It was on my bucket list to go to the 2012 London Olympics and I managed to get tickets to the Men’s Hockey Semi-Final: Germany VS Australia. The other semi-final featured Team GB and the Netherlands, which I tried to switch my ticket for on the day as others tried to switch their own but in the end I watched this match – What a thrilling match it was!
Just in case you’re curious… I supported Australia.
Enjoy the photos!
Pall Mall, London
It was on my bucket list to go to the 2012 London Olympics and I managed to get tickets! However, the Triatlon was an unticketed event which meant that anyone could turn up to watch and I discovered this when I was going to see the Changing of the Guard – Very lucky to see both experiences!
With the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics summer games starting today, I thought this would be a good time to have a couple of flashback posts to the London 2012 summer games, which I was very fortunate to attend and live in the country that was hosting this magical, sporting event.
The mascots Wenlock and Mandeville represented the Olympic and Paralympic games respectively, their names and design based in British history and culture.
Wenlock’s name is inspired by Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England, where in 1850 the Wenlock Olympian Society held its first Olympian Games, regarded as an inspiration for the modern Olympic games.
Mandeville is named after the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. In 1948, Stoke Mandeville organised the first Stoke Mandeville Games, considered to be the precursor to the Paralympics. The three spikes on Mandeville’s helmet represent the Paralympic Agitos. He also represents friendship.
Extract from ‘Wikipedia’
The Wenlock & Madeville Discovery Trail
During the summer, London placed 83 figures all over the city to promote the games and to encourages locals and tourists alike to explore the city on foot. Each figure was designed to represent the area that it had been placed, as you can see from the images below.
Out of the 83, I only spotted 6 on my travels across the city or maybe I just wasn’t looking hard enough!
I have finally taken my travel map off the wall and updated the European section, the map last updated in January 2015. As a scratch-a-map, you have to scratch off the countries you have visited but this means that sometimes, you accidentally scratch out tiny countries you haven’t been to, through no fault of your own.
The countries I scratched off this time, are:
- Germany (2015 & 2016)
- Austria (2015)
- Hungary (2015/16)
- The Netherlands (2016)
- Belguim (2016)
Countries I need to visit to make my travel map completely accurate (aka Scratched off by accident):
Say goodbye to the old and hello to the new!
Like any major city across the world, New Years is a big celebration and most capital cities have big, organised firework displays at midnight – However, Budapest is the exception to the rule.
Before we headed to Budapest and even during, my friend and I searched the internet for any information for firework-related events presuming they would most likely held in the Chain Bridge area, but as we discovered on New Years eve is that people sell fireworks freely on the streets to anyone whom is interested. Coming from the UK where Fireworks are highly regulated, only sold at certain times of year, certain shops etc it was a shock to see such freedom with the release of fireworks not much different…. people go to an area, light them and up they go. Busy areas included but most people do go to a quiet area within these to release their fireworks.
Due to this freedom, Fireworks start filling the area over the course of the night from as early as 6pm to as late at 4am, maybe even later. Happening across the city, you are bound to see fireworks from the city center outwards. Expect central areas to be very busy, getting more crowded as time draws nearer to midnight, people by the river, at the Christmas market, looking for places to drink and eat.
If you want to eat, get there early – We entered a small restaurant at around 6.35pm and the place was busy but we managed to get a table, but as we eat our meal (3 course meal, 1 litre of Hungarian beer and an after dinner drink – £15!) over the course of a 3 hour period, the place was turning more and more people away.
Venturing out into Vörösmarty Square to the Christmas after our meal heading towards the Christmas Market, we claimed our free mug of hot mulled wine courtesy of our Budapest card, sat on the benches watching fireworks quite literally above our heads, taking in the calm yet also spirited atmosphere. Heading to Heroes Square near midnight, the place abuzz with people and of course, fireworks – HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra is a Hungariansymphony orchestra of Romani (Gypsy) musicians. It emphasizes works by composers inspired by Hungarian folk music including Johannes Brahms, Vittorio Monti, Piotr Tchaïkovski, Johann Strauss and Johann Strauss II. The orchestra has been performing for 30 years as a classical symphony orchestra.
Extract from ‘Wikipedia’
On a bucket list but not my own – This was an unexpected treat from my travel companion before we descended on Budapest informing me that seeing the Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra was on her bucket list and since she was in Budapest at the same time as one of their performances, she HAD to go. Naturally, it was on her bucket list. Unfamiliar with this type of music I said I would like to come too sans appropriate dress (Black and White tie – Tourists like ourselves were easy to spot due to this).
I wasn’t expecting anything and I was nothing like the bouncy up and down excitement that was my friend but I was blown away. Check out the video above to see and hear for yourselves – I heard this piece!
It was a magical evening which still leaves an impression on me many months later.