Saturday, August 11, 2012

Olympic Weekend - Saturday

We caught the 9.56 from Kettering into St Pancras International for our once-in-a-lifetime Olympic weekend. We were lucky enough to secure four tickets for the Closing Ceremony and we’re meeting Ralph and Karen as soon as we arrive .

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The train arrived on time and as we trundled into St Pancras, we only waited a few minutes before Ralph and Karen followed us through the gate. Free ice-creams were once again on offer from East Midlands Trains - a good start to our weekend!

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We jumped in a taxi and headed to the Premier Inn, Tower Bridge (our temporary home for the next couple of days). We were too early to check-in, so we dumped our bags and headed back into the capital by foot starting with the ‘tourist thing’ and the Tower Bridge tour. We’d done it a few years, but it was much better this time round because of the glorious weather and the opportunity for some stunning photographs taken from upper walkway. There was also a temporary exhibition showing photographs of the cities that have hosted the Olympic Games.
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By now, we were starving and so we  stopped for lunch at Pizza Express in Shad Street. The whole area was buzzing with life with almost everybody adorned in some form of Olympic livery. Nice!
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A hour or so later, it was a brisk walk back to the hotel and a quick change of clothes before heading off to St Martin’s Theatre and the 4pm matinee performance of the Mousetrap. It was an enjoyable production, but spoiled by the ridiculous leg-room. Luckily for us, our row was empty, so we had a chance to spread out. It was a good production but I can’t reveal whodunnit ‘cos that’s the rules!
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With the matinee finishing around 6, we then headed off on foot in the direction of Covent Garden and  the South Bank to take in the sites along the route. We haven’t done this for a few years and we’d quite forgotten how busy the area can get - even more so with the Olympics going on. It was good to see that some of the street artists had got into the mood of the Olympics too!

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Our final stop for the day was The Swan Restaurant next to the Globe Theatre. We booked the table for 8pm and arrived just five-minutes before - perfect! We weren’t sure what it would be like, but as it turned out, the experience was first-class. Great food, a well-trained waiter and a stunning view across the Thames to St Paul’s. For us, it does get much netter than that!
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By the time we left the restaurant, it was dark and that gave the scenery a more magical look! It also gave me an opportunity for some night shots. 
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We walked as far as London Bridge station before Ann’s feet gave up and we three jumped in a taxi back to the Premier Inn, leaving Ralph to do some more photography of London at night.

We hit the pillow around 11.30 - late for us, but well worth it! Tomorrow’s the big day - the Closing Ceremony! Can’t wait!!!