That's our Wayne (Arthurs)!
Wimbeldon has begun and we plan to see a couple of days of matches by purchasing a ground pass. The weather on day one is not great but we have to go to the Indian Embassy to purchase visas for our 10 days there on the way home. We purchase some more credit on our Oyster cards which allow us to travel on the undergropund and busses with a cheaper fare. We arrive at the Embassy at 11.45am and just make the cut as the queue tickets are terminated at 12. The waiting room is packed. We have filled in the forms at home and as it is £10 cheaper for a UK passport holder to get a visa I have used mine and not the Australian one. Wait 75 mins for our number to be called. Hand over the fee and within 20 mins my passport is returned with the visa attatched.
The Wimbeldon grounds
The Australian passport takes 5 working days to process so we will have to call back to get Andrew's and will have to do this before we go to Ireland. Back on the tube and this was the day that Australia was knocked out of the World Cup, not yesterday.
Tuesday we catch the tube to Southlands station to go to Wimbeldon. Yesterday it rained most of the day and only about 45 mins of play happened so the ticket money was refunded. Each year the station at Southlands decks out the platform to look like a tennis court with artificial turf etc. There is a brisk uphill walk to the queuing area on a large paddock. Numbered queue cards are issued to prevent queue jumping and it is all so very organised. The day is overcast but warm.
In full colour
Ground passes are about £18 I seem to remember and after about 2 hours we are in. We put on sunscreen but I forget my chest and subsequently
get a chest as red as any English robin! Forewarned that the food is very pricey we bring our own, even strawberries. Hundreds of Aussies around and I share the strawberries with some Aussies I am sitting next to. Watching the Wayne Arthurs match we stand for ages waiting for a seat. Wayne requires on court treatment to an injury and we find that we are stood right behind him. Can smell the linement, hear the physio talking to him and feel confident that if the match is shown in Australia we will be in the pic as all the cameras are trained on him during the treatment!
Wednesday we leave earlier but dont get in much quicker.
Bird's eye view
We are queued with a delightful family from Boston and swap travel tips and adventures. Very sunny today and I havent missed any skin with the sun cream. One of the queue directors remembers my hat bedecked with badges from around the world and greets me cheerfully. We have another good day of watching and decide that the Australian Open in Melbourne has much better seating for the crowd than Wimbledon, costs less than half of the Wimbeldon ticket and all the big names are there too. At the end of the day all our food has been eaten and I get some noodles from the Wimbeldon venue. £5.95 or $AU15 is not good value. We enjoyed the experience of the famous tennis ground and are ready to begin touring the UK the next day.