Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Day at the Olympics

We bought tickets over a year ago but last Wednesday we finally got to go to the Olympics. We decided to go to the main entrance at Stratford and had no problems - no queues at all. When you leave the station you have to walk through the Westfield Shopping Centre.

Once you get through security the first 'iconic' structure you see is the Aquatics Centre. The structure was Designed by architect Zaha Hadiddbr. The wave-like roof is 160m long and up to 80m wide.

Photo time!

One of the Games Makers took this one.

Once past the Aquatic Centre you get a first proper view of the Main Stadium.

Next to the Stadium is the The Orbit. It is described on the London 2012 website as 'the tallest art structure in Britain'. It is 115m high with a viewing platform at 85m.There is a lift up and a spiral staircase down. Orbit was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond.

According to Wikopedia, Jonathan Glancey of The Guardian described Orbit as a "fusion between striking art and daring engineering",alternatively Richard Morrison of The Times described Orbit as "like an enormous wire-mesh fence that has got hopelessly snagged round the bell of a giant french horn", adding that it "seems like an awful lot of trouble just to look at East London". I think I'll sit on the fence for the moment - at £15 a ticket we did't go up it.

A Games Makers Meeting!

To get from the south of the Olympic Park (by the Main stadium and Aquatic Centre) to the north (Velodrome, Basketball Arena) we walked along the Waterworks River -
Beneath the Stratford Gate bridge is a brilliant water feature where seemingly random words appear projected in falling droplets - but you have to be quick to photograph it!

The gardens alongside the river were amazing

The 5,000 seat temporary water polo arena

The 28.6m long royal row barge Gloriana was moored on the river in the Olympic Park after the completing the Torch Relay.

Looking back towards the main stadium and the Orbit. Construction of stadium started on 22 May 2008. It has a total capacity of 80,000 with permanent seating for 25,000.

More of the wonderful gardens

The 'World Square' with the Aquatics Cente in the distance.

Gloriana, this time viewed from the more elavated level of the World Square.

The world's largest McDonalds (which we did not dine at).

The BBC studios... which are perched on a big stack of blue containers.

Moving towards the north end of the park and crossing over the river , a first view of the Basketball Arean and to the left, the Velodrome.

View from the bridge towards the main stadium and the Orbit.

Mirrored facade of BP's Fuelling the Future pavilion next to the Basketball Arena.

Yes we are in the mirror, top centre, turquoise...

The velodrome is one of the four permanent venues on the Olympic Park - a simply stunning piece of architecture. Inside is a 250-metre track made with 56 km of Siberian Pine and 350,000 nails!

Starting to queue to get into the Basketball Arena

Lights down before the first teams come out - quite impressive.

Half time entertainment

We watched Australia beat Brazil....
...and then Russia beat Team GB. This was early on when we were 4:0 up, we did get to 12:2 but finally lost 61:67.

There were very few empty seats.

Action as Team GB attack. Tickets were £50 a head and the seats were pretty good.

Walking back towards the main stadium.

Crowds outside the tube station at Stratford but we kept moving and got straight onto a train.

I wasn't sure what to expect but I came away impressed - the Olympic Park is not another Millenium Dome, all was good with some much more than that.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures but I especially like the ones of the flowers in the gardens at the Olympic park