Monday, January 16, 2012

From the Birdsnest to London Olympic Stadium – January 2012

Only two weeks after walking around the Beijing Olympic site, we had the opportunity to take bus tour of the London Olympic Park.

After enjoying the new Westfield Mall in Stratford (and being tempted into a few purchases from the famous January sales), we met up with Ngaire & Stuart to take the 40-minute bus tour.

Tight security is already in place, and although we were not able to leave the bus, airport style security applied. The tour took us around all the venues in the Park, explained their function and future use.

We learnt a few interesting facts from London's past, in particular, the meaning of the surrounding area called Mile End. Pollution in the city was so bad, that a one mile exclusion one was set up, and all industry had to be over a mile from London City - hence Mile End. The consequence of this is that the London Delivery Authority had a major job cleaning up the contaminated ground. All the soil was apparently 'washed' and is now fit for purpose.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was pleasantly whiled away in the mall, another chance for the Graingers to help the local economy!

On Sunday, it was a chance to take another country walk from our front door. With broken toe now fully mended, it was a pleasure to do a seven mile circular walk to Rickmansworth and back via the River Colne, gravel-pit lakes (the gravel was used to build the original Wembley Stadium in 1924) and Grand Union Canal to our delightful Chorleywood Common.
We discovered two of our neighboring towns excellent food outlets: the Cafe in the Park in the Aquadrome serves wonderful Turkish food and the award winning Cinnamon Square bakery in Rickmansworth. We had to check them out, and agree it has the best home baking we've had in the UK.

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