Like it or loath it, the egg-shaped NCPA is an example of Beijing's more modern side and is in complete contrast to its traditional buildings. The titanic steel structure is held up by 148 bolsters, each weighing eight tonnes and whoever designed it obviously didn't worry too much about how it would be cleaned, as the glass panels apparently have to be scrubbed by cleaners on ropes.
|Don't fancy that cleaning job.|
|A room with a view.|
As is often the case in Beijing, at times we were swamped by Chinese tour groups in matching caps who follow the coloured flag their tour leader carries in front of them with a steadfast determination - whether of not you're in the way. In fact one of my favoruite moments, as well as listening to a singer perform in the auditorium, was seeing a tour group going mad over the free water machine. It appears that the Chinese love a freebie as much as the next person.
O is for the Olympic Stadium
With the London Olympics (and number 30 on my list) fast approaching, there seems to be lots of talk about the opening ceremony. The latest I heard was that it's going to include live animals. Hmm...think I'll reserve judgement for the time being. But I really hope whatever they do, it's going to be good. Because visiting the Olympic Stadium in Beijing really made me remember how amazing China's opening ceremony was.
The fact that the government hasn't really found a good use for the 2008 stadium yet was apparent when I transferred to the subway line which was built especially to it and immediately got a seat - something which is usually a cause for celebration on any of the other lines.
|I made it! (Along with the Chinese tour groups.)|
|Where the magic happened.|
After walking what felt like a million miles around the stadium I sat down to have a rest. The Chinese tourists, clearly having exhausted taking photos of everything worthy of a picture, then decided they may as well take it in turns to get a snap with me. Now I know how poor Tom Daley felt.
|I know it looks as though he would rather be anywhere else than stood next to me, but he did ask to have his photo taken with me - honest!|
|Bring on London 2012!|