Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beijing (IV). Olympic Stadium and street markets

After visiting the Summer Palace, a quick hop into a taxi and 45 minutes to the Olympic Villa. Once there, the illuminated installations were quite impressive. Instead of going to see them close, I decided to see them from above before. I spotted a high building, a 8-star hotel (!!), and decided to go to the top floor to try my luck and see if I could have a look at the whole complex from above.

The top floor had a couple of ultra-expensive restaurants (1000 USD per menu and person!!!) and no watching area... However, I used all the "Españolidad" still in me, and I went ahead and talked the waiter into letting me in to the terrace to take some pictures ;) After the pictures, big smile and out of there asap!!!! "Vamos, echándole una cara tremenda al asunto. !Como buen español! ;)". This is the result! Such a nice view!!

Back on the ground, a close look on the buildings:

- The Water Cube

- Some Olympic Landmark

- The Bird's Nest

After the Olympic Villa, a quick hop in the subway and back downtown, to the area around the East of the Forbidden City. That area is quite up-market and was the first contact we had with Beijing high society! But, as you can imagine, this area is less attractive than eating in 4 cents a piece dim sum places!!

Nearby, there are some touristy street markets, where everybody can talk to you using a couple of English sentences. And even Spanish! One guy came to me saying "Hola! Que quieres comprar hoy?!" Was it so obvious I am from 西班牙!!(-> sorry if this is not proper Chinese... it is actually the Japanese letters for "Spain" in ancient times... literally, the country of the West).

Food places were a bit more expensive than the rest of Beijing, but the variety of food was maybe larger. Feeling like eating snake or deliciously looking scorpions?! All for you! I am not ready for that yet... (^_^)

After eating some noodles and barbecue, time for a nice massage and back to the hotel to sleep! Had been a hard day!! And next day, the Ming tombs and the Great Wall were waiting for us!!

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