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OpeПing ceremony London 2012: The Olympic torch is sailing down the Thames on its way to light up tonight’s ceremony – as well as the mood in London, where grumbling has yielded to palpable excitement.

By Mian Ridge. Correspondent July 27, 2012

Dave Poultney/Locog/AP

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London — After seven years of preparation and a good dose of last-minute nerves, Londoners awoke Friday to the first day of a historic event that has commandeered their city and prompted its biggest security operation in peacetime: The 2012 Olympic Games.

In recent days, as the Olympic torch neared its destination and the sun emerged from the clouds after weeks of gray skies and rain, Londoners’ loud grumbles – about security, traffic jams, and tourists – have given way to a palpable sense of excitement.

“I’m not really into the Olympics and all that,” says Augustine Adejoh, a street sweeper, as he picked up rubbish from a street in central London at dawn. “But I’ve got to say, it’s good for London. People are quite thrilled about it.”

Thursday, the Olympic flame, which has traveled 8,000 miles up and down Britain over the past 70 days, took a valedictory jog around the capital, past monuments from the Houses of Parliament to the steps of Buckingham Palace. where Prince William. his wife, Kate. and his brother, Harry, posed for photographs.

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