Hellooooooo from Italy. Did I mention I’m in Italy? Because I am in Italy. I’m writing to you from a gigantic bed, with Italian radio playing from a nearby apartment. The air is hot and kind of stifling but in a way that makes you just want to get out and explore the place… which we will surely be doing in the next hour. I am beyond excited to be here for 8 days. I intend to eat a whole lot of gelato, walk down every cobblestone street in existence, do a whole lot of people-watching from al fresco cafes and of course see some incredible history.
We arrived yesterday and my next few posts will surely be about this amazing place, but for now I’ll just recap a story or two from the last couple of weeks. Just to tide you over, here’s a little mini-adventure we took on the weekend to the site of the 2012 London Olympics, Stratford.
Let’s get real with this story. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops. We realised the train we needed to catch wasn’t running, so opted to take a bus instead. What should have been maybe a 7-10 minute journey we had accepted would now be 20 minutes, but that was okay because we had our picnic lunch and were armed with our camera and the rest would be history. Except that we got on completely the wrong bus, went in the opposite direction without meaning to for a good hour before realising, and then hey presto two hours later we finally arrived where we were supposed to have arrived hours before.
And then it was 3pm.
We realised there was a Westfield in Stratford, which my ears pricked up at. Westfield? Surely not like… Westfield Westfield? Home away from home solace from the elements and place we would hang out in after school for hours on end Westfield? Yep, the very one. Of course it was a British version of my old local but to be honest it was exactly the same. Eerily the same. For nostalgia’s sake we wandered around for a little while and recovered from our harrowing journey, I bought a hat from H&M which I was personally very happy about having been searching for months… Does anyone else have troubles with hat-purchasing? Because I sure do. It’s hard. But I found one with the perfect sized brim, a cute polkadot ribbon situation and it doesn’t even look tooooo daggy when donned. Aforementioned chapeau will be featuring in several of these pictures in an attempt to practise our focus pulling skills 😉
Back to Olympic Park! It was everything you ever thought that an unused, vacant Olympic site would be. Huge, and missing the millions of people it was built to house, it’s kind of a strange feeling. Like an abandoned amusement park but not really as much fun. Pieces of props/sets/art used in the actual opening ceremonies are dotted about the grounds as artworks which was quite fun to spot as we walked along. There were lots of young families playing on equipment, a couple of tourists who looked like they had accidentally stumbled upon it, and us. In the entire Olympic park. It is filled with meticulously designed gardens and plants all arranged with such care that it feels a little clinical.
We had carefully investigated a map of the grounds prior to our arrival and saw that there was woodland of some kind which was our prime destination. But because we had used the majority of our day attempting to get there, and there were several roadblocks once arriving at Olympic Park (literally roadblocks, half of the site seemed to still be under construction even though it was supposed to have opened several months ago?), we realised we were going to have to scale fences and possibly run from building site guard dogs in order to get to the woodland so we settled on a park bench overlooking a construction site for lunch.
Having given up on having any idea of where we were or where we were going, we just meandered about and took photos of things, and came across a classic London canal… gritty, dirty but kind of beautiful nonetheless.
My temperamental iPhone eventually got us back on track in time to see some actual Olympic things at the site of the 2012 Olympics… Such as the Paralympic rings, the Olympic rings, and the Velodrome centre too, in which we spent about 20 mins in watching groups of cyclists train.
Aaaaaaaaand now for some ridiculous photos of Blake testing the multishot setting on the camera whilst I flounced around with my new hat.
And so concludes yet another strange outing…. Next stop, Rome and Venice!!!