Anyone got any vital Paralympics tips for me?

(34 Posts)

DD and I are going to the volleyball at the Excel on Saturday - I am packing all my usual freaking out about doing something new into the six days between getting tickets and actually going, instead of spreading it over weeks!

We're getting the train. I need to remember my credit card to collect tickets at the station, and to remember my railcard.

I have print-at-home tickets. I know I can just show them to Tube etc staff as I don't have our included travelcard.

I'm going to do a packed breakfast for the train, taking snacks, and buying lunch and dinner out. I will take at least one water bottle which I will ensure is empty before we go through security.

I need to make a note of how to get from Paddington to North Greenwich (we're going to take the cable car across instead of going straight to the Excel).

My backpack is 2l above the maximum stipulated but I figure if I don't pack it full it'll be okay, it definitely will fit on my lap if not under the seat.

My big concern is getting back. The event finishes at 8pm, and I would like to stay to the end, for the medals. But it's an hour and a half until the ONLY train we can get home, and I don't think I can take the risk. Is transport as much affected as it's supposed to be? Have we got s chance of getting a taxi maybe?

PurpleAndPoppyWearer Thu 06-Sep-12 22:21:48

If it finishes at 8 you should be fine, I have caught the DLR from the ExCel (please note, Prince Regent is the exit station, not Custom House) much much later than that and got across London just fine.

ENJOY and please high-five some ExCel Games Makers for me. We They love it!

TellyBug Thu 06-Sep-12 22:23:18

You'll be fine. Stop stressing!! smile

Transport seems fine here.

Hopeforever Thu 06-Sep-12 22:26:18

Take a Union Jack or home made sign with you to wave, they didn't have them at north Greenwich

If you take the cable car it's much quicker if you have an Oyster card

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Thu 06-Sep-12 22:28:11

I am local (well, to North Greenwich). Transport is totally fine.

I haven't been to anything at Excel, but which station do you need for your train? I allow an hour Greenwich to Paddington normally, which allows time to get a coffee and a magazine before leisurely boarding.

If your DD is young, take some entertaining materials - colouring or the like. Obviously kids have short attention spans, even in Paralympic events. Oh, except if you have a train journey you have probably factored that in anyway.

Thank you! It's entirely possible DD may get fed up and force my hand - she's 8, attention span varies between phenomenal and goldfish-esque. But good to know it's feasible, if it goes wrong I'm sure we can pop up from the tube or off the DLR and find a cab.

I will report back if I overcome my reserve enough to high-five someone! grin

I can see who's actually playing on Saturday now, sadly no use for a Union flag except for general patriotic purposes. I may take my county flag and support Brazil - same colours!

rubyrubyruby Thu 06-Sep-12 22:48:17

It will all be fine but remember volleyball is a game of 'sets' and therefore your 8pm finish is only a guide. There is no set length of time to the game.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Thu 06-Sep-12 22:49:28

No no, take a flag anyway. Much flag waving at the Park even when totally unrelated teams playing. Tis the atmosphere, not the teams grin.

Get your DD high fiving the whole rows of volunteers. The love it and try to get every child to do it. DD1 is three and ran down a whole row at 9.30 on Sunday night!

If you need to get a cab, try and get off at a major station (as you will have a cab rank) or within zone 1 (as you will flag one down easier). Or take the number of one of those massive cab companies like Addison Lee and just get them to pick you up from near the venue - pricey, but better than chancing a random mini cab or missing a long distance train and finding a hotel!

ChippyMinton Thu 06-Sep-12 23:00:52

There's a Tesco Local right by the cable car station by the Excel where you can stock up on snacks before going into the venue.

The atmosphere at the volleyball is fab - we had day passes on Tuesday. Lots of loud music, mexican waves and flags smile.

No Union flag! I have Union flag bunting? Or the flag of Gloucestershire. grin

Or I'll find an old sheet and write something random on it. Slightly hysterical now.

