Although there were a few hiccups, I think this year London pulled off a very solid Summer Olympics. But it wasn’t always looking that way.
The very first city I came to in Europe was London. My line of thinking was that it would be a good introductory place to visit on my first overseas journey, given that English is the official language and the culture is not far off from what you find in America. During my first time in London (I would come back to London again at the end of my trip) it was early April and Olympic preparations were well underway across the city. On my last full day in London I was trying decide what to visit, as it had become clear I was not going to be able to get to everything I wanted to see in London. When it was getting late in the afternoon I decided to go over to the site of the Olympic stadium and village to see how construction was coming along. When I got to the overlook area by the stadium I was a bit surprised by what I found. While the stadium appeared to be largely finished, (at least, from the outside) the rest of the place seemed like it still had a long way to go before it would be ready to host the Olympics. Below are a pair of photos I took while there.
|The stadium and tower, which appeared finished.|
|Walking along the surrounding area. The structure on the left is a makeshift museum showing progress on construction and some local artwork.|
Trailers, construction equipment and piles of dirt littered the area, which at least showed that work was being done, but at that moment I had some doubts as to whether construction would finish in time. True, there was still four months left to go before the Olympics got started, but anyone familiar with the construction industry knows it’s propensity for delays and going over budget. “I hope they finish in time” was the thought in my head.
Thankfully, I was proven wrong and London went on to host a stellar Olympics. I would have liked to stay in Britain longer and been there for the games, but two weeks before they started my time was up.