Forest Park

Nicholas Quirke was a little mortified that his claim to have visited every major park was not in fact the truth. Though he had been to the Olympic Park the day had been wet and miserable and the trip had not extended to the Olympic forest park which was north of the stadium and its immediate environs. After a breakfast of Jian Bing, hot date soya milk and tofu he and Peng ventured forth into bright winter day. The journey was via subway and required a change to line 8 which had been built for the Olympics and arriving at the Forest Park Station with its modern design echoing that of the ‘Birds nest’ highlighted the fact. The landscape plunged him into a bleak midwinter scene and really had a haunting beauty. The frozen lake, the streets stripped bare of foliage and the dry brown grasses were as stunning as the lush greens and the colours of summer. The stark modern buildings surrounding the stadium added a desolate ambiance to the natural beauty that the park held. As always every niche of park was explored including a variety of sculptures representing inspiring messages linked to the athletic dream. They explored the south aspect of the forest park but did not venture into the most northern part, leaving Nicholas with the opportunity to experience even more when he returned to the area to collect the Vegan Christmas cake they were ordering. They had a late lunch at a local noodle bar which came with a variety of savoury, delicious snacks. The only coffee house in the area was a Starbucks which proved to be a very difficult place to get into with their comfortable seating separate from the bar itself requiring them to leave a building and renter at a different location. This seemed a very odd set up but fortunately a seat came free at a table in the bar and they relaxed there for the remainder of the afternoon. They were still feeling full from the late lunch and missed out on dinner and instead enjoyed snacks as they watched the entertaining, but gory ‘Freaky’. The long walk through the park and the cycling had exhausted him and when bedtime came sleep followed swiftly.

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