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Published: September 13th 2012
Before the dust well and truly settles on the Olympics' and Paralympics' success let me add my two-penn'orth.
I had a most wonderful week at the Paralympics with 5 tickets for events spread out over several days. This was a well planned operation - I had got these tckets in the first round when everyone else was poo-pooing whether Great Britain would be able to pull it off. Not daunted and ever optimistic I applied for 6 tickets having at the time no idea where the Olympic Park was or how I would get there etc. So then I got it - 6 events to go to ( as it turned out I couldn't go to the rowing due to Tracie's birthday do which was a top priority for me). Next step was mapping out the events the locations and where to stay - it was almost as complicated as 6 months trip to Oz and NZ.
Months ago I booked the Hilton Docklands hotel - my usual good deal ( £70 a night - pretty good for LOndon I thought ) and was thrilled to find the rooms were £300 a night once the Olympic fervour
took hold!!! BARGAIN for me then !!! It was a great location with a ferry boat ( free) taking you across the River Thames to Canary Wharf and from there I could walk to the Docklands Light Railway and be at Stratford in about 15 minutes which is where the Olympic Park was. What can I say about the organisation for the Olympics - FABULOUS, WONDERFUL , EXCELLENT AND STUPENDOUS... from London Transort to Volunteer Games makers, everyone in the park - the police, and Armed Forces and security personnel - everything worked like clockwork - I never had to queue for anything.
And then the icing on my cake was my seats at the events - hadn't really looked at the tickets properly until the day and found I was sitting in the very front, ROW 1 at the swimming...there I saw among others Jonathan Fox get the World Record- all amazing athletes - one with no arms and one leg swam like a dolphin and won a backstroke race. Then next day I had 2 sessions at the Athletics and found myself in ROW3 right in front of the longjump when it was going on - German
guy won with another World Record. The atmosphere was electric and cheers and noise in stadium was just amazing to be there and to be part of it. Saw Wheelchair racing with David Weir who finally won 3 golds and blind runners with their guides.
A little break in my stay in London took me to Newcastle on the train for (niece)Tracie's birthday dinner and back after one day - this time to stay in Greenwich. Unfortunatley this B+B I had chosen was a bit of a disaster - not quite what it said on the tin - leading me to write a very negative review on Trip Advisor - if going to Greenwich don't stay at One Six Two. But putting that aside with great sunny weather Greenwich was a superb venue - and easy to grab a bite to eat in the lovely market and sit by the Cutty Sark , wander by the river and through the Old Naval College - and visit the Meantime Brewery there - lovely cider!!! So it was off the Excel which is a huge exhibition center - it was on the North of the river so best way to get
across this time, after a bus ride,was on the new Emirates Cable car across the Thames - good value £6 for a return. Great to fly like that across by the O2 and then it was a walk to Excel where I saw wheelchair fencing, sitting volleyball and boccia ( which is a bit like bowls or petanque). All very exciting.
Back again to Greenwich to my last event which was the equestrian event - dressage to music...I am not really a horser person and know nothing about dressage - but the horses were magnificane and the riders with their physical disablities must be tremendous to control these animals as they do so beautifully.
So that was it - best £25 I ever spent - and I am so glad I was able to be a part of it all - big thank yous to everyone who made these games so special. It wasn't on my list of things to do - which Angela and I wrote about 5 years ago - but then that's what is special about my list - some things I might not tick off but all the time there are wonders in this
life to look for and all you have to do is go for it!!! These Paralympians showed us all that philosophy of life.
Next stop Malta in October.
Love to all. XXXXX
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