Holy WOW! It’s really the only way I can describe the mass of feelings associated with being at the Olympics. It was absolutely phenomenal. And awe-inspiring. And emotional. And exhausting. It was damn close to every good emotion possible, all wrapped up in one cute, little, 4-day package.
We flew into London later on Tuesday evening. Checked into our hotel (about a 15-minute walk from Hyde Park), and basically just settled in for the night. We had to be up early the next morning to get to Olympic Park for the Athletics competition that we had tickets for. The next morning, we woke early and headed out to grab some breakfast before jumping onto the Tube to get to the park. The Tube was (thankfully) pretty empty, which would not be the case later on during the trip. We got to Olympic Park and just toured around for an hour or so. It was pretty empty (we’re the early ones that are always there before everyone else, which was nice in this instance), so we were able to see a lot of things without worrying about the crowds. Then, we headed off to our event, which was awesome. It wasn’t a final or anything, so we saw a lot of different heats. We saw the women’s hammer throw, men’s pole vault, the first four events of the men’s decathlon, and a few different sprint races (men’s and women’s). After those finished up, we grabbed some lunch and then toured the park a bit more. We then headed back to the hotel, got some dinner and passed out because we were absolutely exhausted.
Thursday morning was our day to play “tourist” in London. We woke early, grabbed breakfast, and headed back to the Underground. We went to Harrod’s (the most amazing department store, ever), London bridge, Tower bridge, Hyde Park, and then to Wembley Stadium for our event that evening. We were so incredibly lucky to get tickets to a gold medal match where the US was competing! That night, we had tickets to the Gold Medal match for women’s football, US versus Japan! It was so cool!! Over 80,000 spectators in the arena, and the match was a really good one! The US won, which was so awesome to see in person. We then stayed for the medal ceremony, and then began the very long journey back to the hotel (the Tube was absolutely packed and it took forever to get through the station).
Friday morning, we left London and headed to Canterbury for some sightseeing away from the crazy. Canterbury is pretty small, but absolutely adorable! We actually stayed on the grounds of the Cathedral, so we had access to the grounds all night, even after the gates were closed. We toured around the town, then passed out again early because we were so worn out from the games, the travel, and all the walking. Saturday, we took a local train to Dover to see the white cliffs. Absolutely stunning! We basically just hiked around on the cliffs and hung out in Dover before heading back to Canterbury,
This morning, we headed back to the airport to catch our flight back to the Netherlands. I’m completely exhausted, but it was so worth it! We’ve decided that we’re going to make every effort to go to more Olympic games, so it looks like Sochi 2014 is going to be next (plus, we want to go to Russia…two birds, one stone). After that, its Rio in 2016! I really hope we’re able to go to more games…it was such and incredible time!