DSC04395Our first stop this day was Olympic Park, home to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. A pleasant Wednesday in June, there were no milling crowds, no rush to get from one event to another, no gold or silver medals hanging in the balance of a split second.DSC04406

We walked for a ways up the promenade between The Bird’s Nest, the nickname for the stadium that held the track (along with 100,000 spectators) and The Cube, as the swimming pavilion was commonly known.

DSC04413It was in The Cube that Michael Phelps (now the most medal-winning Olympian ever) won his 8 gold medals for swimming.

I put my hand into the water at the entrance to The Cube and felt a tingle of competitive excitement. Seriously! Perhaps Michael Phelps had stood right here, taking a breath before entering the building.DSC04399

For my money, the best seats while watching the Olympics are the ones in your own living room, but I was happy to have seen this place for myself. It’s not much like how I imagined it—it’s better—and I was glad we stopped here on our way out of town today.