Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Seeing the Olympic Torch ... well, almost.

I still think I prefer the Apple IIC "Summer Olympics" game to the real thing, but I'm trying to get really into the Olympics this year, if only because I'm geographically closer to them than I've ever been. In the spirit of internationalism, yesterday we went to go see the Torch Relay through Edinburgh.

We walked up to the Mound and found a great seat with a perfect view of both the castle and the ginormous Olympic Rings. The official website said the Torch would be stopping by there at 7:00ish, and we were there by 6, claiming the last good sidewalk spot. I brought a wee stool with me because, well, I'm seven months pregnant.

After about 20 minutes of making friends and enjoying the sunshine, a few traffic wardens stopped by to ask everyone what we were doing here. "You're not here for the torch, are you? [hearty laughter] Well, you'll not see it from here," he said with a scoff. So, yeah, despite what the official website said, apparently hundreds of people were complete fools for thinking we'd see the torch where the torch relay map said we would.

Reluctantly, we all clamored up Lady Stairs' Close to stake out a spot on the Royal Mile, where thousands of others had already gathered. People were hanging out of medieval skyscraper windows, the BBC truck was taking up a lot of space, and we saw several people with their hair attached to their hats. It was our own little game of "Where's Waldo?" (or "Where's Wally?" as it's called over here).

Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
June 13, 2012 by David Caldwell
We were both able to see the Torch path, so I figured I'd spent a little time resting on my stool before standing. Eventually, the crowds became tight, and the sponsors' buses were parading up the Royal Mile towards the castle. I stood up and watched the excitement for about ten minutes, during which time (again -- schedule, folks, schedule!) the Torch should have run by.

Then I suddenly became overheated, took off my hoodie, and sat back down. Then I was dizzy. And nauseated. I was on the verge of puking and/or passing out when David whisked me out of the crowd and through a close (that's a medieval alley) for some air, all the while upsetting the people around us who probably thought I'd gone into labour. And at the exact moment when I was out of the crowds and putting my head between my legs, the Torch ran by just where we'd been standing. How's that for good timing?

I'm already starting a list of awesome things this kid is making me miss out on (yes, yes, I appreciate my fetus, but am currently irritated with him).

At least David had gone back to get me water just as the Torch passed by. He caught a super-quick glimpse of it from a much-worse spot than we originally had ... and managed a photo:
Olympic Torch Relay, June 13, 2012, Edinburgh, Scotland. by David Caldwell. (Look closely!)

As for me, well, I can always watch the Torch on the ol' Apple II. (I was fine five minutes later, by the way. Just stood still in a crowd for too long. I'm a delicate flower these days.)

1 comment:

  1. i wish i had known-there were a load of empty seats at the castle-you could have rested awhile there & seen all the entertainment.
    see you soon, fi