|The Olympic Rings hanging over the Tower Bridge.|
The earliest memory I have of London is the nursery rhyme I was forced to memorize and deliver in front of the class. I was 4 years old then. Well, in the early 70's, kids go to school at the age of 6. Since my sister is already in kindergarten, I forced my mother through incessant crying and threats of not eating food for the rest of my life (yes, I am quite a handful) to include me in my sister's class. My mother of course gave in. No one can refuse with all that powerful threat! (Kids, that wasn't a tip. LOL!) I was what they call in the vernacular, "salimpusa" in class. It is literally translated as "include this cat". I was a cat! Meeeow!
As a "salimpusa" (some say it's "sailing pusa" but if I remembered my Filipino grammar correctly, "salimpusa" is the correct construction of the conjunction of the words "sali" - join and "pusa" - cat) I wasn't graded but I am required to participate in all of the class activities. I was assigned to memorize this nursery rhyme since I am a "cat". I'm sure you know the rhyme "Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat", right? Well, if you don't here it is:
Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussycat, pussycat, what did you do there?
I frightened a little mouse who lived under her chair.
I remembered asking several questions about this silly rhyme. "Mommy, why is the cat talking? Is he like Tom and the mouse is Jerry? (i.e., Hanna-Barbera's) But Tom doesn't talk. Why is there a mouse under the Queen's chair? Is that where Jerry's house is? How did Tom go to London? Did he take the jeepney? Mommy, where is London?" To tell you the truth, back then, I liked irritating adults with a lot of questions. I'm a certified weirdo.
London fascinated me. It was such a magical place with a bridge that keeps on "falling down". LOL! Now, all grown up, I still find London fascinating! With the 2012 Olympics happening there, oooh, I've got to go there. Okay, I will settle for the virtual tour! (So sad.) But when my high school friend Vilma Cataluna-Batalha who has been living in London for quite some time now sent me the pictures I asked her, I was soooo ecstatic! I was like transported to the London Olympic Park. I wish to share the pictures with you.
Let's take a walk, shall we?
(Note: all pictures were taken by my dear friend Vilma. Thanks a bunch, Vilma!)
|International flags. Is that the flag of the Philippines beside Australia's? Where's your flag?|
|Olympic Rings. Duh! Monochromatic?|
|Have your tickets ready...|
|different Olympic venues...|
|The Orbit up close inside the Olympic Park.|
|The Orbit from a distance...|
|Entrance to Westfield Mall - way to the Olympic Park.|
|Entertainment at the Park.|
|Stop and smell the flowers... at the Park.|
|Excel Venue for Table Tennis, Boxing, and other sports. Ooh. Look at those cable cars...|
|The Olympic Stadium|
|What do you call this?|
|Olympic Village - home to the athletes.|
|Entrance to Westfield Mall / Olympic Park. The Olympic Village is on the left side.|
|Athlete accommodations in the Olympic Village.|
|Olympic Park from afar.|
|Olympic Village from afar.|
|River Thames. Tower Bridge.|
|The Tower of London with the Shard at the back.|
|The Aquatic Centre - venue for water sports.|