July 27, 2012

Countdown to the London Olympics Opening Ceremony

Ready, set, go… after 7 years in planning, the day the United Kingdom has been eagerly awaiting has finally arrived – the official start of the London Olympics 2012. Tonight the opening ceremony is set to kick off in an extravaganza of colour, light and pageantry. 

Dubbed the “Isle of Wonder”, the three-hour spectacle is directed visually by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle and music directors Rick Smith and Karl Hyde from the electronic music duo, Underworld, and promises to be out-of-this world. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will officially open the games, and it is predicted that Sir Paul McCartney will close off the opening ceremony. Thousands of VIPs and national leaders are said to be in attendance, including Michelle Obama, the King of Swaziland, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, amongst others. Footballer David Beckham has said he will perform a role at the ceremony and predictions are that he may have the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron.
The opening ceremony will be aired at 21:30 South African time on SABC2.
Below, we feature some of the photos of the progress of the London Olympic torch and the preparations leading up to the Opening Ceremony.

A dazzling firework show illuminates the Olympic stadium during rehearsals in Stratford, East London.

The Union Flag and other images are projected onto the Houses of Parliament to mark the London Olympics.

A packed train carriage full of spectators after the final dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony.

There were huge queues at Stratford Station as thousands of spectators tried to leave the Olympic Park after a final rehearsal of the opening ceremony.

The Olympic Torch is carried on top of an open top bus down Oxford Street as it nears the end of its 70 day journey.

The Olympic torch makes its way down Regent Street, London.

Florence Rowe, 81, who saw the Olympics in London in 1948, is cheered by the Camerons as she carries the flame in Downing Street.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry watch Wai-Ming hand over the London 2012 Olympic Torch to John Hulse at Buckingham Palace.

The Olympic torch begun the final leg of its journey to the Olympic Stadium sailing triumphantly along the River Thames on board the Queen's majestic Jubilee barge watched by thousands of onlookers.

The £1million royal barge was last seen during the rain-soaked Queen's Diamond Jubilee pageant.

Thousands gather along the Thames to watch the mini flotilla.

A groundsman waters the wild flowers at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

People take part in a complimentary yoga class at Primrose Hill, London, as the city enjoys some sunshine in the days leading up to the Opening Ceremony.

The Brits certainly know how to put on a pageant – check out this post on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations held earlier this year.    

Are you in London for the Olympics? Send us your photos and news by commenting on the Sure Travel Facebook page or on the Sure Travel Twitter page - we'd love to hear from you!

Photo credits: Daily Mail


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