On Saturday May 17th, the Olympic Flame came to Shaoxing
I had chosen that day to visit the resort at the
However, our plans changed when we realized that we could be very close to the Torch Relay if we stayed in the park, so we found a place to sit, and waited out the time. Then we walked the short distance to the main driveway and waited. Many others were to come too, but in the end, it was much less crowded than anywhere else. In fact I received text messages from other friends, who were overwhelmed by the crowds along the city route. We were so pleased we had chosen to stay.
We saw all the official coaches, cars and other vehicles arrive, including the bus of the torch bearers. We were continually pushed back by Police, but all was friendly and cooperative.
We could hear music and drums from the area of the official ceremony, and heard the fireworks as it all started, and the cloud of coloured smoke that rose above the lake. Then within minutes there was a roar as people shouting “Go China” in Chinese, swarmed along the driveway flanking the torch bearer.
It was quick, but I had a good view despite the crowds and was able to get a photo or two.
It was all over in minutes, and then we joined the throng following the torch and trying to exit the park. Thousands and thousands of Chinese people, so excited, massed along the driveway to the exit, and then tried to find their way home. It was orderly chaos, and fortunately we had only a short way to go.
(As it turns out the foreign teacher did not run as planned, at the spot where all our friends waited - due to crowd control problems he was to run a shorter route, but some distance from the place they waited.)