We started the day by being peddled around The Old Quarter, then walking back along the lake.
For the first time in my life (and I've been alive a long time), I was worried I was getting heat stroke. I was dumping water OVER MY HEAD while we were walking and steam was coming off my scalp. That's how hot it was.
So we stopped and ate some North American food in a fancy air-conditioned restaurant. Uh huh, me with my soaking wet, steaming blonde head eating a tuna sandwich and fries. Most Vietnamese have never seen an actual head of yellow hair before, and I'm afraid I didn't represent us very well.
(Warning. This is my favorite city. And I took more pics here, on this day, than I did in total of the previous 4 days.)
(Warning. Y'all know my kids bought me a new camera 2 days before I left of this adventure, right? Sooooo I was still in the process of learning how to use it. My sincerest apologies for blurry shots. They were taken in a hurry because every second something new and wonderfully strange/different/interesting/amazing passed in front of my vision and I wanted to capture it.)
(Warning. In my real life, (not my traveling life), on my mind right now, is the Where, Then, Shall I Live? question. Haha. I will not be a basement dweller forever, so I've got a master Pro and Con list going on in my head regarding a house, an apartment, a townhouse, a condo ... AND YES, I know. I am so, so lucky that I have options. So many women, all over the rest of the world, don't have the luxury of pro and con lists regarding housing options.
No place was this more obvious to me than in Hanoi, when I took photos of the living spaces located above the stores on most streets. Everytime I took a pic of a balcony or a window with shutters or clothes hanging outside, I'd say to myself, People Live Here, and try to imagine what that would be like. There are many, many photos below that have that theme: People Live Here. I hope you are as fascinated/grateful as I am.)
Can I say something here?
THIS IS MY VERY FAVORITE TYPE OF ADVENTURE. One where everyone knows I've got a camera along and I intend to use it.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about Hanoi:
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples, including Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse, plus Dong Xuan market, selling household goods and street food.
And this is what The Lonely Planet says:
Vietnam's capital races to make up for time lost to the ravages of war and a government that as recently as the 1990s kept the outside world at bay. Its streets surge with scooters vying for right of way amid the din of constantly blaring horns, and all around layers of history reveal periods of French and Chinese occupation – offering a glimpse into the resilience of ambitious, proud Hanoians.
Negotiate a passage past the ubiquitous knock-off merchants and you’ll find the original streets of the Old Quarter. Defiant real-deal farmers hawk their wares, while city folk breakfast on noodles, practise t’ai chi at dawn on the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake, or play chess with goateed grandfathers.
Dine on the wild and wonderful at every corner, sample market wares, uncover an evolving arts scene, then sleep soundly in a little luxury for very little cost. Meet the people, delve into the past and witness the awakening of a Hanoi on the move.
These? Are my favorite pics of the day:
|This is Big Dong. I hired him again the following day.|
|The Opera Hous|