We visited the Tower of London today and I thought there would be more of an Olympic presence there. We missed yesterday’s River of Music Festival there, so maybe that had something to do with it.
The other thing we missed was a major snag in the transit system. The evening paper said the Tube line that we usually take was out of service from 6am until 10am. Good thing that we didn’t get moving until 10 this morning. Every train is warning passengers to avoid lines that go to The Games’ various venues around the city unless they are attending the games themselves. Things have still worked out pretty well for us though.
So here’s the only Olympics-related shot I got today. I already showed you a shot of this, but this one is from dry land and not a rocking boat. Plus, the light is better. In fact, comment on this blog your favorite moment from a previous Olympics and I’ll pick my favorite comment and send you a copy of this photo when the games are done.
Tower Bridge with Olympic Rings
Categories: Contest, Olympics, Photos, Travel
Tags: London, London 2012, Olympic Rings, olympics, photography, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Tower Bridge, travel
When there are so many pubs around all the time, it’s hard not to have a pint (or two) with my bangers and mash or fish and chips (hold the mushy peas). Julie is starting a whole series of me drinking, but I’ll let her post those.
The Games are really starting to show their presence here now. Our first day or two was pretty quiet at the place we are staying but is now buzzing with activity. The city seems a little more crowded as well but that could have a lot to do with the nice weather we had today. You’d think the sun hadn’t been out in years with the way people were loving it. Hyde Park was full of people just chillin’ on the grass or tossing a disc.
The London Underground is my new favorite way to travel (sorry BART). Why can’t we have this efficiency in the States? I thought I’d have a hard time since there are so many lines and transfers but it’s super easy. And the people are mostly great. Julie and I were even serenaded on our way home by an saxophonist from the Republic of Cameroon in town for the River of Music Festival. We’ve already traded emails even. He invited us to Cameroon and I invited him to California to play at one of our many fine jazz clubs.
Speaking of both the Games and the Underground, all the stations are clearly marked with venues to make traveling even easier. Of course, when the Games start things could completely fall apart. But for now, things are good.
I think Julie has some more Team USA practices and press conferences for us to go to. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get access to all of them, but I’ll try. I’m hoping for at least boxing. Basketball and my $50,000 one-on-one game with Kobe will just have to wait (you’re welcome Kobe).
For now, enjoy some photos from Across the Pond.
Categories: Behind the Scenes, Olympic Preparation, Olympics, Photos
Tags: Anthony L. Solis, Julie Jag, London 2012, olympics, photography, Santa Cruz Sentinel, sports, travel
THIS WAS YESTERDAY’S BLOG. IT HAS FINALLY BEEN POSTED.
Today was a nice vacation day for the two of us. We only thought about work and the Olympics about a dozen times or so. It was a day full of walking and doing tourisy things, but we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.
We hit the flower market where Julie fell in love with all the tulips and really wanted to bring some home. Then we walked to the Van Gough museum where I had a revelation … I don’t really like museums. I noticed all the people just listening to their audio tour and spending about a minute with each painting and are usually standing about 1-2 feet away. It made me sad that they painting weren’t being enjoyed or appreciated like they were probably ment to be. It seems like they should be hung in someone’s home and really looked at for a long time. I sat down about halfway through and fell in love with a painting of the ocean that I really didn’t like when I saw it from so close. I guess it’s good for so many people to be enjoying them, but it just made me a little sad to think about it.
What didn’t make me sad was the Heineken museum. Beer tasting and two beers at the end. Can’t go wrong with that. Plus, I was selected for a marketing survey (where I told them marketing isn’t important, quality is) and was given a personalized glass for it. Had a canal ride back near the hotel (as part of the Heineken tour) and walked around for a while more before dinner, more walking and back to the hotel for night. Had some coffee and visited a cheese shop somewhere in there also.
I know you are here for the Olympics stuff, just just bare with us for another day or two.
Our free internet isn’t letting me post photos, so hopefully I can get them up once we make it to London.
We made it with no problems. Right now we’re waiting for our flight to Amsterdam. Over the next few days this blog may resemble a travel blog more than and Olympics blog. Just hang in there, we’ll get to the Olympics soon enough.
Speaking of the games, we ran a story in the paper about all the problems the Olympics are causing and one of the main issues was long lines at the airports and untrained staff. This could not be further from the truth. Friendly and efficient was the way of things. It might have had something to do with the fact Julie got the VIP treatment with her press pass (so did I simply for being with her. I sure married the right person).
London, you’ve been good to us so far, can’t wait to come back in a few days.
But for now, Amsterdam, here we come.
This is my wonderful sister taking us to the airport. It’s real now. We really doing this. Next stop, London. Then Amsterdam.
Hmmm, this doesn’t look good. Mantra: it will get better, it will get better …
By DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — With the Olympics just two weeks away, embarrassing logistical problems about security, staff, phones and traffic made the mood Thursday in London as gloomy as the weather.
British lawmakers clamored for an explanation of why the armed forces need to field more troops to protect the games, eclipsing the day that U.S. track star Michael Johnson held the Olympic flame aloft at sunrise at the ancient monument at Stonehenge.
This is an odd trip. Usually when Julie and I go on vacation, I take the camera and a lens or two with an extra few batteries and maybe a flash. This is different. Sure, we’ll have two weeks of vacation before the Games begin, but come July 27, I’ll be working and I need to make sure my gear is working as well. So far there are a few items that are a must:
- Camera body
- 24-70mm lens
- 70-200mm lens
- 300mm lens
- spare batteries
- spare memory cards
- portable hard drive
- tripod (mainly for the artsy stuff I’ll do on my own)
- polarizing filter (same as above)
- camera bag
- battery charger
- outlet adapter
That’s the basics. but I also have a spare camera body that sometimes doesn’t work and a whole mess of lighting equipment. The lighting is important because I plan on taking portraits of some athletes that are more than just a quick snapshot. So I’m thinking some sort of reflector, light modifier and a light stand. I can do without the light stand because I’ll have the tripod, which doesn’t get the light very high, and a VALS. The VALS is also known as a voice activated light stand, but my VALS also happens to be my wife and she may be doing her own thing when I’m taking portraits. I don’t want to pack too much, but I don’t want to have to buy something in London that I already own and will have to bring back. Anyone know of any good camera equipment rental houses in London?
Am I over thinking this and just freaking out? Just look through the hole Tony, you monkey, and push the button. It’s that easy.