So unless you’ve been living in a cave, like Thetis, then you’ll be fully aware that the 2012 Olympics are in full swing, right here in England.

And you know, I have to say, it’s been really well done. After the 2008 Olympics in China, the opening of which was just phenomenal, I kinda expected things to be a let down this time round.

But no, the opening ceremony was quirky and eccentric, and well, really rather British. And when I ventured into London last week with tickets to go see the Olympics Judo, I was seriously impressed in the orginisation, presentation and sheer spirit that met me there.

So, feel free to pull out now because I’m about to go into excessive detail about how I spent my Olympic day, and you may not have noticed but I tend to ramble on and on and —yeah, you get the picture.

4.55am. The day begins.

It is darn fortunate that early rising doesn’t faze me because this was a pre-sunrise start. As you may or may not know, I live in Kent so fortunately the travelling aspect wasn’t too daunting- an hour and a half on the train to get from my local station into the throbbing heart of London.

Our train {This was a Papa & I day!} arrived at 5.45am, we scuttled on board, changed at ashford, changed somewhere else, took the dockland railway and pulled into the London Olympic station whilst it was still relatively clam. Phew!

7.45am. Arrving at the ExCel centre.

So we got there, and there were volunteers everywhere! They were super friendly too, which made those ever important first-impressions really positive.

Because we’d gotten there in good time- the Judo wasn’t to start until 9.30am, the queues were practically non-existant and we sailed through all the security checks.

But then…

7.55am. Daddy brought the wrong ticket.

Yep. We handed in our tickets to go inside, and the man handling them awkwardly pointed to one of the tickets. Which was for Volleyball. Not Judo. Dad had accidently mixed them up, and brought only one judo ticket. So that was a kind of o__________o moment.

But again, they proved themselves to be so effecient! It took no more than maybe three minutes to solve? We just went to the help desk and they did indeed help us out. So! We went right on in, and I got my first glimpse of the interior excel!

8.30am. We take our seats.

Lights, camera, ACTION!

And what excellent seats they were! We had a great view, and whilst we waited for the stadium to fill up lot’s of judo-related things flashed up on the screens as the comentator/presenter hyped the crowds.

The arena getting ready!

9.30am. My first taste of Judo.

Okay so I once took judo classes for a few months, but this was effectively totally novel to me. And I loved it! They were very effecient in the running of things and it was such a great morning! The atmosphere was incredibly- such a mingling of different cultures and nationalities! So much spirit and good vibes. The japanese were super organised in there chanting, the Brazillians were flamboyant and musical, the Georgians were loud and proud of their judokas. It was really nice to see the audience supporting individuals.

The session ended all too quickly, I could happily have spent the whole day there.

1pm. Off to Greenwich!

Um, Not sure what this place is called. Naval academy or something? It’s in Greenwich anyway!

So once we got out of the excel, we took various trains/dockland railway/metro or something to Greenwich, somewhere I don’t think I’d ever been before. We checked out the market and the local eateries before heading off to check out some of the cultural hotspots.

Papa & I ❤

We saw the Cutty sark and a museum near it, um, the admiralty buildings nearby, including one which is now part of a univeristy I think, as well as the chapel and general pretty Greenwich parts around the park.

Inside the chapel.

4.30pm. We take to the thames.

We had evening plans at a fancy restaurant which extended family members, so to get back to central London, we took a boat down the thames.

So many funky buildings! And it was pretty darn cool to ride on under London bridge and the Olympic rings, and past the battleship which was casually floating near it.

We got off near this really impressive shopping galleria place which was beautiful, Hay’s Galleria- all gold and sparkly and worthy of pictures. I’m so glad I took my camera!

6.30pm. And so, we feast!

I love food. Quelle suprise.

We had reservations at the Almeida Restaurant in Islington, where I felt suitably under-dressed and slightly self-concious. Fortunately for me, it was primarily a french restaurant and the food soon distracted me and captured my full attention.

I managed to catch up with my aunt who is possibly the coolest aunt alive and I don’t see as often as I’d like, so the company was parfait.

I ordered the wild mushroom & black truffle risotto, and a palette of sorbets & ice creams with a caramel tuille for dessert. It was a delcious way to end a fantastic day.

Mmmm. Honey, coconut & raspberry.

9.15pm. La train finale.

At St Pancras, we boared our train home. My father suitabaly jolly after a glass or three of wine, and myself in tired, although high spirits after the full and memorable day.

We got home a little before half eleven.

Et Voila!

Tune in next time, where I re-tell the time I spilt coffee on my lap and all which followed. It’s not to be missed!


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