Friday, May 24, 2013

Bustling Beijing - 2008 Summer Olympic Park

Are you getting tired of this holiday yet? We were certainly tired on this long day of sightseeing! The kiddlies had a little nap in the back of our hire car as we made our way from the Summer palace back to the guts of Beijing. We didn't manage to snap them though...



"Ken" was an excellent driver - it is a miracle to behold how he handled the traffic chaos of Beijing. Despite it all appearing very crazy, it actually flowed smoother than the traffic back in Australia, because all the drivers, despite their perpetual honking, let lane changes and pedestrians and cyclists in - it was expected that is what was going to happen. Much more Zen. 



Our last stop of our Big Day Out in Beijing was the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics - Olympic Green, which of course, is mostly concrete. We have a similar thing in Sydney (from the 2000 Olympics - the "best ever" according to Juan Antonio Samaranch - just sayin'). It was only the third time the Olympics had been held in an Asian country (do you know the other two? No Googling!). 




I freely admit I'm not much of a sports fan - in fact I think it's over-rated. But for some unknown reason, I love getting my Olympics fever on. I was mightily pissed off I missed the Sydney Games because I was confined to hospital in anticipation of the birth of my daughter. Maybe it's because you get to see the sports you never get to see in any of the other four years surrounding an Olympics - think synchronised swimming, heptathlon, table tennis. I love me a good Opening Ceremony and Torch  Relay!

So, it was pretty cool we got to check out China's addition to the Olympic legend. As per usual, they don't do things by halves - the site was HUGE and we added quite a few kilometres of walking to our day:



 


If you remember nothing else from the Beijing Olympics, you surely remember the Beijing National Stadium a.k.a. "the Birdsnest"? It was pretty spectacular!




You can't go in, but you can yell "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi"
 through the gates to hear the echo...

The other main venue was the Beijing National Aquatics Centre, but better known as the Water Cube. It gets lit up at night and apparently is water slide heaven now inside, but we didn't go in.





There was lots of great sculpture around the site, but unfortunately not a lot of great food - we managed a hot dog on a stick because we were that desperate.


I don't know what this building was, we were too tired to walk up to it to find out...


This is apparently the Ling Long Pagoda, which housed the broadcast facility.
We had a quick stroll down the medallion wall - it showed every single medal won at the games - it was fun trying to find the Aussies:



This would have been something to see!

The two Emma's did well in triathlon.



The sun was setting - Beijing's pollution providing a beautiful, mystical light. We were all quite demented with tiredness by this point and made our way back to an ever-patient waiting Ken:



We got to experience Beijing peak-hour first hand. It took forever to drive down this street, but it had a nice view...


Well Ken, it had been a big day! Great Wall, Summer Palace and the Olympic site. It was great having you drive us around :-)



We were sooo tired! We succumbed to the lure of room service - pizza never tasted so good! We also ventured downstairs to the 7-Eleven type thing, where we bought the very cheap Great Wall red wine. You can imagine the quality. But it hit the spot anyway. And we all had baths in the Best Bath Ever and Wombat Girl enjoyed the bathrobes and slippers:




And we now only have one full day left in our holiday - to be honest, we were looking forward to heading home and I'm looking forward to blogging about something other than our holiday! But first, let's enjoy one last day/blog of the Slow Boat to China trip, OK...


4 comments:

  1. Ooh, ooh, I know this. Tokyo and Seoul. Yay me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You win!!!! Well, you get that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from knowing stuff :)

      Delete
  2. <3 the look of the 'Water Cube' - reminds me of something I could expect to see in Federation Square (in Melbourne) :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Or it looks like someone poured some milk into it (to make a milkshake) and blew bubbles into it via a straw (much like we did when we were kids) :)

    ReplyDelete

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