Monday, July 9, 2012

China: Olympic Buildings and Railway Station

On our second day of our time in Beijing we realized we needed to buy our train tickets to we were supposed to leave tomorrow. Seat 61 was very helpful for planning our trip by train. So we headed out  to try and find the West Railway Station, which is the station that most trains leave from. It's currently not attached to the rest of the subway lines, so we got off at the Military Museum subway stop, which was supposed to be the closest one to the station.

We wandered around lost for a while, and then we started to noticed suitcases. We followed them into the subway station, and then we followed them back out. We followed them all the way to the railway station. It took us probably 20-30 minutes to walk there. And oh man, I knew crowds were bad in China, I had seen them and been in them, but it was the most crowded space I've ever been in. (Don't walk there! Stand on the North side of the road and take Bus #802, 21, or 320. We took 320 there later and it worked great.)

They have one window which is English Speaking and the guy was helpful. We watched two Chinese men get into a really bad fight, it was awkward and horrible. We realized we didn't have enough cash to buy both our ticket there and our return, so we just bought the tickets there and figured we'd buy the others when we got to Xian. We chose a hard sleeper since we're poor and the awesome soft sleeper Z trains are more expensive. Then we booked it out of that horribly crowded awful place.

We only had the afternoon left since finding the station took so long so we decided to head to the Olympic Buildings which we had heard were really cool. To get there take Subway Line 8 to Olympic Sports Center.

They were really cool. It was a pretty smoggy day, so you couldn't see them that well until you were close to them, but they're free to visit and totally worth it if you have some time.

 We bought this little flying dragon for super cheap, it's really cool. A rubber band winds it up and when it throw it and it unwinds it flaps it's wings. We gave it to Silencor (our host brother) and he loves it.
Across from the nest is the swimming cube. it looks so cool. We couldn't figure out if you could go in and look without paying, so we didn't go in. it's like $25 for adults to swim and we didn't have our swimming suits on us. Then I saw this on failblog. It's what they've converted the inside of the cube to be. Now I wish we had gone inside!

The end of the Olympic park is the Olympic Green Subway station. Across from this is a little shopping mall. In the basement there's a great grocery store where we bought some Chinese candies to try. Also at the exit there's a great frozen yogurt place that was really cheap.

Next Post: Summer Palace
Previous Post: Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square

1 comment:

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Those Olympic sites are SO cool! I love what they've done with the swimming cube!

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