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This is the home stretch, you guys. There's just a week and a half left before the London 2012 Olympics kick off with their bombastic Opening Ceremony, and the athletes, their families, volunteers and press all began streaming into the UK yesterday.
According to London-Heathrow Airport, the main gateway for those arriving, the stream has only just begun: "The busiest day for arriving athletes is expected to be 24 July when 1,262 athletes and 3,008 Games Family arrivals are predicted."
Well well well, it's about time we heard about ridiculously over-the-top packages to attend the London 2012 Olympics. This just hit our inbox: $69,900 private jet packages, including Olympics events tickets, Cotswolds hotel stays and helicopter transfers. You'd be flying in a Gulfstream IV, so Magellan Jets, the company behind the offer, has broken it down into per person rates:
· $5,895 per person from NYC or Connecticut to London's Brize Norton Airport
· $6,900 per person from Boston or Washington DC to London's Brize Norton Airport
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Good news and bad news! The good news: British Airways have launched a whole new TV commercial to promote its Olympic ties, complete with a "London Calling" by The Clash soundtrack, which pretty much never fails to get people to pay attention. The bad news: that airplane taxiing across Westminster Bridge is not real; it's computer-generated.
The fresh ad depicts a regular BA flight leaving from London-Heathrow, but then it goes on a driving trip through London, instead of up into the skies, with a final destination of the Olympic Stadium. The route obviously doesn't actually exist, though by god we wish it were possible.
The ad closes with the statement: "Don't Fly. Support Team GB." This doesn't mean don't travel at all, but instead attend the games or stay home and root for the Union Jack.
The full ad, right here:
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In a case of "why didn't they have this before," London-Heathrow Airport has painted one of their runways with a gigantic Union Jack flag. What's the occasion? The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, of course, which will be officially celebrated within Britain and by Britons around the world over the long weekend of June 2-5.
If you're flying in for the festivities, keep a look out of the airplane windows on approach to LHR, as the Union Jack (featuring a bust of the Queen at the center) should be visible if you're landing on the northernmost runway, dubbed the "royal runway" for the occasion. Plus it's plain hugemeasuring some 1,770 square feet. Instagram that ish!
Above is a cool time-lapse video of how the airport went about painting the image, in conjunction with outdoor ad agency Curb.
[Video: Heathrow Airport]
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As we publish this, a British Airways Airbus 319 is setting down at Royal Navy Air Base Culdrose in Cornwall, bringing with it the Olympic Flame straight from Greece.
London 2012 Olympics fever is officially in effect. The torch has landed.
So how does an airlineone that bans smoking onboardmanage to fly a live flame for four hours? Like this, apparently, as British Airways posted a photo to their Instagram account of the flame being buckled into its first row seats onboard the special BA2012 flight. The Olympic flame cannot be extinguished, and yet BA is flying with a fire marshall in the next seat and an extra pilot. You know, just in case.
If there’s one city around the globe that doesn’t need any more attention—or tourists—this summer it’s got to be London. The UK is throwing a sick anniversary party for the Queen, Will and Kate are doing their thing, and there’s a little sporting event rolling into town as well. Some added excitement comes from the city’s latest addition to the Olympic landscape, and it’s known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit. However, we're just going to call it the Olympic Tower.
Rising almost 400-feet into the sky, the steel sculpture sits right by the Olympic Stadium, so you can kind of use it to find your way while meandering between venues and events in just a couple of months. Obviously the design is causing mixed reactions, especially as some think this could be London’s version of the Eiffel Tower. We’re not going to jump that far, but we’d definitely take a snapshot.
Everyone knows that London is going to be quite the scene this summer—in both good and bad ways—due to the arrival of the Olympics. Hotels will be hopping, parks will be packed, and transportation will likely be terrible.
"Busy" will be the understatement of the year at London-Heathrow, and that’s especially going to be the case when thousands and thousands of athletes all try to depart from the United Kingdom at the same time. However, there’s a plan and the city and the airport are prepared—at least on paper.
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It is officially under ten months to go until the 2012 Olympics in London, and finishing touches are being put on various event venues in the run-up to the games. Just today the Olympic Stadium unveiled its track with a lap by World record holder and Paralympic gold medallist Dan Greaves, British Long Jump record holder Chris Tomlinson, and World Championships Bronze medallist Hannah England. Some schoolchildren joined them, but those kids won't be the last "regular people" to cross the finish line before the Olympians next summer...
There's going to be an Olympic Park Run on March 31, 2012 for 5,000 runners to run a 5-mile course ending in the Olympic finish line. It's not a crazy competition, either. Fun and sportsmanship is the name of the game, thus all levels of ability and all ages (over 16) are open to apply, as the runners will be chosen by National Lottery at the end of this month.
You have until October 27, 2011 to enter here.
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The day is already more than halfway over in London, and it's a special day to be sure. We're now one year away from the start of the London 2012 Olympics and one of the celebrations is up in the air. Literally.
Although we already showed you the Olympics-themed airplane livery of our (and Concorde's) dreams, reality is that British Airways unveiled their special Olympics livery today with a flight over Olympic Park on its way to New York. It's no Concorde; it's an Airbus A318, BA flight 001 between LCY and JFK (with a brief stop in Shannon, Ireland).
If you watch the video above, you'll realize that the only special thing they've done to this plane to give it some Olympics spirit was put "One Year To Go" on its belly, visible to those on the ground when it's flying low enough, but not visible when it's actually taxiing around airports. Too bad.
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It's almost exactly one year before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics and what am I doing? Well, squeezing my butt into a wetsuit is the short answer, but the long answer is heading out on the manmade rapids that comprise the Lee Valley White Water Centre just outside of London, for a sampling of what the Olympians will be going through this time next year, and what the adventurous public can experience now.
Did you ever go to an amusement park with little rides for kids that involved a blue track of shallow water with a slow current that lazily propelled round floating rafts until time was up? The Lee Valley White Water Centre is that, for adults, times a zillion, with the addition of major adrenaline rush.
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An integral part of a balanced Brit breakfast: the McBacon Roll
We will fully admit to having a favorite McDonald's location in London. It's a little one nearby the Marble Arch tube stop, and it sits on the historic location of infamous gallows used for 500 years...until the world decided to kill people with carbs instead of nooses.
As intriguing as this one is, London is about to get an even more controversial McDs in one year, for the occasion of the 2012 Olympic Games. According to the Guardian, the Olympics McDonald's will be appropriately Olympics-sized:
Oh man. We're totally on a roll with finding notable souvenirs this week. Today, in the aisles of a massive tourist shop in the aforementioned town of Llanfair PG, this struck our eye: a Concorde jet model, sporting London 2012 Olympics livery.
This is a unicorn. It is a fairytale, but without a happy ending for the simple fact that no one flies Concordes anymore, and definitely not British Airways, who otherwise could have made this awesome fantasy a reality probably 10 years ago...except London didn't have the Olympics then.
Pink and green...kind of cutesy colors for airplane livery. Regardless, she would have cut a fine line in the skies.