The best thing about the beach volleyball venue can be summed up in a single story: During a test event last year, the prime minister had to tell them to turn down the noise because it interrupting the proceedings of the British state.
- It is loud.
- It a lot of fun.
- It is in the prime minister’s back yard.
Horse Guards Parade, site of Britain’s most famous military show, held every year in honor of the queen, is simply in the best spot in London. Yes, those are the chimney-tops of Downing Steet peeking over the south stand. Yes, that is Big Ben visible further in the distance – and audible whenever the noise dies down (which is rare).
And looming like a stern schoolmaster over all the bronzed bodies below is the Horse Guards building itself, lending a little bit of Whitehall stolidity to all this nonsense.
There are beach dancers, the crowd seeming incapable of not doing the wave, and of course, there are a lot of athletes not wearing much. The unceasing throbbing of the PA system, now so ubiquitous in professional sport stadiums worldwide, is not unwelcome here. In fact, it fits.
This is a party. Just don’t tell the prime minister.