27 July 2012

Following the Olympic Torch

The Opening Ceremony for London 2012 was in the evening of Friday 27 July but my Olympic Day started much earlier.

I had missed the Olympic Torch when it jogged past my house on Tuesday morning as I was half-way to Cardiff by then so I was pleased to get a second chance.

The Torch made the last leg of its journey to the Olympic Stadium by boat starting with a procession along the Thames from Kingston.

It was due to pass the end of my road around 8:20am so I thought that I would be clever and head off on my bike around 8:00 only to find the paths busy with people heading for the river.

I hit the tow-path and then headed downstream until I found a nice spot just before Teddington Lock. A little later than expected the flotilla came in to view, and it was only then that I realised that it was going to be a flotilla.

There were a few large boats stuffed with dignitaries then the Royal Barge, Gloriana,came past with its large flame at the front. This was followed by a horde of small rowing boats many of them carrying the flags of their boating club or society.

The flotilla then had to pass through Teddington Lock which meant that it was easy enough to cycle round and get ahead of it again. My next stop was by Thames Young Mariners' where the raised bridge gave a good elevated view. More photos were taken.

Flushed with success I cycled on, as many of us did, passing the flotilla once again. I stopped between Eel Pie Island and Ham House because the lack of trees and of people meant that I could get a good view, this time from river level.

There were good crowds out all along the route and that made it an amazing atmosphere with lots of cheering and smiling. It was a very happy start to the day and to the Olympics.

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