Underground Calm

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A Girl standing holdong bunches of white and green flowers on the underground platform, as a tube train arrives.

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Greenwich at Last!

Mooring at Greenwich

Greenwich is my last stop. As the Equestrian Olympic & Paralympic and Modern Pentathlon events are to take place in Greenwich Park, in ‘an arena set behind the National Maritime Museum and the wonderfully grand colonnades of the Old Royal Navy Hospital.’ TimeOut London 2012. Also the Olympic & Paralympic Shooting and Paralympic Archery events will take place at The Royal Artillery Barracks, east of Greenwich nearest to Woolwich Arsenal Rail.

Greenwich Park

Running out of energy I just make it to the gate of Greenwich Park, which looks a beautiful green open space. Unfortunately I am too exhausted to walk through to the Royal Observatory, which has a great view my friend said that morning.

The sun is now starting to go down and I have a memory of visiting Greenwich Market twenty-two years ago. My memory serves me well and the market is open full of various craft stalls…

Greenwich Market

I then head down to see the Cutty Sark, passing the Gipsy Moth Pub which I also remembered. But, Greenwich front is currently looking like a building site and the Cutty Sark all bandaged up.**

I start chatting to two middle-aged women, who tell me that there was a fire started by a vacuum cleaner, which nearly burnt down the ship. Now it is being restored and also a glass structure is being built so it would seem as if the boat is on the sea…

It all sounds very exciting but in January darkness I am literally standing on a building site looking at a wrecked ship, advising the two ladies to go and take a look at the Olympic Park. As they say they want to shop at Westfield, but rarely cross ‘north of the river’ nowadays being from South East London. My London Ambassador role has begun even now….

** The Queen has just reopened The Cutty Sark on April 25th: Various reports via BBCITVTelegraph and how to visit from The Londonist

Crossing The Thames…

Just missed a Thames Clipper

The woman at the ticket booth tries to sort my ticket in time for the Thames Clipper that’s about to leave. But my Disabled Discount isn’t showing on the Oyster Card on my ticket from North Greenwich to Greenwich Pier. I only take one stop, but as I said in my previous post, you can take a Thames Clipper all the way up the Thames to the London Eye.

As I just reach the edge of North Greenwich Pier, the Clipper is raising its boarding platform and off. Just a note, they specifically stick to times, even if they see you coming they will not wait.

So the few of us who were rushing to catch this one relax…

Waiting...

View Across The Thames

… with a beautiful view across the Thames. Well, it’s mainly industrial warehouses but it is just refreshing to see the water, after the built up concrete of London!

Here the Thames Clipper Comes
20 minutes later…

Boat getting closer...

… and we board.

Costa Coffee is also available on the Clippers, which I was pleased to see, as Costa is one of my favourite places. So I indulge in an Earl Grey tea to keep warm.

We twist and turn on the Thames, again passing The O2 at the rivers bend. Before floating down past mostly warehouse type buildings to Greenwich.

On the boat, nearing Greenwich

I would definitely recommend a trip in a Thames Clipper if you are going between Olympic Sites and have some time. Or if as a visitor, you are having a few days for sight-seeing. It provides an interesting alternative to the underground and trains. Here’s a little more about London River Services.

On to The O2

There’s been a lull on my blog as I’ve been attending Module 1 for the London Ambassador Programme. I’m also preparing for Module 2 coming up, so I’ll be blogging about both soon.

First to catch up with the last days of my January trip….

Screen Shot Tube Greenwich

Leaving Excel at Custom House for Excel on the DLR, I change at Canning Town. Dipping under the Thames on the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich for The O2.

I want to take a brief look at The O2 as it will ‘play a major role in London 2012’ Time Out. The basketball, wheelchair basketball and gymnastics will be here.

Outside of The O2

I’ve never been to The O2 but had heard about it first when it was launched in 2000 as the Millennium Dome. Emirates are sponsoring the cable link between the O2 and Excel being created for The Games, it is in the process of being completed. Making the travel link between the two sites infinitely easier.

Inside the O2

As it is such a sunny day I spend only a short time inside the actual O2 which is now mainly known, ‘with its outstanding sound, unobstructed lightlines and the potential for artists to perform in the round’ London 2012 Time Out,  as the arena venue of choice for music.

The O2 blue lights inside

I then head down to North Greenwich Pier to catch one of the nifty Thames Clippers that are the ‘fastest fleet on the river’ according to their pocket timetable.

North Greenwich Pier sign

I’d googled that morning of the best way to get across The Thames and simultaneously my friend said why don’t you catch a boat!

Screen Shot Thames Clippers

Thames Clippers is a water bus service operating the length of The Thames in Central London. Stopping at Woolwich, Greenwich, Masthouse Terrace, Greenland, Canary Wharf, Bankside, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Blackfriars, Embankment and Waterloo piers.

The ‘high speed luxury river travel for London’s commuters and visitors’ TC Timetable, provide a pleasant and quick way to cross The Thames.

Continued…

Official Pudding Mill Lane Views

stratford station section of underground map Catching London Overground from Hackney Wick to Stratford, which will be the main station that Games visitors will flow through. Then on to the Docklands Light Railway DLR to Pudding Mill Lane. The official place to view the construction of the Olympic Park is situated here at View Tube.

The DLR line is going to be heavily used during the Games as many of the events are in the The River Zone, which is Excel and at Greenwich (photos to come). London Transport are also linking up Stratford with St Pancras via the high-speed Javelin – I will have to look out for it next time! olympic park from pudding mill lane olympic signposts workmen at pudding mill lane

Workmen and landscapers still hard at work on site.

landscaper - olympic stadiumlandscaper - Olympic Park

The Orbit, Aquatic Centre, Stratford City

Looking right of the Olympic Stadium, the rest of the Olympic Park is visible. The Orbit is to the left, the Aquatics Centre to its right and Stratford City (photos to come) in the distance.

reflection of the orbit

Caught The Orbit reflecting in the landscapers van. he kindly allowed me to take a photo. It seems to have attracted a variety of opinions. Personally I have yet to like it. Here is its installations on the artists Anish Kapoor’s site.

Road To 2012

the road to 2012 photography exhibition

Came across the National Portrait Gallery’s Road to 2012 Exhibition, situated near the View Tube. Amazing large-scale portrait photos telling human stories of their Olympic Journey:

‘The National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project is capturing the journey towards the London 2012 Games and is creating a lasting record of the people who are contributing to this exciting event. From world-class athletes and those working behind the scenes, to people living and working in the Olympic host boroughs, the project celebrates stories of inspirational achievement.’

Really interesting project and there is a Flickr group for contributions.

observer - olympic park

olympic park from pudding mill lane station