Opening the curtains on Sunday morning revealed a still overcast sky but the weather had definitely lightened and the rain had finally stopped.
If anything, the weather had deteriorated further over Friday night and the clouds seemed lower again on Saturday morning. However, given we had a day at leisure available to us before the concert, we were not going to be deterred from exploring Hechaun. So, after breakfast we bundled into a taxi with Clive and drove across town to a Buddhist monastery situated alongside the Jialiang River.
Chongqing is growing as a domestic tourist destination but, as yet, it isn’t seeing an abundance of international tourists. As such, the buffet breakfast in the hotel was very Chinese and very different to what businessmen and tourists might find in the international hotels of Beijing and Shanghai. It should also be noted that Chongqing has a reputation for having the spiciest food in the whole of China; lots of chillies.
After extensive planning, getting the necessary visas and careful preparing some appropriate set lists, the day had finally arrived for us to set off for China where Na-Mara were playing two concerts and engaging in a range of student related activities at the Diao YuCheng International Music Festival hosted by the Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications (CQUPT) in the Hechuan District of Chongqing in China. On this trip, Rob and I were going to
POSTPONED UNTIL 2021: Railway Roots (Hove Folk Club), The Railway Inn, Boundary Road, Portslade, BN41 1GA
Concert in the Bin go Theatre, Diao YuCheng International Music Festival held by CQUPT, Chongqing, China
Da Capo Music Foundation, Founders' Day Concert, (Private Event) Roslyn Hill Chapel, 3 Pilgrim's Pl, Hampstead, London NW3 1NG (NOTE: Timing to be confirmed)
Na-Mara had been recommended to Rosslyn Court organiser, Morag Butler, by Mike and Maureen who run the Anchor Folk Club in Byfleet, and we were delighted to accept an invitation to perform for the first time in Margate. Given that Rosslyn Court also runs a wide array of folk-related and other workshops, we were similarly delighted when Morag agreed to let us run a workshop on ‘Songs and Tunes from the Celtic World’ on the afternoon ahead of our performance.