Sunday, June 1, 2008

China Day 02: Blink and You Missed It

While trying to upgrade the photos, I accidentally deleted some of this post. I will attempt to reconstruct it, but it was better before!

This, more or less, was our route:

We landed in the new Beijing airport, all shiny and fresh, which the Chinese are very proud of. The decor is ultramodern, with a sort of striped ceiling: white curved slats against an orange background:


We knew we were in China as we walked past an enormous scroll painting on our way to the baggage claim


where we met up with our baggage and also with Fred and Lillian, our guides. (Unlike in Egypt, where Ihab functioned as both program director and guide, here in China we will have local guides in each city in addition to the program director. This means we will sometimes get to tip four or five people per day, including various drivers and guides, but whatever.)

As we drove into the city we were alerted to any and all Olympics-related buildings along the way. This hotel


has something to do with the Olympics - that's why I took its picture - but I have no idea what!

Our hotel was quite near the main Olympic stadium:


and this building:



(Note how the tall building resembles both a torch and the head of a dragon, while the "segments" form the dragon's body and tail.)

My strategy for conquering jet lag is not to sleep on the plane, and to stay up till a reasonable bedtime when I get where I'm going. This means that by the time we got to the hotel I was all but incoherent with exhaustion. I barely had time to laugh at this array of traveler's necessities in the bathroom:


This is one FULL-SERVICE hotel!

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