I know it will be fine. DH isn't coming after all, he jinxes public transport you see.

fuckwittery Thu 06-Sep-12 23:05:44

Bless you. There is very little effect on public transport, I've been in London throughout the games. TFL website says it takes 27 minutes from North Greenwich to Paddington via tube, I think 1 hr 30 minutes is leaving plenty of wriggle room smile

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Thu 06-Sep-12 23:06:11

Sorry, just taken in that you will obviously be going back to Paddington (doh). Ignore my daft question.

On the way Paddington to North Greenwich, change at Baker Street, not Waterloo. One is across a platform, other is a bloody great trek with numerous stairs, corridors, etc.

Bank is a warren of a station, so on the way back I would head back to the Jubilee if you can rather than have to change there.

There is also a Tesco Metro at North Greenwich if we are going to that level of detail. And cash machines on both sides of the concourse if you need them - don't wait until you go up the escalators.

It's Paddington to N Greenwich, then Excel back to Paddington. Looks like it will take longer on the way back, but I hope not the full hour and a quarter the website reckons.

Good point about the big stations - used to work in London but its a long time ago so I've forgotten most of the tips and tricks!

rubyrubyruby Fri 07-Sep-12 16:31:08

Did you see my post about timings!

Volleyball is a game of sets.

Sorry ruby, yes, I did! I guess underrunning is unlikely, whereas overrunning is quite possible. TBH although I'm preparing worst-case scenarios it's probably more likely that DD will be knackered and I will be all peopled-out by the end of the second match.

I should've checked out the scheduled vs actual timings of the earlier matches as they happened, shouldn't I?!

fuckwittery Fri 07-Sep-12 20:41:55

Hi put your Excel to Paddington journey in on the games spectator travel website and it said 1 hr 19 mins, but on TFL website it says 44 minutes?

TFL tells you to get the Olympic shuttle bus from Excel to Canning Town, jubilee to Baker Street, bakerloo line to Paddington.

Oh, haven't seen the bus version, but that's probably cos I've been putting in a faked non-Paralympic journey of Prince Regent DLR to Paddington to stop it giving me the long version of the journey! I'll add that to my list of options - I can probably cope with a special shuttle bus, I normally avoid buses as I never know where I am with them.

Very excited ... flippin' DD is still awake though, really needs NOT to be ...

EdgarAllanPond Fri 07-Sep-12 22:24:35

all very interesting - wish i'd got flags! oh wait...

EdgarAllanPond Fri 07-Sep-12 22:27:45

no, DH chucked out flags. pens and Paper packed though. i have two different slings for when DS2 gets heavy (a change being as good as a rest.), and stick pushchair for DD2

Have appropriated DD's jubilee flag, packed a colouring book, and am currently feeling a proper wimp as Edgar is clearly taking far more children than I am! grin

SystemofaDowny Fri 07-Sep-12 23:38:52

Can those large banner type flags be bought inside the olympic park? DCs want one, but as we will be leaving at 5am tomorrow, I won't be able to get one before. I'm assuming there is plenty of places selling all the merchandise, right?

chocolatespiders Fri 07-Sep-12 23:44:45

I didn't see any flags for sale at the park but maybe I didn't look hard enough. Did just see some very cheap in tesco though smile

SystemofaDowny Fri 07-Sep-12 23:53:24

I definately saw them in sainsbury's a few weeks ago, but it was only this evening that they decided they need want a big flag, after watching it on tv.

chocolatespiders Sat 08-Sep-12 00:00:26

There is a Sports Direct in Westfield shopping centre which is next to Olympic park which may have them for sale.

Wish you lived near I would put one through your door.

The mega store on site I walked into and walked out as it was far to packed so unsure if they would have them.

Hope you have a great time, it is an amazing place smile

aoife41 Sat 08-Sep-12 00:32:27

Yes they sell large flags in the park. In the shops they are on display in very simple boxes- loads of different countries.
They were £10.

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