Europe

Olympic Fever!

London's ready!

LONDON IS ALIVE!

One of the busiest, loudest most multicultural cities in the world is now host to the world’s largest sporting event, and my GOD do we know it!

London's ready!

Us Brits have always had a pretty good idea as to how to throw a good party, and this time round is no different. Reading Kate’s post ‘Let Me Take You To…London’, got me thinking as to what is on offer for people who just want a piece of the Olympic action, without having to sell all your worldly possessions for a ticket.

With the Olympics in the final week, Olympic fever has grabbed all Londoners by surprise. While we had all been expecting for the end of the world with rivers for roads, traffic halts, public transport strikes, tourists galore and lack of Olympic staff we are all cool as cucumbers (and that’s not only because of our unseasonably cold summer!). In fact, London appears to feel rather empty. I think the secret to the euphoria spread throughout the city is that all the Olympic haters have left (re: end of the world!) leaving only us overexcited ‘kids’ in town.

No longer are we complaining about the weather, no one’s mentioned the recession, tube announcers are helpful, and suddenly we all think that we can become Athletes ourselves…it’s true, London loves the Olympics!

So…how can you get swept up in all this excitement?!

Giant screens all over have helped to promote unity across the city, as well as providing an excellent excuse to sit and watch the Olympics all day long. BT London Live has taken over Hyde and Victoria Parks, and will do the same with Trafalgar Square for the Para-Olympics. Packed full of activities, the Cadbury’s experience tent is an absolute must, with free chocolate bars being given out. To burn off all those calories, next stop is the ‘try-it-out’ sports tents or you can dance away in front of one of the many stages with local acts and bigger names such as Lemar, Scouting for Girls and Bon Iver, to name a few. And of course no British festival would be complete without numerous food and booze establishments!

Hyde Park!

If you’d rather have a less ‘official’ site, head to Blackheath Common or my new absolute favourite spot in London: Potters Field Park. Right next to the Thames, and shadowed by City Hall and Tower Bridge, this is an area where people of all ages gather with picnics, table tennis and friends to relax in front of the big screen. Broadcasting all the action live and when possible focusing on the British competitors. There is a little ‘village’ of pop up eateries and a bar, but you are free to bring in anything you like…some people had even brought their sofa! This is conveniently located close to Kate’s suggested London Dungeons and over the river from the Tower of London.

If relaxing in front of screens gets boring for you, head to Kensington Gardens for Russia’s winter Wonderland to get you excited for the upcoming Winter Olympics, or at the other end of the scale check out Camden’s Beach! Cheer on the Men in the Marathon, and for those inevitable British rainy days, head inside to Wandsworth Cineworld for free tickets to ‘sports themed’ movies.

And of course, there is the Olympic Park. Whilst you need to buy tickets for the park, once you are in, there is a multitude of activities to choose from even if you don’t have any sports tickets. Just walking around the grounds and English meadows is draw dropping enough to not feel TOO left out from all the ticket-bearers around you.

And if you are still standing at the end of the day, you can check out Tower Bridges light display.

And the best thing…IT’S ALL FREE (well, except the Olympic Park)! So get on down here and get involved in the biggest event the city is likely to host in our lifetimes, just be sure to wear red white and blue!

Feeling Patriotic!

Claudia Guest
A traveler all her life, Claudia was born in Germany and raised in England. She regularly visited various countries around Europe and the Americas, but it was when she was 18 that she really discovered her own overwhelming lust for travel. As soon as she finished school, she and two girlfriends backpacked through Italy, Southern France and Spain. Five months later she was back on a plane for a two-week sailing holiday in the Caribbean and a week after returning from that she was on another plane bound for Australia, where she traveled for three months, before going to teach English in Ecuador for four months. From there, she studied at university in England, traveled to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, and then headed to Canada on a work visa, where she is today. This summer, Claudia is working on a tourist cruise boat in Ottawa…yet constantly feels Asia calling her back. Try to keep track of where she goes- or just look up in the sky, where she’s most likely bound for somewhere new!

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