Thursday, 21 June 2012

Olympic fever hits York

In  case you've been living under a shell or similar, the Olympic torch has been doing its tour of the country over the past few weeks, and arrived in York on Tuesday. Although we didn't specifically set out to see it, my housemate and I had spent the day in town doing touristy things, so decided to extend our tourism to full blown patriotism (and, if we're being honest, needed to catch our breath back after climbing the Minster tower).

Although we had seen railings being set up around St. Helen's Square, we headed for Clifford's Tower and watched from there, as we figured it would be easiest to escape from the crowds and head home from here. The crowd was smaller than expected here, but the atmosphere was still great, and the weather certainly helped.

The firemen had put their resources to good use to ensure they got the best view! I wonder if they had to draw straws to decide who got to go to the top?

We could tell roughly where the procession was and when it was coming by the position of the helicopters overhead - we think one was Police and the other was BBC. One had been hovering for most of the afternoon over Museum Gardens.

Of course, the arrival of the actual torch was preceded by a large procession of Police and sponsored vehicles, to get the crowds warmed up. There was a gap of a few minutes between the start of the procession and the torch, in which time a few wayward cyclists on their way home from work managed to find themselves on the route. Some played up to it, giving a wave worthy of the Queen, whereas others looked as if they didn't know where they were or what was going on.

Predictably, a lot of the major sponsorship partners of the Olympics had floats in the procession.

Finally the torch itself came along. Unfortunately, we do not know who the torch bearer was when we saw it.

This was the best shot I got of the torch, due to the crowds. Very shiny!

Following the torch was a bus with all of the torch bearers who were carrying the torch in York, plus all of the "spare" torches. It was great to see the York Sport President Sam Asfahani, preparing to take his moment of pride as the torch headed back towards the race course, but unfortunately we didn't see Jacqui Meddings from Cosmopolitan magazine.

The crowds disperse around Clifford's Tower.

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