Last night's opening ceremony was nothing short of spectacular in every respect. As we watched, we were reminded of our time in Beijing in the summer of 2006. We were staying at the Crowne Plaza and my wife was attending a management conference at the International Conference Center just down the street. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is a truly beautiful five-star hotel and now is serving as a headquarters hotel for the Olympics!
The added benefit of our hotel was that it was just across from the Olympic Green where the "Bird's Nest" and the Olympic Village were under construction. One afternoon, my wife went out to look at the stadium and decided to take pictures of the construction site. She was quickly spotted by a guard who followed her around while she snapped away. The guard never said a word, but carefully followed her to ensure that she was not going to harm what would become the "pride of China" on 8/8/08.
Here is what it looked like in June of 2006. Note the smog! One day, we could not even see the construction from our window, but then it rained and the smog disappeared. Seems like they are still dealing with the smog.
(Double click on the "Photos by Sylvia" to make them larger.)
For more information on the Bird's Nest, click here.