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03-10-2012, 06:23 AM #1
2012 All England Premier Super Series - Memories
Last year, I was totally in disrespect to the Premier League status of the All England Championships. My journey to the All England Championships was way out of Premier League class. While staying at micro-sized hotel rooms too ...... Instead, it was more of a journey of re-discovery, of the Theatre of Dreams at Old Trafford and the Canals of Birmingham, and fighting the Bull of the BullRing, of course.
But now, the cheapskate hotel where I used to stay is put under administration. And anything under administration, I avoid like a plague.
Therefore, this year’s event is strictly in observance of, err, proper etiquette when attending to the most prestigious Premier Super Series Event which also happens to be the last Premier Super Series event to allow for Olympic qualification. And so, off comes the Emirates Skywards points – to trade for Business Class upgrades of cheapskate Economy fare. And out comes my Hyatt Gold Passport card, to secure a place at the imposing Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Just a stone’s throw from the NIA.
Since I was flying in to London this time, getting to Birmingham required no less than a First Class Rail ticket from London Euston to Birmingham New Street. It helps when the First Class ticket price was among the lowest I’ve ever seen ever in the great history of National Rail. Yup, even lower than the Anytime Off-Peak ticket, and comes with a proper meal.
But first, a quick stop to the Olympic Park and the EDF London Eye.
03-10-2012, 06:52 AM #2
The Olympic Park
Upon my arrival at Heathrow Termnal 3 of Thursday noon, I went through the midday traffic on the Tube for a good 70 minutes to Stratford. It was already past 2 pm when I reached the still-to-complete-but-already-GBP 2 million-overbudgeted Olympic Park.The Olympic Park is just beside the Stratford main shopping throughfare, which is Zone 3 territory for those of you unfamiliar with Transport for London Zones. The Olympic Facilities are still being built and spruced up. Pics here:
Shopping Paradise Opposite London 2012 Olympic Park
Comes complete with a hanging Mini Cooper
Team GB Cycling Team doing their promo shoot
Views of the stadiums within
And this must be where the Olympic Flame shall burn during the Games
It was reported that the budget had run over substantially by 2 million GBP due to unexpected increase of, ahem, security personnel from 10,000 to 23,000. Apparently, they want to have everything checked, including all garbage bins etc.To, ahem, ensure that London does not go to the same financial quagmire as Athens, I immediately took action to visit the biggest London 2012 Shop nearby and buy myself some badminton-related souvenirs. So now, the London 2012 budget deficit has gone down to about 1.999991 million GBP.
The only two souvenirs depicting the sport we love, a keychain and a 50 pence coin with badminton shuttle engraved
Last edited by abedeng; 03-10-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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03-10-2012, 07:41 AM #3
thanks for the sharing, abg din....
03-10-2012, 03:54 PM #4
03-10-2012, 04:10 PM #5
It was getting dusk, and rush hour beckons. Time to make a move to the EDF London Eye. Another company that is in the local news for, err, misrepresentation of contract to potential customers. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with the prices of the EDF London Eye tickets .......
Another stab on the overstressed Transport for London Tube Network, and I arrived there just as dusk turns to night.
The London Eye from across Waterloo Station
Views of the London Eye Capsules
Breathtaking views from the capsule
03-10-2012, 04:28 PM #6
Spending the Night with A Lady ......
Yup, time is getting on, and I have to keep an appointment to spend the night with a Lady. Not just any lady, 'cos she's still a virgin. As in the Virgin Train to Birmingham New Street ......... wakakakaka.
After a quicky dinner at Waterloo, it was time to move across the river towards Euston Railway Station.
The UK's Rail Service is undergoing an upheaval, and plans are put forward by the UK Transport Secretary (aka Minister of Transport) improve efficiency and raise prices by, err, specifying peak fare times in the evening to start at 3 pm instead of 5 pm, and shutting down ticket offices. Needless to say, people are already clamouring to shoot the idea down, and workers have threatened to strike. Such democracy ......
Since I was ahead of schedule, I got to spend some time in the Virgin Trains First Class Lounge - nothing much really, compared to the, ahem, Emirates Lounges.
Virgin Trains First Class Lounge
Virgin Trains First Class Coach K - practically empty and I shared the whole coach with only one other passenger
03-11-2012, 12:29 AM #7
My base of operations this time is the closest ever hotel to the NIA, aka the Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Not quite as imposing as the Hyatts over South East Asia, nonetheless it is well equipped and cosy.
Here are some pics of the place:
The Hyatt at Night - in the foreground are statues of 3 Birmingham Bred VIPs
Just to confirm that I'm in the right place ......
The Hyatt during the day
Pictures of my room
The Hyatt is so caring about our hydration ...... with a huge price tag attached
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03-11-2012, 12:39 AM #8
Passed by some interesting sights on the way to the hotel .....
The Birmingham Big 3 - I only know of James Watts
The Baskerville House in the background - but hey look, there's an All England banner here!
The War Memorial - yup, Britain has lots of these practically everywhere
The Birmingham ICC and Symphony Hall just opposite the Hyatt
03-11-2012, 01:13 AM #9
Going Great Lengths ...........
Principal unlicensed photography inside the NIA has been made excruciatingly difficult by the alert presence of enforcement personnel with X-ray vision. We had to go through great lengths to, err, run covert surveillance and photo reconnaissance operations.Thus the theme of the next row of pictures, "Great Lengths".
Pics Here:Malaysian Supporters - going great lengths to greet their hero ............. and in celebration of his victoryNIA licensed photographers - going thru great lengths just to get the right angled shotsCoach Zhang Ning - going thru great lengths to keep her strategies secret so as to whisper to Li Xuerui's ears onlyDanish supporters - the only other strategic supporting squad other than Malaysians. Going great lengths to celebrate a win, and they shall be represented again in the finalAnd finally, Koo Kien Kiat - going great lengths as to make himself inconspicuous. With cap and all, I could spot him from a mile away.
Last edited by abedeng; 03-11-2012 at 01:15 AM.
03-11-2012, 01:15 AM #10
Ok guys, the rest of the pics shall have to wait until I get back home. My expensive 24 hour Hyatt Internet Access is about to expire ..... and I need to pack for checkout soon.
03-11-2012, 04:50 AM #11
Wow, abedeng, you make Birmingham look exciting. Makes it very tempting to join you next year. And you gotta new camera?
03-11-2012, 05:32 AM #12
Printing out my boarding passes now at the Hyatt Business Centre ......
03-11-2012, 05:39 AM #13
Thanks abedeng for some great pics of the London Stadium, etc. Keep it coming !!
03-11-2012, 03:55 PM #14
London is where Wembley Arena is, venue of the last World Championships and next Olympics.
My flight is delayed - terrible, hope there is enough time to catch the Singapore connection tomorrow.
03-12-2012, 04:42 AM #15
I meant the Olympic park and its stadium and surroundings.....
waiting for more pics and reports..
03-12-2012, 10:45 AM #16
Lol...I stopped in same hotel as you!
Why they don't have free Wifi for the price I don't know.
It is the most convenient for the NIA though.
03-12-2012, 04:41 PM #17
2 quid over a bottle of water is not that expensive. You don't need to convert everything into RM when you are in a foreign country. If you need to drink you need to drink. Anyway the pipe water is free and it is
safe to drink compare to Malaysian water.
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