Day By Day

Saturday, June 13, 2009

China Diary -- Part 9 The Face of New China

Up early on our third full day in Beijing and onto the buses. We were scheduled to leave the city that afternoon and there was a lot to see in the morning. Our destination was the Olympic complex, and that meant this structure.

Yep, that's the "Bird's Nest", designed by Hertzog and de Meuron in collaboration with China Architecture Design Institute. Nice, isn't it? Up close it's really impressive. For one thing, it's immense.

Check out the little tiny human figure. Inside is even more impressive. We're talkin' state of the art here.

While I prowled around taking pictures, "She Who Must Not Be Named" and her buddies set off looking for another "shopping opportunity" and of course they found one at the stadium gift shop. Eventually we had to leave the nest and assembled outside.

As a group we ambled across the street and entered the National Aquatics Center building, the "Water Cube". Here's a picture of it in the daytime, but it really should be seen at night. The whole structure lights up.

As I wandered through the aquatics center I saw a small group of men looking at my feet and talking excitedly among themselves. They saw that I had noticed them, smiled broadly, pointed at my shoes and gave me thumbs up before leaving. Later I realized that my shoes had been made in China. Apparently the men had some connection with the company that had manufactured them. At least, I hope that's what they meant.

Then outside again and onto the buses. We drove away past the dancing waters headed for lunch, and then to the airport where we would board a plane and leave Beijing for our next destination -- Xi'an.