The Traveller


It’s been an interesting few weeks here since the London 2012 Olympics kicked off. I’ve taken on some very interesting assignments in that time and as you can imagine, lots of Olympics related features. One particular story that sticks out is a project undertaken with my old friends at the Independent where four teams of journalists & photographers met at Hyde Park Corner & raced to Olympic venues using various different forms of transport.

One team were to use London’s most popular transport method, the Underground network. Another team were on Boris Bikes, London’s commuter cycle hire scheme with the third team set to use London’s substantial bus & little known Thames Clipper river boat service. The last team had the most comfortable option of a car. Rather amusingly, and maybe a sign of what was to come, the journalist arriving by car was a half-hour late!!!

I was allocated bus & boat duties with journalist Poppy McPherson, so after a quick shot of all our competitors, it was a short dash to the nearby bus stop.


The bus came surprisingly quickly for part one of our journey down to Piccadilly before a short walk down Regent Street & over Trafalgar Square…

We arrived at Embankment Pier in high spirits as Mr. Sunshine had paid us a very welcome visit. One thing about living in London is you rarely have time to drink the city in. As we stood there & awaited the arrival of our vessel, I couldn’t help but notice how gorgeously pretty my hometown is…

After a short wait, the Clipper arrived- a thoroughly modern & luxurious mode of transport compared to the bus we’d earlier exited. The interior bright & spacious, even including a small snack bar / coffee stand.

The exterior decking at the rear of the vessel offered up beautiful views of some of London’s most famous landmarks.


By the time we’d reached the Olympic Rings overhanging Tower Bridge, word had reached us that “Team Cycle” had already arrived at the Olympic Park & won the race, but we weren’t overly fussed- we were having too much fun! With refreshments in hand & the wind in our hair, we were a long way from stressed & no doubt a whole lot less perspirational than the winning team…


We finally arrived at the O2 arena dead last!

As an exercise in efficiency, it had been a complete disaster. A totally relaxing, splendid pleasure of a disaster…


Unfortunately, because of the nature of the piece & with so many other contributing parties to it, each journey was allocated just one single image:

And so with the Paralympic Games quickly approaching, my conclusion is this; If you have the time, I would highly recommend the bus & boat option- especially if you’re a tourist or if it’s your first time visiting London. It’s also by far the most stress free!

But if you’re here in an official capacity as a competitor or trainer, i’d say stick to the games lanes!

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