Archive for the ‘London’ Tag

Vaults and Catacoombs and the Champagne Eurostar Terminal!   14 comments

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Beyond the Catacombs

Vaults and Catacoombs and the Champagne Eurostar Terminal!!!

As you probably won’t recall seeing as we haven’t visited the disused Eurostar station at London Waterloo for some time now, Wolfie was not at all successful in attempting to breach security and find a way into the forbidden realms of Waterloo International…consequently Wolfie went for a walk…under the happy delusion this might act as a useful distraction from the frustrations of the day. That didn’t actually work terribly well either but the day did take some interesting turns non-the-less.

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First stop after wandering round the outside areas eyeing up the building site that appeared to be the top scene around that part of the station and some pretty fearsome looking security, involved a scenic stroll along the River Thames….suitably non-distracting and Wolfie naturally graduated back towards Waterloo and found herself padding into the Leake Street tunnel under or vaguely under – not entirely sure about that little detail, where the graffiti festival thingy had taken place deep in the catacoombs….as mentioned in a previous post…probably showing in the related posts section at the end of this post…or not as the case maybe.

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It was somewhat quieter on this occasion and business as usual…new graffiti had sprouted up to cover much of the previous, as is the way with graffiti matters.

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Wolfie was however curious about the hole in the tunnel wall… apparently known as “The Vault.” Yes….granted it says “Gallery….Kitchen….” but no kitchen was to be found!

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Naturally an exploration was necessary….

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That done what else was there to do in the absence of access to Waterloo’s disused Eurostar station but to jump on the Tube and go investigate the new and very much in-use new Eurostar Station at Kings Cross-St Pancreas!

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Now at this point there is always the curious question of….where do those escalator stairs lead to! They are going down…to lower levels…those lower levels are still functioning…Wolfie would like to have a look!! Trouble is Wolfie couldn’t smash through the ground to ceiling glass even for photos…so not much help taking mind off Waterloo’s inaccessible zones Winking smile So! maybe we should go for the apocalyptic look just to remind ourselves this whole exercise is really about Waterloo Eurostar….

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Well that was interesting wasn’t it? Winking smile

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Yes…well…all very interesting….and very posh compared to Waterloo…very nice Eurostar trains….and a very fancy shopping area….and some very large clocks! Why two clocks in one place anyway!! Still…I have it on good authority St Pancreas International does not have anywhere near the quantity of shops or space to relax in in the Eurostar section, as apparently there was at Waterloo International 🙂 Good!! Not that I’ve ever found a way into the lower levels to check that out but…..!!

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But there’s always another time!

 

London – 1st City to have hosted 3 Olympic Games   51 comments

 

London -First 3x Olympics Host City!

London 3x Olympic Host City

 

The 1908 Olympic Games

Games of the IV Olympiad

Olympic_games_1908_LondonOriginally intended to be hosted by Rome this idea was abandoned when the Italians were forced to use the Olympic funds to rebuild Naples after the Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted two years before the Games were due to take place.

London stepped up to the occasion and with only two years left to prepare took on the task of hosting the 1908 Olympic Games – the start of the 4th Olympiad (4 year cycle). They built at a cost of £60,000 and with the capacity to hold 68,000 spectators, the White City Stadium officially opened by King Edward VII at 27 April Opening Ceremony of 1908. It contained a central swimming pool designed for both swimming and diving, a wrestling and gymnastics platform, and a running track that was three laps to them mile. It was considered a technological wonder.

They also held a marathon, 26.2 miles long the distance from Windsor Castle to the Royal Box in the Olympian Stadium.

In 1908 electric trolleys, buses and trains were commonly replacing horse drawn buses and trams.

 1908 British Team1908 Nations at White City stadium (1)

 

 

  • 2000 athletes
  • 22 sports and 110 events
  • 23 countries took part
  • 146 medals won by the UK, more than any other country

1908 Nations at White City stadium (2) 1908 William Knightsmith starting 1908 in style1908 Women's Archery

The 1948 Austerity Games

Games of the XIV Olympiad

1948 Austerity OlympicsThanks to WW2 there were no Olympic Games held at all for 12 years. At the end of the war London was awarded the Olympics for the 2nd time and hosted the first Games in 12 years.

