The opening ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics will likely be the standard against which all future events will be compared for many years to come. Having been in Beijing just a couple of months prior to the opening day and seeing the general state of readiness, the rate at which the organization, construction and fit and finish work must have come together in those 50 days is nothing short of astounding.
As the weather has been much better this week, we took the subway out to the Olympic venues today to walk around the area and see some of the stadiums up close. Unfortunately the air wasn't as clear as it has been recently but still provided plenty of opportunities for interesting photos.
Kite flying is quite popular and the long, broad tract of pedestrian area provides a good channel of wind for some high fliers.
The Birds Nest stadium is actually quite interesting up close as well as from afar.
It's rare that you have an opportunity to spend time in an almost deserted venue designed to hold tens of thousands. A quiet soundtrack of cheering and excitement plays in the background, along with replays of the highlights on the giant screens, but overall the experience is very calm and serene.
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