London · Out and About · To Move

It’s Getting Old I Know…

…but here in all their glory are all of the Olympic Mascots in one post just to finish off the whole experience (I need closure people!).

For anyone who has landed here and has no idea what I’m on about, to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics artists were commissioned to paint very large statue’s of the Olympic Mascots.  Here’s the official page.  These mascots were dotted around London and trails were created so you could try and catch ’em all (Pokemon style) whilst seeing some of London’s famous sights and experiencing just how diverse the different areas of London are.  It was a lot of fun!

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London · Out and About · To Move

We Did It!

I’m not going to lie, I was gutted when we got home last night and I discovered I had missed number 11 on the Yellow Trail (Contemplative Wenlock).  The PhotoRoute instructions were not great in my opinion without a smart phone or a kick-ass colour printer and limitless funds to print every damn instructions attached picture in vivid colour.  The written instructions missed a lot of little things and didn’t point out when you were meant to be passing a mascot (or which side).  For example, Lambeth Palace Mandeville isn’t mentioned at all and it was only my kids keen eye sight that spotted him over the road and away from the trail described.  Anyway!  They did provide a great service and despite the directions not always being spot on it did make the search that little bit more tricky with a great sense of accomplishment at the end of it when we conquered them all.

Today we went back to capture Contemplative Wenlock and Sir Wenlock.  I missed Sir Wenlock on the Blue Trail when access to Guildhall Courtyard was tricky.  It was a bit of a scorcher in London today and the Paralympic Marathon restricted access to the Yellow, Blue and Red Trails this morning so we waited until late afternoon to head out.

It was awesome to see a few other people out and about trying to finish off their trails.  It was the last day before the Mascot’s are taken down so we were all trying to squeeze just a few more in.  The Discovery Trails were so much fun even though they were hugely draining and had me tearing my hair out in search of some of them. I feel great having found them all.  It wasn’t always easy and my feet are cursing me for not wearing more supportive shoes but it’s hugely rewarding to have completed all 6 trails.

How did everyone else do?  Did you manage to complete any of the trails?  Anyone nuts like me and dragged their complaining kiddo’s out to catch the ones they’d missed on the final day?

I think the Discovery Trails have made me much more familiar with the in’s and out’s of London.  I use public transport quite a bit anyway but this really pushed me to explore areas I haven’t seen much of before and then navigate my way home from.  The Purple Trail was almost completely new territory for me.  I was blown away by how posh and ostentatious the area was (a Jaguar dealer, Porsche dealer and Aston Martin dealer all within reach) and we were there just as people were knocking off work so it was a fascinating bit of people watching.

The Yellow Trail was fascinating on a Saturday in the late afternoon right through to the evening (I think we finished up at 8:30).  Most of the trail was deserted with office buildings standing empty as we continued on we suddenly hit Shoreditch and the streets came to life with people trying to usher us into their restaurant for a curry and pub’s spilling out onto the streets with eager pub-goers.  Sari Wenlock had even had a sneaky boob job by the time we stumbled across her.  Fascinating.

Here’s my final trail’s photos (the Yellow Trail) and me and the dashing Sir Wenlock from the Blue Trail. Continue reading “We Did It!”

London · Out and About · To Move

Eek My Feet Hurt…

…and so continues my trekking around London in search of Wenlock and Mandeville.  The six trails combined are 22.1km’s of walking about and with lots of wrong turns and back tracking it’s a smidgen more.  We weren’t brave enough to attempt all the Trails in one day but two trails was enough to have my feet screaming at me by the time I’d flopped onto the couch for a breather.  It’s definitely been worth the effort though and I even met someone who had stumbled upon my previous post about the Discovery Trails.  I’m not going to lie it made me smile for a long time and I even texted my hubby about you lovely reader.  It made my day!  Thanks for stopping by my blog and for saying hi, I hope you managed to complete your trail without getting lost (I wasn’t so lucky and got lost many a time after leaving you at Builder Wenlock!).

On Friday we tackled the Purple Trail and began the Pink trail.  Once 8:30 rolled around I was dying for a cuppa and our camera was struggling to get a decent photo in the dark so we called it a day.  Today we headed back out and well and truly wore ourselves out with 4 mascots from the Pink trail left to find and the entire Yellow Trail to explore.