1948 Olympic TorchRationing was still in process and the economic situation was far worse than it is today, the country being flat broke after the end of the war. As a result there were no new stadiums built and instead Wembley Stadium was adapted for the purpose. Equipment and materials for the Olympics was also donated by Switzerland, Finland and Canada.

Male athletes were housed in army barracks, female athletes in school classrooms in make-shift dorms, and all athletes were asked to bring their own towels.

British athletes were half-starved and malnourished, with the country rationed to less food to eat in 1948 than it had in 1945. Food parcels from around the world were sent to the Olympics. 1948 Olympic Images (4)

As with transport it was very much a matter of “make do and mend.” Railways and stations had been damaged during the war and much work was involved repairing and replacing making 1948 Games transport very limited…this doesn’t seem to have changed a great deal over the years!!!

1948 Olympic athletes (3)Yet in spite of all this, the 1948 Olympics made a profit of approximately £30,000 of which £9,000 went to the taxman.

  • 4000 athletes
  • 20 sports and 150 events
  • 59 nations represented
  • 23 medals won by the UK
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   1948 Olympic Torch and Opening Ceremony_Lighting of the Cauldron1948 Opening Ceremony (4)1948 Opening Ceremony (2)

 

2012 Olympic Games~Ring of Fire!

 

2012 Olympics Stadium (6)The 2012 Olympic park covers 2 million square metres, making it one of the largest inner-city parks in Europe for 150 years +. Included are 2,000 trees and 300,000 wetland plants. Situated in East London it is intended that it will drive educational and cultural development, alongside new jobs and opportunities for training.

Transport to the Games includes Rail, Tube, Bus, Over-ground, Docklands Light Railway, Barclays Cycle Hire, Walking and the Emirates Air Line Cable Car. Tube services will be available up to 2.30 am throughout the Olympic Games. 2012 Olympics rings and flame abseiling into Tower of London(Get Ahead of the Games.com)

  • 10,250 Olympic athletes and 4,000 Paralympic athletes
  • 26 sports and more than 300 events
  • 205 nations represented
  • 56 – 59 medals predicted to be won by Team GB
  • 9 venues within the Olympic Park costing £948 million

 

 

 

LONDON 2012 – GOING FOR GOLD!

Fire Meets Fire!  Long Live Zeus! All Powerful god of the Olympics!!

  2012 Olympics torch lighting at site of ancient olympics 2012 Olympics torch)2012 Olympic torch and David Beckham

 

 

Fire in the Sky   15 comments

 

  

Fire in the Sky

Great Solar Storm of 1849
 
250 years ago fire lit up the skies of our predecessors world, turning night into day, wreaking havoc with the technology of the time.  Now, in the  closing days of the year 2009 and as we roll inexorably closer to New Year 2010 we stand on a pinnacle between worlds, a centre-point between past and future.  As in the year 2349, if humankind still inhabits the Earth, they, the children of the future will see once again that fire that will light up the skies. Because when 500 years of our time has passed the Great Solar Storm of 1849 is set to return to that future world…
 

This spectacular event was caused by a period of intense solar activity….
 

London saw curtains of light dancing in the skies above the Houses of Parliament.  In Cheshire newsprint could be read by its light. In Manchester people throughout the city had curtains of fire.

·         Two massive solar events; Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) sent millions of tonnes of supercharged solar gases hurtling towards Earth at 2,000+ km/sec.  Arriving in less than 18 hours they struck with enough force to throw our protective magnetic field into chaotic fits.

 ·       This magnetic disruption caused the readings on worldwide scientific instruments recording changes in Earth’s magnetic field to go completely off their scales. The communication system of the time became inoperable.

Night became day in the Northern Hemisphere and the resulting lights in the sky were reported by half the world as far South as the Caribbean and Venezuela……

 

The Coronal Mass Ejections may have been triggered by flare events resulting in a massive ejection of plasma from the Sun’s atmosphere (Corona)

 

Since we live in an electronic society the effects on modern society would be disastrous.  

·         Satellites would fail and potentially fall out of orbit

 

 

  • Electricity grids would be overwhelmed
  • Country-wide blackouts
  • Global communication systems would simply stop working

 

Following the Solar Storm the magnetic field was so distorted and overwhelmed that the Northern Lights appeared all over the planet.  This happens every 500 years or so. Next Storm expected in the year 2349.