© 2010 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated Olympic Pool

China – Beijing – Olympic Pool and Tai Chi 23rd November

We arranged to meet Jen who we’d met on the hike at the weekend at midday outside the ticket office area of the Aquatics centre in the Olympic park. It was a really foggy/polluted day so we didn’t have great weather for photographing the Birds Nest and the Water cube, but it’s still a worth while thing to do if you have time in the city. The Birds Nest is an amazing structure and certainly draws in the sightseers for a spot of photo time. We spent around half an hour or so walking around the site before making our way to the ticket area for the Water Cube. We had planned to do a swim with Jen in the Olympic pool but when you start enquiring about tickets it goes a little like this: Entrance only: 50 RMB. Swim in training pool: 70 RMB. Water park: 200 RMB.

So if you want to swim it’s for 2.5 hours only, and it’s not the Olympic pool itself it is the warm up pool. The water park is unlimited in one entry so you can spend the whole day there but you can’t use the same ticket if you want to swim. So our dilemma was should we swim…in a cold pool, buy goggles (which takes it up to around 200RMB) and only have two hours or so? Or should we have a really good laugh, go on the slides, wavepool, yes it’s over our budget but we thought we would have loads of fun! So what did we do? Well of course we wanted to have fun, and we managed to persuade Jen to do the same. It’s an interesting experience being in the water park area, it’s not quite warm enough for you to feel fully comfortable in your swim suit and many of the locals don’t really like swimming, so you tend to see people in lifejackets a lot. The slides weren’t being used so we soon started getting ourselves onto the slides and Dave went for the scariest looking one first. A slide that both Helen and Jen thought they wouldn’t end up doing!

It has a vertical drop of around 40 foot, loops around and then splashes you out at the bottom. A capsule at the top of the slide holds you in place and a countdown begins. “3, 2, 1″ and the trap door opens and away you go. Pretty scary stuff but a real thrill. Helen and Jen were unsure and took some gentle persuading but eventually they climbed the stairs and took the plunge. Both loving it, Jen even went twice! Another favourite was The Tornado which places you in a large rubber ring two persons at a time and sends you thundering into a big bowl, lots and lots of screams and laughs by everyone.

After spending a good few hours inside the water park we headed off for some food before our Tai-Chi beginners class. We stopped by at Grandma’s Kitchen and to our dismay we realised that it was Western/American food, ooops, although Jen felt very at home and we enjoyed some American grub. After a meander through the local Hutong we headed to “The Hutong” cultural centre and began our lesson in the art of Tai-Chi. This was with Eric who was very keen to educate us about the history and tradition of Tai-Chi and what benefits it can bring to your life. We only practised for around 30 minutes out of the whole hour dedicated to the class so we left feeling a little disappointed and cold. We did go away with a better understanding of the martial art though and all of us are keen to explore it further.

It was time to say goodbye to Jen but we did have plans to meet again for some bargain shopping the following week. We’d had a really fun day and would like to thank Jen for hanging out with us, I think we all felt a little younger and satisfied with our brave efforts of going down the deadly red slide!

The following day we were leaving on an overnight train to Xian so we had planned to catch up on washing, buying some food for our trip and packing.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

Related posts that may be of interest to you:

  1. China – Beijing – Forbidden City / Great Wall of China / Dumpling Making – 12th-14th November We’ve opted for some sightseeing and thrown ourselves headfirst into the height of Beijing’s tourist center; The Forbidden City. Helen came here many years ago...
  2. China – Beijing – The Beginning – 8th November Today is the day that we become semi-residents in Beijing, China. We grabbed some breakfast from the Templeside lodge which was very nice, photographed the...
  3. China – Beijing – 9th-11th November Posting a blog post everyday which involves writing a mini diary and editing through copious amounts of photos takes up lots of time. Therefore we...
  4. China – Beijing – Lama Temple 22nd November We wanted to capture some more of Beijing’s famous temple sites and had been recommended to visit the Yongegong Lama Temple along with the Confucius...

One Comment

  1. Ka Man
    Posted 21 Dec ’10 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Great shots of the Bird’s Nest Stadium!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>