Coincidentally, our promoter was also coordinating a tour in China with Ireland's National Choir, Anúna, known for their work with Riverdance. We spent two days hanging out with them in Beijing, and joined them on their trip to the Juyongguan Pass at the Great Wall.
|Tara from Anúna.|
|People attach locks along a chain on a small portion of the wall to symbolize their love. Crazily enough, this lock I found had my mom's name, Mindy, on it.|
|The dead end at the top.|
|Daniel, Kristina, Phil (our new guitarist!) and me at the top of the Great Wall! (Thanks to Shane from Anúna for hiking all the way to the top with us and taking this photo!)|
|Climbing down the stairs. Literally.|
|This photo, taken level, shows just how steep parts of the wall can be.|
The next day, a group of us who had not previously visited the Temple of Heaven went to check it out.
|At the southern entrance to the temple grounds.|
|Circular Mound Altar.|
|Waiting in line to have my picture taken on Heaven's Heart Stone at the top of the Circular Mound Altar, where the emperor would pray for rain and good fortune.|
|On Heaven's Heart Stone!|
|The Imperial Vault of Heaven.|
|Random Chinese men really like to take photos with Kiana.|
|The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the most iconic part of the Temple of Heaven.|
|Phil, Lindy, Kiana, Daniel and me at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.|
|You guessed correctly: that's the sun.|
|The attention to detail on the tile work is mind-numbing. It makes me tired just thinking about it.|
After visiting the Temple of Heaven, we all attended Anúna's amazing concert that night. It was such an incredible experience getting to spend time with touring musicians from Ireland while hanging out in Beijing. We traded stories from the road, bonded over cultural struggles, learned some Gaelic, and just generally had great craic with new friends!
Thanks, Anúna! Hopefully we'll run into you somewhere around the world soon again!
|With Anúna after their concert in Beijing.|