After a whopping two hours sleep, hubby and I got up at 5am, packed up the kids and jumped a coach to London. Three hours later, we stepped off into the surprisingly not-busy capital city and began our day with Starbucks in Victoria. We then strolled to Buckingham Palace because Bunny wanted to see where the queen lives. Since finding out that the queen is not called Victoria and that she isn’t made out of Lego, Bunny has developed an obsession with the Queen. This obsession extends to “Bucaneers Palace”, so I took a photo of Bunny and the twins outside the palace with daddy…
One full minute of fascination later, we carried on walking to Hyde Park. I was surprised to see that The Serpentine isn’t as big as it looks on tv, (it was as filthy as it looks on tv), so this meant we were close to the swimmers. We set ourselves down at a beautiful spot on the south side of the lake, not far from the race start. It was a really beautiful day, bright 26 degree sunshine, blue sky and just a tiny breeze. We could see the swimmers all the way around the lake and as they swam past us, they were only about ten feet away. Number 19 was Dan Fogg representing Great Britain. The swimmers all had their number tattoos on their arms and backs so we could see that he was among the front swimmers and the crowd erupted as they all swam past. There were flags of numerous different nationalities and all standing next to each other showing the spirit of those five Olympic rings. The atmosphere was well worth the long journey.
One swimmer who deserves special mention was 16 year old Benjamin Schulte from Guam. He had the stamina, but not the speed of his competitors, but no matter how far he fell behind, he kept swimming. He got a cheer, all of his own, every time he swam past; and me being hormonal, I welled up with emotion, every time he swam past! I kept thinking “his parents must be so proud”, because 10km is a long hard race (two hours) and he must have known he had no chance of a medal but that boy didn’t give up!
I was loving being by the lake, feeling a part of the action but hubby wanted to go to BT London live, so at the halfway point, three laps in, I reluctantly packed up our stuff and we strolled over to the BT London Live Arena. We had guaranteed entry passes so we didn’t have to queue too long. There was no breeze at all and once inside, all the grass had been covered in woodchip, so it was hot as a desert in there. We parked up in front of a giant tv screen with a pintu of lager and watched the end of the swimming marathon. It was won by Oussama Mellouli from Tunisia; and Dan Fogg of Team GB came in at a highly respectable fifth place. Twelve minutes after the gold medalist, Benjamin Schulte finally crossed the finish line in 25th place to an approving round of applause. However, BT London Live just didn’t have the same atmosphere. It didn’t have the magic or the volume of the Serpentine crowd.
In fact we were bitterly disappointed by BT London Live… There wasn’t anything there for children except the Cadbury tent, which had a two and a half hour queue (sod that!) and trampolines which had an equally long queue. In fact, there wasn’t much there for adults either. We quickly got bored and left, favouring a sit down on the grass in Hyde Park next to the flower garden.
By time we got back to Victoria we were exhausted, but we had experienced a little piece of the Olympics and it had been fantastic!
Bunny has even started writing about her day. So far she has written “Lundoon twentey twlv by Bunny”.
More photos soon to be uploaded to my Facebook fan page
Heres a video: