Thursday, October 18, 2012

London and the 2012 Summer Olympics

 This blog update is so late it's ridiculous.  Truth be told I was avoiding it, my pictures were all out of order since my phone was one of my cameras.  I don't remember the names of a lot of the stuff in this blog.  But you get to see it anyway!  We had such a great time at the Olympics.  We got to see the US Women win gold in soccer and the Korean men win bronze.  We stayed in a scary hotel, ate some great food, saw amazing sights and the best part was that it was 3 days of just us.

Getting ready to gooooo.

We went outside to board the plane, and we hustled to the back to make it easier to get seats.  ah, Ryan Air.

Headed into London
Driving on the other side.
We made it!

On our way to get our tickets
Don't know what event was in there but we saw the building I guess.
Ahh, I'd be a fool not to take this picture.

On the way out of the Olympic Village area.  Every form of transportation could be found down here.

Some of that transportation, we took the Underground though.

Escape from the Underground.

Queen Boudica...great story if you have some time, beware the fatal funnel.
Across from Boudica, across the Thames.
Hello Ben

The Thames
They Eye of London, very fun...ok, not fun but you get some good views.

London by tour bus.

We were sure to sit on the top of the double decker so that we could see EVERYTHING.

Loved these guys.

Crazy blanket tree.

Happy Tour Guide!

Flags of every nation competing in the Olympics.  I have a feeling this was near Piccadilly.

Damage to a building from  WWII
A guy on a pedestal, He had on an Olympic Torch hat for the occasion.

Better than the usual lion.

They had these little guys everywhere, at least this one didn't have kids hanging all over it.
This reminded me of the Bat Man building in Nashville.  This was built as a green building with the turbines used to power the building.  With the fatal flaw that it's never windy enough to turn the turbines.

Not finished yet but it's called the shard, since it looks like a giant shard of glass.

The only purpose of this picture is to remind me to say that they mention Lake Havasu City, Arizona on the bus tour, because it's the proud home of the London Bridge.
I love this building it reminds me of an Easter Egg.

An instillation of posters from WWII.
Some eagle that they mentioned on the tour but I forget why.
From a distance it doesn't seem that impressive, but the closer you get the more intricate and beautiful it is.

Tower Bridge

Not sure if you can call it performance art if all you do is sit there but it was still pretty neat.
Even in a city as old as London there are still ruins from an even older civilization.  These are Roman.
Creepy, especially with the barbs along the top.

We hopped off the tour bus after the Tower Bridge and walked around looking for a place to eat.  This place was perfect, I don't think they usually get anything but business people for lunch.  So we got to escape the hordes of people for a while.

Patrick knew exactly what he wanted, he goes to England often enough he has favorite dishes.

This was my first trip so I went for delicious Fish and Chips.

A tiny little cemetery but Mother Goose is buried here.

A representation of animals that used to live at the tower of London.  Gifts from all over the world were there, until they were donated to create the London Zoo.  These were made of layers and layers of chicken wire.
"Let's get a picture of you with the rings" he says...good job Patrick.

A very famous cathedral me thinks...
What looks to be a teeny tiny ship, but I wonder how big it is up close.

A late and not so good picture of the oldest book store in London, Dickens used this shop.

The Original

They've got nothing on Time Square!

The only plinth at Trafalgar whose statue changes, the rest are permanent.

Trafalgar Square (I hope) you'll see Patrick on that monument in just a bit, also a very nice fountain.
Isa is such a Percy Jackson fan, any time  I see a God, Greek or Roman, I take a picture for her.
Our one and only way we traveled in England.  We needed a little help to get started but by the end we were masters.
Churchill was adamant about there not being a statue of him, he didn't want birds pooping on his head.  So his statue has an electrical charge that keeps the birds off.

Up to Wembley Stadium for Women's Gold Medal Football.

The stop closest to our creepy, scary hotel
We're almost there!!!!!

Olympic flag from the1948 London Olympics.

The crowd coming into Wembly.

There was a whole group of these people.  They even made it into a montage they played while we were waiting for the medals ceremony.

Ready to cheer on America, we had a flag and all.

Jealous of the card flippers.
Warm Up
The medals ceremony, I didn't take my telephoto and I was regretting it.

Back to London after a nights sleep.  
Not a good nights sleep but after nearly 24 hours awake not even the worlds worst hotel is a great place to catch some winks.
All sorts of fun stuff down on the Thames.
A view from the eye, this was the pod next to us.

Much easier to get the whole building, not just Big Ben.
Ah, river police, but there are a lot of them so they may mean business.

On the street in London, a gift from the Gods of Olympus.

 Goodbye London, Hello Cardiff
Men's Bronze Medal Football
I had no idea that Wales had its own language, Welsh...I realized this when we got off the train.
Entertainment while we were searching for our hotel.

Outside the stadium in Cardiff.  Beer wasn't allowed in the stadium, nor were bottles with lids so we drank out here by the water.

Just to prove we were there.

Patrick was less than thrilled about these seats.

The view from our seats, we were right behind the media center.

The signs had to be approved by security, they brought in someone to read them to make sure they weren't offensive.

Super fans.

The view from our new seats.  The Japanese fans were so loud that a group of 4 asked to be moved and they gave us their spots.  We had a blast.

Our very loud Japanese neighbors.  Don't let this pic fool you, this had to be the only time they were quite.

Pay toilet, funny.

Funny...and probably true.

We caught the train at 7 so our trip through the streets was calm and quite.

I had no idea I was born in Wales.

Back in London for one last look around before we headed back to Germany.
A monument that you are encouraged to climb on, go figure

The Olympic count down clock, the back side had the count down to the start of the Para Olympics.

Good bye London!  PS we got a lot of looks because we were both in orange...never fear we are still US fans.