ended up having three different types of cuisine! 

We then ambled around the Park taking in the sights and people watching. The photo below is a bit of a "Where's Wally" type photo because we are all in it .... but where?

After watching the Olympics on television in the preceding days it was great to see all the venues and wander round at a leisurely pace looking at the flowers and sculptures. I particularly liked the telephone boxes.

It truly was a memorable 'once in a lifetime' day and it did not disappoint. The organisation and attention to detail was brilliant and it really did all seem to run like clockwork. It was such a happy day and one we will all remember forever. I'm so glad I persevered getting tickets. I know a lot of people just couldn't be bothered to keep trying and the temptation a few months ago was to have a bit of a "bah humbug didn't want to go anyway" attitude in the expectation that us British aren't good at events like this. I'm so glad to be proved wrong as we honestly couldn't fault the experience except maybe the ticketing ballot etc. But that is all forgotten now and we are all glued to the television whenever we have a spare moment watching and enjoying London 2012.

Proud to be British this week :-)


  1. ah looks so wonderful! my boys went to the Football at Newcastle, but we sadly decided that London was too far, I am living the experience through the blogs of my friends!

  2. You should have used your free ticket. We only had to pay to get from Chelmsford to Harold Wood - the rest was on the railcard. Absolute bargain.

  3. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi, Oi, Oi! Can't believe Archie whipped off his hat and shirt, surely he would want to be associated with the Australians? Liz, Sydney

  4. I would have loved to get to the park just for the wild flowers, but it's not to be. Looks like a great day was had by all :D


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