Visiting the Bird Nest Stadium in Beijing
This morning we left The Regent Hotel, our very comfortable Beijing home, to tour the narrow and ancient alleys of Old Beijing which are called the Hutongs. Our visit included a ride in a pedal rickshaw which was quite an experience. An enterprising young man on a bicycle followed our long line of rickshaws, attempting to sell us postcards on the move. As the tour went on, the postcard price continued to drop! We also visited a local family that specialised in hand painting the inside of tiny glass bottles with wonderful Chinese scenes, animals and characters. We were served tea and introduced to their small poodle dog which was naturally white, but it's ears had been dyed bright yellow. Really bright. During the morning we also visited the famous Olympic Park and Bird's Nest Stadium.
From downtown Beijing we drove to the airport, consuming a tasty lunch box on route. Three good sandwich rolls with a variety of fillings and a sizeable portion of cheesecake supplied with a tiny plastic spoon. We discovered there is quite an art to consuming cheesecake in tiny spoonfuls while travelling in Beijing traffic.
We all took the same flight to the city of Xian, arriving at the big new airport in the late afternoon. This evening we were heading out to see a local dinner show, and timing was always going to be tight, but Richard hope that we might have access to our luggage, check-in at the hotel, AND get to the dinner theatre in time. Sadly the Xian traffic was against us despite the best efforts of our energetic (but safe!) local coach driver. We had a quick look at our hotel rooms and then headed straight out to the Tang Dynasty show. It proved well worth the effort because the show was spectacular, featuring traditional song, dance and colourful period costumes, and involving over 145 performers on stage. It’s a must do event if you're in Xian.