China – Birds Nest

Today was brutal. It was bright, sunny and chilly. The snow was not much of a problem yesterday (given that I was not using the roads). Today the temperature was less than -12C and the winds were terrible.
I was warm on the torso and legs but it becomes incredibly hard to walk into 20km winds which bite at any exposed skin mercilessly. Additionally the wind turned yesterday snow into an icy sandstorm.

Having said all that, I should also say that the Beijing subway system is very good and I am glad I decided to use the subways today to get to the olympic stadiums. It takes about 40mins from where I am staying
but it is quite easy and quite user friendly.

I went to the Bird’s Nest (The Water Cube is closed, not surprisingly) which has been turned into a winter sports venue with the snow being used to create artificial tobogaging slopes and a small ski hill. It
is a nice complex and quite awe inspiring but feels a little impersonal. BTW all the metallic beams that intertwine to make the Bird’s Next (also called the national stadium) are actually not metal,
but concrete.

I could not go into any of the higher levels (every level above the first tier of seats was closed off) but managed to walk around and have quite an interesting afternoon.

Decided to call it an early evening and come back to the room. Just watching movies on HBO.