We booked our parking at Ebbsfleet International for £8 and then caught the Javelin train in to Stratford. It only took about ten minutes, and because we arrived quite early the train was nearly empty. It was a very smooth process, and we arrived right in the middle of the Olympic Park. It was starting to get busy, with lots of people milling about. We wandered around looking at the lanyards that many people were wearing, unfortunately I'm not very good at celebrity spotting but there were lots of people with the title "Athlete" which was very exciting! We were right opposite the Olympic Village, and we could see all the country flags hanging out of the windows.
We had some tickets to collect, so Ram went and joined the queue at the Box Office. The queue didn't seem too long, although it did take a while to get everything sorted. Then we went into the Westfield Shopping Centre for some dinner. The shops had all closed but the restaurants were just letting the last people in, so we were able to enjoy a relaxed dinner in an emptying restaurant away from the crowds outside.
At 5pm the Olympic Park was opened to the public. We weren't first in the queue and had expected a long wait to get through security, but to our surpise the process was really fast and we didn't have to wait at all. The older gentleman in front of us set off the metal detector as he went through, and proudly produced the reason - a gold Olympic medal from the 1964 Olympics! Of course we were suitably impressed, and he allowed us to have a close look at his medal - and even to touch it!
On the other side the atmosphere was buzzing. There were television crews aplenty, and when Ram recognised a BBC presenter he couldn't resist jumping in front of the camera, an event shortly followed by a phone call from his cousin who had just seen him live on television!
|We were there!|
|The Orbit with Olympic Stadium in the background|
We took a slow walk up to the stadium, pausing frequently to take plenty of photos and drink in the atmosphere. The Olympic Park was beautiful and clean, and although busy there was plenty of space to mill around. We had to refill our water bottles so we found the free water fountains, and there were plenty of toilets too which is always appreciated!
|Gorgeous landscaping around the Stadium, I loved the flowers|
Even though the televised show wasn't due to start for a long time, we were still entertained. Four huge clouds were being marched about, and at intervals different animals were brought out into the fields, alongside actors performing little pieces - moving the animals about, playing cricket and having picnics on the grass.
|Mysterious paddles on the backs of seats|
For the beginning of the show the entire audience area was covered with with huge blue sheets, which we had to push up and down from underneath to create the effect of a sea with a tiny island in the middle. Unfortunately it didn't actually make it to the televised show which is a shame as it must have looked really good! Then the show began.
It was truly spectacular. There was so much going on in all directions, it was impossible to take it all in. It was amazing watching the co-ordination going on below, as the countryside set was slowly dismantled and the Industrial Revolution began, complete with rising towers and the forging of a huge ring in the central furnace, which rose up to meet the four other Olympic rings in the roof of the Stadium. Then the journey began through Britain's modern history with a few surprises along the way - I still can't believe that they persuaded the Queen to take part in a James Bond segment!
|The cauldron is lit|
We had a brilliant time and I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to experience it. The show was absolutely fantastic and it's an occasion that we'll remember for the rest of our lives.
Did you watch the Opening Ceremony? What did you think?
Want to involve your children in the Olympic spirit? Why not make some Olympic Rings or an Olympic Torch!