diamond geezer

 Monday, July 30, 2012

There's surprisingly little shelter on the Olympic Park.
» If it's cloudless and sunny, and you don't protect yourself, expect to burn. Remember you can bring up to 200ml of suncream into the Park, or there are a couple of pharmacies (by the Orbit and the Basketball Arena) where bottles of sunblock are stacked up in large numbers available to purchase.
» But if there's a heavy relentless downpour, as we had several times on Sunday, there really aren't that many places to run. The Park appears to have been designed with a distinct lack of covered space, so it's umbrellas up, ponchos on, and pray that the deluge doesn't last long.

Places to hide when it rains
i) Inside the London 2012 Megastore: Except everyone else will have had the same idea, so unless you get there fast you'll have to join the queue, and getting inside may take some time.
ii) Inside a poncho: All the volunteers have their own, but there appear to be a very limited number to give away to visitors. If you are lucky enough to get one, please recycle in one of the purple bins before you leave.
iii) Inside one of the sponsor pavilions: Except most of these have queues at the driest of times, so your chance of getting inside quickly during in a downpour is low.
iv) Inside the enormous McDonalds: The ground floor of this prefab cuboid is almost all empty space. I originally thought this was for queueing, but I'm increasingly convinced it's a cunning way of enticing thousands inside if it rains, in the hope they'll then buy something. There's a lot of seating upstairs (but try not to take the lift, it's astonishingly slow).
v) Inside your venue: If you're watching the Hockey or the BMX, or if you're in the trackside seats in the Stadium, you'll get very wet. Otherwise, you can ignore the weather and enjoy the sport.
vi) Under the bridges: Several broad pedestrian bridges cross the Lea, carrying thousands on spectators from one bank to the other. But there are also much quieter paths underneath, alongside the river, each with space for a few hundred souls to take refuge. There are three such bridges in the parkland to the north, and several (less obvious) to the south. If it rains, these are definitely the least commercial places to hide.

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