I have been recovering today from 2 intense days.
We were at the opening ceremony and one of the qualifying sections of the men's gymnastics. Back on Monday for the men's final.
After all the warnings about transport and how late the ceremony might run we decided at the last minute to stay overnight in Stratford. So we cancelled our hotel in Marylebone and found a b&b just off Romford Road about half a mile from the stadium. We drove back to the Midlands after the first lot of gymnastics
Our seats in the Stadium were in the upper tier, behind the flagpoles of the Union and Olympic flags. As a consequence most images I'll be uploading when I have been through them will have the flagpoles across the image. I've no idea what will have come out as I was using a p&s on auto and noticed that the shutter speed was down around 1/15 most of the time.
Having been a sceptic from the beginning, I have to say the experience was brilliant. We were sat between Finnish and British families, and surrounded by Africans from many countries so there was a lot of friendly banter and everyone seemed to enjoy the British sense of humour.
We got there early and found there were already queues for food so we joined one for a barbecue which was very good. By then the stadium was open to the public so we went in and found our seats. High up was definitely good as we got an overview of everything that was happening and the 8x25 binoculars were good enough for the whole stadium. We took some food with us and bought some bottled drinks as it was quite a climb up and we were not going to be running up and down the stairs.
For the audience in the stadium there were things going on all the time for a couple of hours before the official beginning. They also tried to involve us in a couple of things but I did not think they worked very well in the end as many people did not participate and the "sea" of the island nation developed problems so was incomplete.
The staging was brilliant and always there were surprises. It is hard to pick out highlights when so much was so well done but I loved the surprise when tree took off to allow the people to come out for the industrial era and also the James Bond section with the Queen parachuting to the stadium.
I think McCartney with Hey Jude was a reasonable choice as they wanted something 80,000 very disparate people would likely know and sing along with.