Kew is in district four of the underground, and the train from Mansion House goes straight there, and back on the District Line running from Richmond in the west to Upminster in the east. I’ve finally learned to pay attention to this.
When I emerged from the Kew underground, people were handing out Olympic flags and booklets, which I thought quite odd, and declined. Then I saw people rushing madly like sheep being moved by dogs, and asked what was going on. “The torch,” said the woman with the booklets, “it’s passing through just about,” and here she looked T her watch, “now!” like the rest of the herd, I moved in the direction of the masses. They were headed toward Victoria Gate, the entrance to the Gardens.
As I caught up, a rolling cheer passed down the sidewalk. I’d missed it. I didn’t go to England for the Olympics, in fact, when I booked, I had no idea they were being held in London. The enthusiasm of the crowd infected me, however, and in the buzz I learned that the flame was passing through Kew, and would be handed off to the next relay on the fat side, so I hustled over there.
It turns out that there is a caravan of buses, some whit and yellow that carry the flames, and possibly the relay runners. This is where they store the backup flames, I guess, and where it keeps burning at night, I imagine. Sadly, the flame is preceded by its sponsors buses, garish CocaCola and Bright blue Samsung advertisements blaring music and whipping up the crowd. Then comes the torch car and bus, which had that cyclops figure painted on them. This makes me think those statues may mark the route the torch is taking.
Being short, I saw nothing but these ugly buses, but I did hold my cameras up and shoot blindly, possibly capturing the relay. It’s difficult to tell, looking st a crowd in such a small screen.
Then I made a beeline back across Kew Green to Victoria Gate, and into the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.