A London eye view of the Olympics
Imagine if you will, you’re going to have a big party. A huge one, like your birthday, and Christmas and the queens coronation and your nans funeral all rolled together, and it’s all so exciting that you walk around in circles not knowing how to start preparing.
So you start by doing a bit of tidying, mow the grass, paint the house, buy the nibbles and a little bit of booze, change the furniture, build an extension to accommodate all the guests, decide on the music and start recording personalized cassettes… you get the idea.
Sounds great? Sounds ambitious? Sounds like it’s going to drive the neighbors up the wall.
Well, if you take that, throw in that half the family are unemployed and can’t afford the party, and then scale it up to a whole country, you have the London Olympics.
The GLORIOUS London Olympics.
I’m sure that when the Olympics finally arrive, it’s going to be absolutely fabulous. Shiny new stadiums, beautiful parks, improved stations, a whole legacy for our children. A boost to our economy, and all the other bullshit that our government peddles on a daily basis.
But at the moment, we have the house being tidies, but we’re not allowed to walk on the new carpets.
Here’s an example:
As I’m a wannabe ex fatty (okay, I AM fat) I decided to dust off my super slick folding bike, and start cycling part of my way to work. My route takes me through some of the greatest and most famous parts of the city. As some people reading this might not be uber familiar with London, I’ll try to treat you to some descriptions of the landmarks I pass daily.
So welcome to this micro guide to London, home of the Queen, the Kebab, and the core blimee cocknee spara.
In the morning I cycle down Abbey Road, and over the crossing made famous by the Beetles on the album cover of the same name, through the middle of hyde park, which is like central park, only with more statues, history, and slightly less rules. I then take a right, past the Royal Albert Hall , Kensington Palace (home of many of the poorer royals), down Kensington High Street, and to work.
My homeward bound journey, which takes me back across London to my station of choice, takes me back down Kensington high street, through the park, to hyde park corner, which is holds a pointless huge arch, down the Mall to Buckingham palace (home of the Queen, gawd bless her governor), past the houses of parliament, Big Ben, red telephone boxes, soldiers in big fuzzy hats, the London Eye (a big ferris wheel that can only spin at 3 revolutions per hour – hold onto your hats now), past waterloo (NOT the site of the famous battle) and to Blackfriars station. So called because it used to be the home of Monks who burnt the chips – absolutely true!
Good route huh? Even if you aren’t familiar with the route, it’s still a decent itinerary for your next trip to Europe.
But here’s the rub. For a cyclist, nearly (but not quite) all the route has either had the available cycle paths closed, or in the case of the parks, swamped by pratts on hired bike – don’t get me started on Boris Bikes.
Why? For the Olympics of course!
And for what, a games much of which is paid for by us, the public. But with over half the tickets going to commercial sponsors, and we.. Okay, I, haven’t even been able to get tickets.
We can’t travel to work, as the public transport system is being swamped by visitors – whoopee for tourism!
We can’t cycle, as the roads will be congested and cycle lanes closed.
Many of the major roads will be allocated VIP lanes, which we can’t drive OR CYCLE down. I will mind you (naughty me) but I mus’n’t.
And the bus drivers are threatening to strike.
The Olympics are good for the country? Possibly.
The Olympics are good for Londoners? Certainly not!
I’ll tell you one thing however, I do agree that they’re good for tourism. I have friends in the States who actually managed to get tickets. I didn’t, I only live here., I couldn’t get squat. But our friends in Washington DC did fine!
So I’ve given up. I’m taking my family on holiday, and my American friends can have my house for the two weeks.
The Blobster Blogster (44)