Expo 2020 Visit

Today we spent the morning by the pool in Lucy’s apartment complex. It was hotter than ever today, so we wallowed in the water as much as possible.

One of the main reasons for our visit this time was so that Bob would have the chance to visit Expo 2020 before it closes on March 31st. So at 230, Bob and I headed south to that. We cabbed part of the way and then picked up the direct metro line into the park. It was immediately noticeable that things had changed a lot since October when we were last here, when the show was just starting. Then things were pretty quiet, now it was really, really busy. Everyone wants to go “one last time” or to catch up entirely if they havent been at all.

We both got in free – over 60s get free tickets. I knew that many of the big pavilions would be very crowded and would require over an hour or more of queueing to get in. No thanks. We decided to go to pavilions that we could either just walk into or that had a short line. First we went to the good old UK and we added our words to the long poem created by AI that will be sent into space together with other artistic items. This is based on an idea from Stephen Hawking. Everyone who visits adds a word which is turned by AI into a 2 line couplet which is added to the long poem. It’s very clever but it’s a pity that the pavilion lacks any British flavour at all. It could be anywhere, there’s just nothing “British” about it. Probably created by people who are ashamed of our heritage and find it embarrassing to celebrate and publicise it.

No such problem at the Pakistani pavilion just up the road. It was a brilliant photo/film essay showing the very many aspects to the geography of Pakistan from the coast, the rivers, the grain lands, the mountains of the Hindu Kush, K2, waterfalls. I guess the idea was to dispel any impression that Pakistan just consisted of dense, ugly cities and dusty villages and it succeeded brilliantly. There was also exhibitions of various handicrafts and a long film and display section on the many religions found in Pakistan – Buddhism, Sikhs, Jains, Hindus, Christians, Moslems and Sufis….. again I suppose this was to dispel the idea that only one religion was tolerated. A really interesting visit.

We also visited the Peru pavilion which was equally interesting. Film sequences showed the lakes, coast, underwater scenery, mountains and historic monuments. I’d love to go to Peru and see Macchu Pichu but I couldn’t trek to it anymore.

We had a good wander around, saw the Great Dome “wake up” with it’s first lighting effect show and then we went to a Lebanese Restaurant called the Great Beirut for dinner. Nice Beirut hummus and pillow breads, followed by mixed kebabs.

Finally we got inside the Great Dome and watched a fantastic light, puppet and dancer show. I couldnt really follow the plot but it was something to do with a wizard shepherd denoting dream wisdom through animals. The lighting effects on the dome were absolutely amazing. So beautiful and the huge animal puppets were wonderful too. A very enjoyable show. I am mezmerised by the dome. I just can’t stop watching the colours, the patterns and the projections.

We limped out, tired, hot and weary and got the metro back to the marina and then a cab to the apartment. A very good afternoon and evening but I do wish it had been a little less busy.

We loved Expo 2020 and we count ourselves very lucky to have been able to attend such a stupendous event.