Ours was the only city or town the Olympic torch was coming to in Australia. So politics aside, I wanted to take the kids to see the culmination of the torch relay, at Commonwealth Park, where Ian Thorpe would be lighting the community cauldron with the torch.
Commonwealth Park is only 12 minutes from here, and I anticipated that, plus added an extra half hour to park and walk across the bridge to the Park. We ended up leaving home an hour and 10 minutes early.
Several things slowed us down:
1. The gifted hand signals from a myriad of gloved policemen, directing us through many and varied detours.
2. Being disoriented from the many and varied detours. we couldn't see our landmark, the Captain Cook Memorial Jet anywhere. It was only after parking; getting everyone out; the backpack on; setting up the pram; navigating several blocks of heavy, detoured traffic and taking a long hike over a bridge, that we saw the jet. But oh the horror! It was to the left of us, not where it should be, to the right. We were crossing the wrong bridge!
Back we trotted, over the bridge; navigated the several blocks of heavy, detoured traffic; found our car, dismantled the pram, stashed backpack, and buckled up ( are you getting a visual? Well, you should have heard the us! No swearing, of course, 'cause we don't, but we were not a happy bunch. I was not a popular mother at that moment.) But at least we now were longer disoriented! :)
3. Due to all the added security measures, getting to the Park was a long slow process. See the backs of Roly and Spindles? Well, moments earlier, that little path had been three lanes.
Thorpie had been and gone, and the cauldron well and truly lit by the time we got within earshot. Visibility was poor, because of all the crowds of pro-Chinese supporters who had arrived at the right time.
We basically took a couple pics and left! This makes our exit sound like a fast one. It wasn't. At one stage I had to stop and let over a hundred police cross the road. We went along Commonwealth Park's scenic drive a couple of times, due to unfriendly traffic not letting our lane merge into the real exit.
Nearly at the cauldron...
Beijing Games supporters
Could just make out the cauldron with as zoomy as my little digital would get. See it in the middle of the pic?