Due to text limitations on this app, we are moving our blog to www.mytripjournal.com/wezark2. See you there!
13 March 2018
Robin #3 Hanoi Market
Ha skillfully lead us through narrow winding streets, protecting us from a constant onslaught of death and rule defying motor scooters, to the market. The market is teeming with women buying their fresh food for the day's meal and farmers selling their goods. Every fruit and vegetable imaginable, so many I have never seen before. My new favorite is dragonfruit, inside is white flesh with a Polk a dot of small black seeds and the skin is a beautiful shade of deep rose. It is sweet and delicious. Other venders sell fresh tofu, freshly butchered meet and poultry featuring every possible part of the animal. At the same time cars and motor bikes cram the streets.
Our next stop was the Temple of Literature which is a restoration of an ancient school, the only university in Vietnam Nam, teaching Confucianism. a beautiful and peaceful series of 5 gardens representing the five elements surrounded by classrooms and an alter to honor Confucius. On the way
#2 Robin - Hanoi
Our day in Hanoi was an overwhelming, adrenaline rush, jumble of sights, sounds and activity. Everything is new, different, and happening at the same time. We dropped our luggage at our lovely boutique hotel in the Old Quarter and were greeted by young men in long royal blue jackets and women in long tight black velvet dresses. A welcome drink of passion fruit and a dish of colorful fruits was a perfect introduction.
Our walk through the city started on the narrow railroad tracks for the old train leading to China. People' s houses, shops and small cafes are feet from the tracks on either side. House are very small, cement, austere 2 or 3 story buildings drowned next to each other. Many first floor house a small store with fresh produce , butchered meat, chicken,basic food or goods, or small "cafes". Simple food is cooked over gas burners on the sidewalk for people crammed into a jumble of plastics stools and tables fit for elementary age children.
Robin #1 Arrival
Well, it is day 4 of our adventure and I am finally ready to start writing. Getting here was long and tiring but not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. A 12 1/2 hr flight to Dohu Qatar an another 8 1/2 to Hanoi, both on Qatar Airlines. I plan on only flying Qatar from now on; comfortable seats with room so my knees didn't even graze the seat in front of me, real food, and gracious service by beautiful flight attendants. With the help of Ambien I had a good 6 hr sleep.
The Dohu airport is very large, elegant and sleekly modern. It is filled with high end American and British stores; Gucci, Harrods, Diesel. I was surprised to see a Victoria's Secret!? Woman's lingerie in a Muslim country? Ah, on closer inspection, a large display of perfumes, soaps and creams.
We arrived in Hanoi at 7:30 am, having jumped 12 hr ahead. The basic serviceable airport as well as the highway leading to it are only 3 years old, necessitated by a recent rise in tourism.
12 March 2018
We are staying tonight in Bao Dang, a Red Dzao minority people's village. The bridge leads over the river to the lodge. For those who know my fear of heights, I've crossed it several times. Shaking. Me and the bridge. The man on the motorbike took our luggage from the road to the lodge. We walked. The rest is scenery on our way from Hanoi to the mountains. We will start writing but we're still in the initial acclimating can't believe we've only been here two days phase. And you can see the golden Buddha on our driver's dashboard. The roads are narrow.
Oh and for those who asked, the other blog, We Go, was just a test.