This past weekend we headed to Beijing to do the tourist thing. It was a hectic weekend of running around and lots of walking, but hey we only had two days. We stayed at the Beijing Traditional View Hotel, which had its good points and bad, the first was that it was really had to find because it is in the Hutong area, which also was a good because there was lots to look at on the narrow streets around it. Anyway, that is for another post. In the morning our tour guide, yes we hired a personal tour guide, no bus for us, Xiaowei met us at the hotel and we headed out. First stop was Olympic Park. We parked in a huge underground garage and went up the elevator, emerging right in front of...The Birds Nest Stadium is pretty cool, Linda was a little unsure of if she wanted to spend the time here but ended up really enjoying it. We just walked around the grounds looking at the buildings and getting the explanation of what different things represented. There were loads of people out selling stuff for kids to play with and Xiaowei bought this bird for him and Dylan to play with.
Here is the main walk that goes through the middle of the park. The stadium, flame and communication tower are on one side and the water cube, gymnastics facility and technology center are on the other,
At one end of the of the walk there is a nice "garden" with a bunch of trees and sculptures. Here we are in front of one called "flow".
One nice thing about having a tour guide is that you always have someone to take pictures and you don't have to ask some random person or set up a timer. Here is the stadium and the communication tower again.
The flame which used to reside on top of the stadium has been moved down to ground level so everyone can see it.
You can go into the stadium and walk around but it cost more money and would have taken up more time. The water cube also allows visitors inside for a fee that varies depending on what you want to do, look around, you can swim in the pool and apparently there is avery large water park inside as well.
It is definitely worth the time to go see the Olympic Park, especially since it is free to walk around.