The bad news is that not only did I not make it to Sir Wenlock (I missed him on the Blue Trail) but somehow I completely missed Contemplative Wenlock today on the Yellow Trail (I’m kicking myself).  I know I’m a crazy lady but it’s going to haunt me if I don’t at least try and catch them tomorrow before they’re taken down.  The Paralympic Marathon might make getting to them a little difficult so fingers crossed I can get through.

For now, here’s the complete (and often blurry) Pink and Purple Trail’s.  I’ll be back with the Yellow Trail tomorrow (with or without the missing one).

. Continue reading “Eek My Feet Hurt…”

London · Out and About · The Kidlets · To Move

3 Trails Down, 3 To Go

I was inspired by this post over at The Magnificent Something to complete the 6 Discovery Trails around London searching for the Olympic Mascots (Wenlock and Mandeville).  My poor directional skills and lugging kids along for the adventure have meant it’s taken me a little longer than I’d hoped.  We’ve kept chugging along though and so far we’ve managed to complete the Blue, Red and Green Trails.

We explored the Blue trail first and found it a bit tricky (lots of weird directions that didn’t make a whole lot of sense so lots of wrong turns!).  Sadly we couldn’t access Sir Wenlock at Guildhall.  We were there the day of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and whilst we were nowhere near the actual ceremony there were news crews and lots of official looking vehicles around Guildhall along with lots of Paralympics volunteers.  Security was everywhere so we didn’t push our luck trying to get into the courtyard.  Hopefully I can get back there when I do the Yellow Trail this week.

The Red Trail was familiar territory for us starting at Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.  We had a dental appointment near there on Friday so we jumped straight into the hunt for Mascots with shiny clean teeth to boot.  This one was a nice easy path to follow with a lot less walking then the other Trails.  If you’re keen on seeing some of the Mascots but don’t want anything too time consuming try the Red Trail.  Lambeth Palace Mandeville wasn’t on PhotoRoute’s map but you’ll spot it across the road as you approach Garden Wenlock at the start of Lambeth Bridge.

The Green Trail was nice and easy too with lots of other families exploring Regents Park on Sunday.  We popped into London Zoo for a few hours after finding the first 9 Mascots and then finished off the final two on the way home.

After all that walking (particularly with me managing to get us lost regularly) the kidlets are completely over the whole trail thing and have lost all faith in “Mum’s idea of an outing” (I swear they’d moan and complain if I suggested going on a walk to get ice cream).  We took a break today and vegged on the couch watching movies.  Hopefully I can inspire them to come out with me tomorrow to do the Purple and Pink trails.  The kids go back to school on Thursday and the mascot statues come down on Sunday so we’re on a deadline.  I think I’ll be exploring the Yellow trail on my own later this week!

If you’re interested in exploring the Discovery Trails for yourself, check out their Official Page and be sure to check for details of missing or replaced Mascots so you don’t go nuts looking for them.  For maps (if you have a smart phone download the app, I had to do it the old-fashioned way and printed the directions out) then go here.  A quick note to anyone who plans to print the directions, the printing was awful in Chrome but just fine in Firefox (I didn’t try IE).

Wish me Luck! Continue reading “3 Trails Down, 3 To Go”

London · To Move · United Kingdom

Watching Greco Roman Wrestling: It Requires a Level of Maturity I Don’t Posess

Greco-Roman Wrestling was my favourite event we watched at the London Excel Centre.  We saw Fencing a few days earlier which was a great experience especially with it being a sport Master 11 and Master 8 both do and have an interest in.  Watching Fencing was great but I’m not a classy kinda gal so the Wrestling won me over.  Give me sweaty, muscle-bound men wrestling each other to determine who’s the buffest over delicate, lean (and very talented) fencers any day!

Before watching this at the Olympics I had never seen Greco-Roman Wrestling live or on t.v so it was a whole new experience for me.  We worked the rules out as we went along and by the end of the afternoon I think we had most of the rules down.

Each match was quick and action packed and with all three weight ranges competing at the same time there was something for every one to see no matter how nose-bleed worthy your seats were (hello me!  we got cheap kids tickets to this event, paying a pound for every year old they were (£11, £8 and £6) so we were the third row from the back).

Greco Roman Wrestling Olympics London 2012

Greco Roman Wrestling Olympics London 2012 Continue reading “Watching Greco Roman Wrestling: It Requires a Level of Maturity I Don’t Posess”