Olympic Park

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently visited the Olympic park. This is a vast area of East London previously occupied by industrial units and dilapidation and now all shiny and new and full of visitors.

I used to live about 20 minutes walking distance from the park, but never ventured close to the (then still under construction) park. Now living on the other side of town it was a great opportunity to go back and see what’s been happening.

The Central line whisks you swiftly and without stress into Stratford station, and the crowds are only going in one direction. As before, there is some low fuss airport-style security and then you’re through.

The TV gives you no impression of the scale – it’s vast. It also fails to convey the sense of wonderment as you go deeper inside and your eyes are overloaded with sights. It’s easy to go into a frenzy of photographic action but… there’s no rush, it’s not going anywhere. Not for a while, anyway.

The park is busy. Very busy. Huge pathways carry hundreds of thousands of people like blood cells in an artery. And surprisingly, it doesn’t feel crowded. Not like in central London. The arteries flow, people are excited, and everyone is looking forward to seeing something.

I’ll undoubtedly have more photos on individual parts of the park later, but for now I wanted to highlight the park part of the park (yes, I did write that) – it’s a lush and verdant wonderland.

The Olympic venues are dotted around parkland, canals, and greenery. You are free to wander around, sit and watch games on big screens, and enjoy things on a more intimate and natural scale (admittedly ‘intimate’ is not represented very well in the next photo):

I enjoyed the experience tremendously, and feel very privileged to have witnessed a small part of it. I wish that I could have gone inside more of the venues while they were still in action.

In a few short hours the closing ceremony will take place and it will all be over. I’ll have my photos and my memories, and will have to use my imagination to fill in the roar of the crowds and the excited buzz. London is in for a long hangover.

5 thoughts on “Olympic Park

  1. Yes, we’re all going to have withdrawal symptoms. I wonder what will become of the Olympic park and venues afterwards? I do hope they stay as nice as they are now. Your pictures are stunning.

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    1. From what I understand some of the venues will remain (the stadium, the velodrome, the swimming centre), and it will need another years worth of re-building to turn it into a full park, plus apartments and office space. Hopefully it will stay looking this good.

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