Sublime Romanticism

Nicholas Quirke was moving on from Shanghai on 8 July 2020 but not before he had sampled some more of Shanghai’s culture and it was his intention to that a looks at their contemporary art, collected at the Power Station of Art. He made an early start and cycled the 5 km only to discover that it didn’t open till 11am which was the time he had set himself to head back to the hotel to get his train. Fortunately, close by was the China Art Museum another impressive vast vault. He didn’t have much time but saw a wonderful photography exhibition of the artist and a special exhibition of a revered Chinese scroll painting ‘Along the River during the Qing Ming Festival’ by Song dynasty painter Zhang Zeduan (1085–1145). The painting has been called “China’s Mona Lisa. Artists of subsequent dynasties made re-interpretive versions, each following the overall composition and the theme of the original And this exhibition was an animated version of the original it was engrossing and he could have spent horse examining the characters and stories in the paining. he didn’t have time though and he headed back to the hotel to collect his luggage. The subway to the station took forever and he was helped by a couple of Chinese particularly when the train terminated early and her needed to wait. This resulted in him having a mad dash to the train and boarding literally a minute before departure. It was less than hour to get to Hangzhou at which he expected to be checked but other than his health kit and temperature no one asked for anything and so surprised was he that he tried to force his passport on some one and he ended up with a pointless chat with the police, whom sent him on his way. At the subway station a guy Wenchu started chatting to him and then insisted on Guiding him to the hotel. They had a chat via WeChat and once safely deposited they said goodbye. It took him a while to check in and for the first time ever he was upgraded and once he had established himself in the very comfortable surroundings he set off to explore the west lake and discover the setting of a famous Chinese folklore story he discovered when searching for music for ‘The Nightingale’ in 2018. The Butterfly Lovers is tragic story of a pair of young lovers, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_Lovers. As he walked through the Westlake parkland and along the shore at dusk, the atmosphere was sublimely romantic and the many lovers that sat in the pavilion, with views of the Leifeng Pagoda and the mountains were clearly revealing in the association with the story. The greenery was lush and there was no doubt in his mind that he would aim for, and climb the Pagoda,. As he did, taking the correct and clearly sign posted ’Up only’ staircase and not the elevator, He found himself annoyed by the number of people coming down them. It was a beautiful sight from the top with the lake in the sunset, the mountains and the variety of temples lying in the in the foothills. Night fell and he walked some more through the forest But startled toi get bitten by the mosquitoes and finding a bike, cycled back to the hotel where, even though he was Pengless, Peng organised a takeaway of a special Hangzhou style soup with GAO. He discovered that the curtains in the hotel room were operated electronically and after childishly playing with them for some time finally retired for the night.

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