15 June 2009

The Great Wall, Nest, and Cube

Yesterday, after we recharged from the hotel fire, we hit the road in
search of Olympic venues. We took a cab to the north of the city,
where we were able to tour both the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube.
Both sites were amazing.

The Bird's Nest is smaller than it looked on tv, but no less
beautiful. We were able to walk right onto the field, where a crew was
loading in what looked like a big opera. The Water Cube was also
stunning. We hung out by the pool where Michael Phelps got his 8
golds. Really beautiful structures.

Today, we met our guide at 8 am for the two hour ride to the Great
Wall. We went to a section called Simatai, which is less popular with
tourists, owing to it's very steep paths. The walk was fierce, but the
views were stunning. Four local farmers joined our quarter, offering
information and advice as we huffed and puffed up the wall. After our
walk, to show our appreciation for them and their friendliness, we
bought overpriced books and tshirts from them. For the last leg of our
descent, we took a zipline over a resovoire (sp). We all had a great
time, but poor Benny dropped his camera in the water during his zip.

After lunch was a two-hour ride back to the hotel, where we are
currently enjoying a siesta.

Tomorrow is our last day. Plans include Mao's tomb, Summer Garden, and
some last shopping for gifts. Whee!

No comments: