Following an overnight in Hong Kong (to those who may ask; yes I could have connected to Beijing that same night, but I didn't want to arrive in a city I'd never been, in the middle of the Olympic madness, at 11:30 at night. It just seemed a Bad Idea™).
I was greeted in Beijing by a relatively clear day, and to be honest everyone who sees the photo below can't believe it was ever actually this clear. Which is saying something, because it's not like we're looking over the Swiss Alps, but apparently for Beijing, this is surprisingly bright.
The blue roofs (thanks to a twitter response), apparently symbolize the sky. There's some irony in there, being that this paint is a shade of blue that probably hasn't been seen in Beijing since pre-industrial revolution, but maybe it's a matter of hope.
My favorite element of this photo is the nuclear power plant off to the left. No need to put that thing far from the city, since it doesn't pollute, I suppose!
The airport is quite attractive, as airports go. And inside it was the model of efficiency. My Olympic accreditation got me through a fast-pass lane of sorts, and I was whisked through passport control and security. As expected the airport was packed, but not much time was lost at all between unbuckling my seat-belt and walking into the wall of humidity that would be my home for the next two weeks.
The only real disappointment was seeing far too many recognizable fast-food joints in the airport, like KFC and McDonalds. Ugh.