Written May 14th, 2015
|Pond and tower at the Olympic Green|
This morning I decided to see something modern, the Olympic (Ao Lin Pi Ke) park, which is accessed by three well spread out tube stations; I chose the middle one, Olympic Green. To reach it, I had to take Line 13, the railway on stilts, giving me a view of hutong demolition below, the slums everywhere giving way to tower blocks, to Zhichunlu, two stops to the north, then transferred to Line 10 along a long passageway, then at the fourth station along that line to Line 8, two stops. Line 10 used to be our nearest tube line when we stayed at the "Hornki Great" Hotel four years ago, so as I went through Mudanyuan station I thought of Sha, George, Rob and Sally who had been with us then.
|At the Olympic Park, with IBM building|
|Bird's Nest Stadium with future athlete|
|Imitation Bird's Nest lamp|
Surfacing at Olympic Green is quite a thrill, because you're immediately surrounded by wide, clean spaces and futuristic architecture and art installations. There's also a big pond that I remembered seeing on the way to George's 2011 astronomy conference dinner. It had waterlilies and boats in it. I walked by the side of the pond as far as the entrance to the Olympic plaza which seems to be inspired by Tian'anmen Square, being so vast and rectangular. Ai Weiwei's Bird's Nest Stadium is on one side and the Water Cube and wiggle-topped IBM building on the other. I could have ridden in a little train-bus like the sensible people, but I chose to zigzag the whole length of the plaza on foot, which I estimate to be at least 3 kilometres, so by the time I'd reached the Olympic Sports Centre station at the far end I'd really had enough walking for the day. The heat was already intense and it was not yet noon.
|A long walk through the Olympic Sports Centre|
|Rickshaws waiting for passengers at Shichahai|
|In the Yandai alleyway|