London is wonderful at the moment. First, there was a week of glorious hot hot summer weather. Then, the Olympics started. Like Vancouver 2010 (and I’m sure every Olympics in the past 20 years) all the hype about insane crowds and massive transportation issue was massively over blown.
The. City. Is. Empty.
A good empty though. It’s like all the naysayers and boo-hooites left town for Marbella and only the fun people are left, with a few crazy Olympic tourists added to the mix.
On Friday my sister arrived from Vancouver and we watched the Opening Ceremonies at our flat and saw the jets fly by just outside our window!
On Saturday I took my sister to Victoria Park to take up the Olympic spirit and get in some exercise with Nike Training Club Live. The canal was lovely and there were loads of pop-up shops on the houseboats! We rented some Boris bikes and rode to M&S for healthy take-away salads (her first M&S experience. Obviously amazing).
Sunday saw an early start to the Kiwi House in Kings Cross where we watched some football, river kayaking and cycling. The flat white coffees were fabulous and our amazing chicken/lamb bbq lunch was washed down with (plenty) of Moa ciders.
From there Alex and I went to the Official Residence of the High Commissioner of Canada in London (aka Gordon Campbell aka Gordo) for a reception held for young Canadian alumni in London. We were lucky to be invited as the Olympic Canada House is for friends & family of the athletes only - so it was our one chance to get some serious Canadiana in during these 2 weeks.
We were welcomed with a great COC London 2012 pin, and Ms. Campbell gave us each a warm welcome to their home. We mingled with previous Canadian Olympians and even met Adam Kreek who keeps his gold medal on his belt. It’s a custom designed belt buckle to be exact. Gordon kicked off the party official speech about how great his new house is and the importance of wearing our Vancouver 2010 mittens in London. Adam Kreek and Becky Scott both spoke about our ability to take inspiration from Olympic athletes in our daily lives.
We then got to hang out with an Olympic torch (and it’s bearer) and meet some other Canadians living in London. There were a few of the I am a Very Important Expat people there, but the majority were delightful and interesting.
On Sunday we went to one of the BT London Live sites at Victoria park to watch TeamGB on the big screens. We stuck out the rain at the beginning to enjoy a glorious sunny afternoon watching Murray actually win on a Wimbledon court!
London 2012, I’m impressed!