Visited on a bright sunny day in April and there are some stunning photo opportunities. I don't know why but I find something quite stirring and emotional about Olympic venues. I felt the same about Barcelona, and of course London. I hope I get to test this theory with Rio some day!
So, 36 years on and the stadium is still amazing visually. Forget the fact that it bankrupted the city, and that the sliding roof never did work properly, it still looks like the Star Ship Enterprise in dry dock. The scale is incredible and can only be appreciated up close and on foot. It's pretty well maintained, still in use as a sporting venue it seems. We didn't do the internal tour but did buy a ticket to the top of the tower which is accessed via a funicular (I'm a fool for a funicular). You slide up the tilting arm of the tower in a sort of "pod", it's all very Space1999.
And that's the fascinating thing about this place. It still catches your breath now, but back in 1976 it must have looked like it dropped out of the sky from an alien mother ship. Hard to imagine how the guys and gals in their flowered shirts and flared trousers must have felt about it when it was being constructed.
The rest of the site has various attractions. A botanical garden, a planetarium and the Biodome which is in the building which used to be the Velodrome. You could spend an entire day seeing everything at a cost of about $63 but for $34 you get to see two attractions so in addition to the tower we picked the Biodome. If you've been to any of the better city Aquariums then there's not that much different to see here. Yes there's a simulation of a tropical rain forest but none of the advertised animals were out to play (remember the Kit Kate advert with the Pandas?) so it was a let down. The rest was mainly fish and reptiles. We wished we had done the planetarium instead.
However the site itself is a great place to see. Choose a sunny blue-sky day for maximum impact. Enjoy.
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