Birds Nest

Day 3: Temple of Heaven, Olympic sites & an 18th birthday!

This morning the group visited the sacred and architecturally unique Temple of Heaven. Known as Tiantan, it is the perfection of Ming architecture and has come to symbolise Beijing. Built for the worship of heaven and prayer for good harvests, the structure stands at 38 metres in height and 30 metres in diameter, completely balanced by wooden pillars. Nails and concrete are not used to hold it together. The temple is located within a park and first thing in the morning the area is alive with tai chi enthusiasts, elderly men practising Chinese calligraphy, dancers and performers reciting Beijing opera – our group getting involved in some of these activities!


Lunchtime was a special one, as everyone gathered to celebrate James’ eighteenth birthday. It certainly was one to remember!

After lunch, they headed to Olympic sites with all taking the chance to swim in the ‘Cube’. The Beijing National Stadium and National Aquatics Centre are well known as the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube – the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games landmark buildings that embody the Chinese national spirit, traditional culture as well as modern science and technology.

This was a favourite by all. Very refreshing from the humidity of the early day. Everyone had a ball in the cube. Warm up pool only as the main pool is being prepared for the Winter Olympics in 2022?