Well, today was a blast! And after seeing The Dark Knight Rises, we weren’t sure if the day could get any more IMAX. So we took some poor quality recordings of our adventure on The Wonderland Starflyer. Enjoy!
A map of the London Live festival!
Wow! Friday and Saturday were probably the most packed days that we’ve had since our arrival in the UK.
The zip line shook me up a bit…
It all started with a late morning decision to head to the London Live Victoria Park across from the Olympic Village. There were several enormous screens that showed different Olympic events. Here, we saw Federer beat his Argentinian opponent and a British indoor cyclist beat an Olympic record… so the crowd was super excited making the moment all the more memorable! At Victoria Park, we also found ourselves zip-lining, sumo wrestling, ferris wheeling, ping ponging and tennis-ing … (???) Either way, we had our Olympic fill for the day.
We sumo wrestled…
But the day hadn’t even begun yet! Next we headed towards Covent Garden and Regent Street to meet up with Isabel and grab some early dinner. We ended up catching up with our old friend Charlie Chaplin who put on a wonderful show for about an hour as we sat and watched the crowd’s priceless reactions to the improv comic genius! Suddenly, the hunger began to creep over us again. We quickly stopped by a place called “Fuel” where we had a wonderfully satisfying Italian dinner!
Following our meal, we decided to continue our night upon the River Thames. We made our way to the South Bank, where we hopped on the London Eye and got a wonderful sight of the City of London and Westminster!
London Live Ferris Wheel
View of Victoria Park from the Ferris Wheel
We then followed the music to the Houses of Parliament where fabulous projections lit up the side of the old government office building. With inspirational music and a great narrative story about the history of the Olympics, the half hour show was near perfection and surely motivational! At that point, we called it a night and let the next morning take us by surprise. The day was truly a full British outing, full of real London sights and unforgettable experiences with a mass of unforgettable characters along the way!
Projections on Parliament – Olympic Rings
Projections on Parliament – Union Jack
Projections on Parliament – Michael Phelps
Though the Olympics are dominating the London news, us Temple students are finding plenty of ways to have a grand ol’ time overseas! My personal favorite spot has become Covent Garden, and with its daily street performers always topping yesterday’s, it’s clear to see why the area is the hot spot in central London.
As seen in Jake’s music video and Quinton’s blog post, we have been collecting Apple pins because of their worth in the states. Interestingly enough, I am in the process of developing a video about the mass following of Olympic pin trading, so now I am feeling like a fellow pin trader with a few to add to my collection! But I digress… Each day we try to go to the Apple store in Covent Garden and help ourselves to a few complimentary pins, followed by some entrancing street performances and often live music … and all over a delicious lunch of Spanish paella!
The day usually ends fairly quickly, as we are usually tired out by the early afternoon from our late night editing sessions. However, we manage to get our postcards and various UK authentic souvenirs for friends and family back in the states!
Serving paella to the masses!
Aside from souvenir shopping, we have RSVP’d to several media access only events through the London Media Centre (LMC). Some of these events are: discount tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, discount tickets to a bicycle tour through Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, discount/free theater and musical tickets, (specifically Shrek the Musical) and a walking tour of Sherlock Holmes mysteries across Londontown.
… his accent still needs a little work.
All in all, the gang is having a blast abroad. With each day growing shorter and shorter however, we’re already beginning to feel the pressure of fitting everything into the next two weeks! Despite the growing pains of leaving this great city, the personalities of each crew member have truly taken to one another and the beginnings of lasting friendships are growing more and more apparent. But then again, maybe it’s just the jet lag …
“We are in the safest city in the world right now.”
“Yeah, but also the most targeted city in the world.” Professor Mooney acknowledged what the rest of the world is wondering as the big day had finally arrived. The one question that the world has been awaiting to see answered is whether or not London and the Brits are ready for the world’s attention.
World famous Regent street decorated in preparation for the Opening Ceremony
Tensions were high as the seconds slowly counted down to the moment of truth… the live show. After the initial jitters during the rehearsals, the talent seemed to feel a bit better for the broadcast, but the intensity of the moment wasn’t subsiding in the least bit. With Isabel losing the feed on the line with Master Control and the jerry-rigged teleprompter failing, it was easy to say everyone was a bit on edge.
The anxiety of the moment was described by Isabel near perfectly: “It was the slowest 2 minutes leading up to the live show, and the fastest 30 minutes on air.”
Taping the show
After a fun night of celebrating our first live show at the 24-hour VQ Lounge, Isabel decided to treat us to a very generous late morning breakfast. With the credentials we had been given from the London Media Centre, we wondered if we had some chance of getting into the opening ceremonies. But after calling the Centre… we took the excessive laughter on the opposite end as a bad sign.
Dinner at the VQ Lounge
Fortunately, our press credentials did allow us access to the invitation-only Olympic Opening Ceremony Barbecue event at the Rotunda Bar & Restaurant tonight. However, we are still going to take the tube to the West Ham station with high hopes of seeing something special in the Olympic village! We’ve all got our fingers crossed with excitement for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games!
Both Philadelphia and London are well known for their murals