Flying visit to London

When I blogged about our visit to the National Media Museum (as I’ve only just realised it’s now called – doh), I forgot to mention that we watched the Olympics opening ceremony and Rebecca Adlington’s bronze-winning swim in the cinema there. It has Super Hi-Vision and fancy schmancy surround sound (that’s not what it’s actually called, you understand) and it was just amazing.

I loved the opening ceremony anyway and Harry had watched the Bond and Bean bits over and over and it was even more amazing on the big screen – thanks to the surround sound, you could really feel the atmosphere. On the way home, David and I started talking about how it was a shame we weren’t going to the Olympics, how it was most likely a once in a lifetime experience for the boys, etc. And then we decided that we’d try to go. We didn’t mind to what even, we just wanted to experience it.

We couldn’t get tickets to anything (I know this is not news, but ohmygod the ticket website is a nightmare), but then friends pointed out that we could see the Men’s Triathlon in Hyde Park for free. So we booked the train and, on Tuesday, off we went.

We met lovely Anne-Marie and positioned ourselves at the barrier to watch the cycling bit. The crowd was huge and the atmosphere was great – strangers actually talked to us! – but, as with the Tour de France – the bikes go past so ridiculously fast, it’s almost literally blink and you miss them. Luckily they go round a couple of times, but even so… fast. We left Anne-Marie to watch the finish on the big screen and headed off to do some tourist stuff, since the boys hadn’t been to London before.

I’d booked the London Eye (with a flexi ticket, since we didn’t know what time we’d be getting there) before we set off and we planned to do a bus tour too (I bloody love a bus tour, me). That didn’t work out since the tubes were borked after we left the Triathlon and by the time we got to the river it was too late for a tour. From the London Eye, the boys spotted a fair, which turned out to be London Wonderground, so obviously we had to go there. (I went on the Cyclone rollercoaster with Harry. I tried to video it, but it’s mainly me screaming and saying “Are you okay? Are you okay?” because Harry looked properly terrified. When we staggered off, he said, “That was BRILLIANT!” Grr.)

From there, it seemed natural to keep wandering down the South Bank and we ended up at Gabriel’s Wharf, where I think both boys would like to have stayed forever. Then we got a bus up to Kings Cross, back on the train, and, eventually, home to bed. It was such a brilliant day that we’re going to do it again soon (apart from the Triathlon!).

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