Take 2 — London Calling
Tour the world in a day (or two) at Olympic Hospitality Houses
Our group is spending the first few days in London touring the various Olympic National Hospitality Houses that dot the London city-scape and seeing the fan side of the Olympic Games. At first glance, the map suggests a quick stroll will carry you to each house within the day. We underestimated greatly the scope of London and made it as far as Hyde Park this afternoon.
We started our day at the top secret USA House, which is not found on the map, but very close to the Prince Albert memorial in Hyde Park. Next, we traveled to the Sochi 2014 and Russia Houses. Both were stunning: If you are in London, they are worth a visit. The Russian delegation has worked very hard to communicate the magic of the city on the Black Sea, right below the Russia-Ukraine boarder. If you are interested in traveling to Russia, Sochi 2014 is the time, as visas will be much easier to obtain for the Games.
Most memorable was our third and final stop of the day, the African Village. The experience was touching and inspiring all at once almost like a farmers market meets the World's Fair. The delegation from Cameroon has 35 athletes competing in the Olympics and their Olympic history, while boasting only five medals since 1965, is rich and optimistic. Their representatives were among the most welcoming and socially graceful people in the entire village.
Tomorrow we will tour the Italian, Swiss, French and Brazilian houses.
The photo on the left shows a map of Olympic National Hospitality Houses in London. In the photo on the right, contributor Tamara Christopherson, center, poses with members of Cameroon's Olympic delegation. Photos by Tamara Christopherson