London 2012 - Volleyball at Earls Court

Finally the day had arrived!  We had Olympic tickets to see Women's Volleyball at Earl's Court.  We took the train from Twickenham to Earl's Court and arrived with a few hours to spare.  
We took the opportunity to walk around and have a coffee at Pascucci Cafe.
Pascuccis had two kinds of cannolis.  I particularly liked the extra flaky ones in the background of the picture.
Despite the rain, we took a walk through the residential neighborhood around Earl's Court.
We emerged near the Natural History Museum.  The queue was quite long and snaked a long way from the entrance.
We decided to move on.  We spotted a bit of history nearby at the Victoria and Albert Museum:  The damage to these walls is the result of enemy bombing during the blitz of the Second World War 1939-1945 and is left as a memorial to the enduring values of this great museum in a time of conflict.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is free to enter and features an amazing cafeteria.
We stepped out into the courtyard as the rain was clearing up and treated ourselves to a cup of tea amid the flowers.
This really was an idyllic spot.
We were keeping a close eye on the time and soon needed to hoof it back to Earl's Court.
The detail on some of the buildings was quite striking.
We were so excited to have the chance to see the Olympics!  We passed through security and then looked up to admire the Art Deco venue.
Inside, we were seated near the top of the stadium, but the sight line was still excellent.
We watched Great Britian (Team GB!) take on Japan.
I liked how the volunteers cleared the sweat off the court in unison, running back and forth in a choreographed way between points.
Excitement was in the air as Team GB scored a point!
Unfortunately, the match was a bit 1-sided.  Frankly, Team GB is not very good in Volleyball.  They ranked something like #60 in the world at the time while Japan was #5.  Because Great Britain was hosting the Olympics, they automatically qualified to play.  Needless to say, Japan won handily.
In fact, we saw that Team GB didn't win a single game in the initials rounds. 'A' for effort though.  The crowd was definitely behind them.
We spent some time wandering around the halls of Earls Court before the second set of matches.
Soon it was time to return to our seats to watch Russia and Italy square off.
These teams were more evenly matched and play was all the more exciting.  Russia ended up winning after 3 hard fought sets.
As the matches ended, we admired the flags hanging from the rafters.
We emerged to sunny skies...
...and big crowds trying to get to the Tube.
We decided to walk instead to Fulham.  Why?  Just because we could.  We passed sharp church towers...
...and posh apartment blocks.
I liked this small hexagonal building - I wonder why it was built.
We spotted a bit of modern art on display in the streets of Fulham.
In the end, Fulham didn't have a ton to offer (particularly at this time of day).  However, we found an awesome little spot for dinner, a place called Aziz.
We sampled tapas sized portions of Middle Eastern and Turkish treats.
After a day full of fun walks and Olympic spirit, we caught the bus and train back to Twickenham.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: London 2012 - Volleyball at Earls Court
London 2012 - Volleyball at Earls Court
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