Olympics 2012

The Olympic Countdown

I visited the Olympic Park in Stratford on Saturday. Just for a walkaround. To see what I could see. The fact that my new Olympic Games London 2012 photo album on Flickr  contains just three photos says it all. One of which is of the countdown clock in Trafalgar Square. There’s not yet an awful lot to see. Well, not a lot of the ‘finished article’. But here’s my first impressions.

  • Stratford tube station is very bland, dull, sanitised and uninspiring. Very. It is very post war East London though…
  • The Westfield Mall that you are obliged to visit to get to the stadium is huge. Massive. Great if you’re rich with nothing to do all day.
  • I must never let Mrs P find out that Westfield Mall exists. We’re not rich and I definitely have better things to do all day. On any day.
  • There is a Wahaca at Westfield. Their sign states they are the best Mexican in all of London. They’re not. They are mediocre at best. Trading Standards should investigate…
  • Lupitas is the best. Unlike Wahaca, they actually sell Mexican food, which is a big plus point. We’ve been a couple of times, including Saturday.
  • You can get pretzels in Westfield. I love pretzels. Salty pretzels. They aren’t so easy to find in the UK.
  • I ate the worst pretzel of my life at Westfield mall. Undercooked and with an inch deep pool of oil in the bottom of the bag.
  • I’d reserved my verdict on the ArcelorMittal Orbit. First impression from a distance? Urgh. The staircase should be red, for a start. It’s probably not as bad as some have declared though. Some people are truly nuts.
  • There’s a lot of work to be done. Although I haven’t heard of any reports stating anything other than ‘on schedule’, or even ‘ahead of schedule’. But still, at the moment, it just looks like a building site. Not inspiring.
  • I did wonder what the Olympics would look like if Paris had gotten the nod. Probably a more glamorous games.
  • I bet Parisians are glad they didn’t it, given what’s happened since 2005. Has any country had to withdraw from hosting an Olympics? I don’t think so. It’s happened once with the World Cup – in 1986 Colombia had won the bid but had to pull out. Mexico took on the job.
  • The visit lowered my expectations. That’s probably a good thing. It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised (and I think I will be) and not so nice to be disappointed.
  • I have not seen a single Olympics 2012 themed postcard. Not a single one. Nada.



4 thoughts on “The Olympic Countdown

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