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EYES ON LONDON: Up early, and out and about the day before the games begin

Posted Jul 26, 2012

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LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:

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FIRE AND EMOTION

The most striking thing about the Olympic torch relay is just how touching it is.

Hundreds of people, many families with young children, got up early Thursday to see the torch as it left the north London district of Camden at 6:50 a.m. The good-natured crowd defied security guards' efforts to corral them behind barriers, mobbing the former English rugby star who was the first torchbearer of the day.

Forget the celebrities and the sports stars and the local heroes carrying the torch. The crowd itself was the star.

It was Day 69 of a 70-day journey across the country that culminates in friday's opening ceremony. It made me wish I still had a 4-year-old I could pop on my shoulders and say, "look Kelly — there's the torch!" Hundreds of family memories were made today.

—Sheila Norman-Culp — Twitter http://twitter.com/snormanculp

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RISE, SHINE

Up and at it early, and it's easy for an American to be fresh at this hour. Why? Because most pubs in London close between 11 pm and midnight — far earlier than we're used to back in the U.S.

That's old news to the locals, but a bit of a bummer to visitors who are just getting warmed up at that hour.

But maybe it's a blessing. With the Olympic torch hitting central London on Thursday and due to pass many landmarks, navigating is going to be tricky and probably best done without a pounding headache.

—Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. . Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here: http://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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