The Birds Nest and Acrobatics

On the way back to Beijing, we decided to stop to see the Birds Nest stadium, and the water cube. The stadium itself looks suitably futuristic, with it's silver-gray lattice exterior and is an imposing venue. There were a surprising amount of people milling around the area, or just sitting in shaded areas. But these were seemingly outnumbered by the refreshment sellers, or the hawkers selling kites and plastic wind up toys. Unfortunately the stadium suffered from that same affliction that all stadiums do on none event days as it was lifeless without the noise and buzz of excitement that a match day brings. The Nest appears to suffer more than most in this, for in the harsh sunlight the open framework of the exterior allows you see int the inner working of the generators and air conditioning that would ordinarily be disgusted by the dark, and the coloured floodlights. It remains however, an impressive venue. In the evening a few of us went out to dinner together to a place nearby our hotel. We had sticky rice, beef, dumplings, veg and more of the chicken with peanuts that seems so popular. It is fantastic to be eating with company again, as just having a little conversation during a meal makes such a difference. In the evening, we all went to the theatre to watch an acrobatics display. This was excellent and we watched as the performers twisted and turned into all kinds of impossible shapes, eliciting gasps from the audience. One particular woman performer was incredible. She would balance atop a tiny platform on one arm, and then proceed to contort and twist into all manner of painfully looking positions. At one point she had brought both legs over her back and then crossed her feet below her chin, again whilst balanced on one arm and perched atop a platform not much bigger than her handspan! Half the time we in the audience didn't know whether to applaud or to stay silent for fear of breaking the performers concentration. The performance itself wasn't flawless with the very occasional dropped ball or fan. This is by no means a criticism, quite the opposite for it showed just how hard these routines were. The performers were not simply sleepwalking through and easy routine, but were pushing themselves to their limits. The acrobatics display was bay far the most expensive thing I've seen so far at around £18, which tells you both how reasonable the prices here are (even with the occasional ’foreigner’ tax); and was well worth the cost. I've woken up today and as expected my knee is a bit of a mess, being painful to the touch. Thankfully the vast majority of Beijing is flat as a pancake which will aggravate it less, although it will take a decent dosage of ibuprofen before I venture out. That said it isn't as bad as I expected it to be, although this is offset by the bruising on my shin and ankle. But the beauty is that I've now seen all the things tht I wanted to see in Beijing, so anything now is a bonus. That means that I can now take it nice and easy and just chill out.
On the way back to Beijing, we decided to stop to see the Birds Nest stadium, and the water cube. The stadium itself looks suitably futuristic, with it’s silver-gray lattice exterior and is an imposing venue. There were a surprising amount of people milling around the area, or just sitting in shaded areas. But these were seemingly outnumbered by the refreshment sellers, or the hawkers selling kites and plastic wind up toys. Unfortunately the stadium suffered from that same affliction that all stadiums do on none event days as it was lifeless without the noise and buzz of excitement that a match day brings. The Nest appears to suffer more than most in this, for in the harsh sunlight the open framework of the exterior allows you see int the inner working of the generators and air conditioning that would ordinarily be disgusted by the dark, and the coloured floodlights. It remains however, an impressive venue. In the evening a few of us went out to dinner together to a place nearby our hotel. We had sticky rice, beef, dumplings, veg and more of the chicken with peanuts that seems so popular. It is fantastic to be eating with company again, as just having a little conversation during a meal makes such a difference. In the evening, we all went to the theatre to watch an acrobatics display. This was excellent and we watched as the performers twisted and turned into all kinds of impossible shapes, eliciting gasps from the audience. One particular woman performer was incredible. She would balance atop a tiny platform on one arm, and then proceed to contort and twist into all manner of painfully looking positions. At one point she had brought both legs over her back and then crossed her feet below her chin, again whilst balanced on one arm and perched atop a platform not much bigger than her handspan! Half the time we in the audience didn’t know whether to applaud or to stay silent for fear of breaking the performers concentration. The performance itself wasn’t flawless with the very occasional dropped ball or fan. This is by no means a criticism, quite the opposite for it showed just how hard these routines were. The performers were not simply sleepwalking through and easy routine, but were pushing themselves to their limits. The acrobatics display was bay far the most expensive thing I’ve seen so far at around £18, which tells you both how reasonable the prices here are (even with the occasional ’foreigner’ tax); and was well worth the cost. I’ve woken up today and as expected my knee is a bit of a mess, being painful to the touch. Thankfully the vast majority of Beijing is flat as a pancake which will aggravate it less, although it will take a decent dosage of ibuprofen before I venture out. That said it isn’t as bad as I expected it to be, although this is offset by the bruising on my shin and ankle. But the beauty is that I’ve now seen all the things tht I wanted to see in Beijing, so anything now is a bonus. That means that I can now take it nice and easy and just chill out.

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