It’s a Vespa sort of day – March 8

We had a slow start this morning that involved looking at paintings at the little shops in town. After going through so many paintings, and some seriously weird ones at that, Chad wasn’t on fire over any of them. Maybe a painting wasn’t the piece of art we were destined to bring home from this trip. So, we went to a little rooftop café that D’Lynn knew about.

It felt very much as if we were walking into and through someone’s courtyard. And then up several flights of mismatched steps; one of which was an iron spiral set that was showing serious age. I whispered to Chad as I started straight at the edge of a step no longer attached to the bannister side of the staircase, “Step near the pole.”

The view from the top was lovely. And the place seemed like such a quaint little secret. We definitely would not have located ourselves. I tend to exercise caution about unknown doorways between businesses. Particularly when in a foreign country.

At any rate, we decided to try the much talked about egg coffee. If it was terrible, so be it. Although being described as tiramisu, but in coffee form, I wasn’t sold on it being awful. Over-the-top perhaps, but not awful. So we ordered it. It was delicious, although I think a demi-tas would have been the right amount. But did that stop me from drinking it all up? No it did not! And for those of you who are curious, it’s an egg yolk & condensed milk whisked together until frothy, with coffee added in to that mixture.

In the afternoon we did a tour of Hanoi via Vespa. The traffic here is confounding, to say the least, so obviously we weren’t going to be operating the scooters ourselves. That being said, sitting on the back of a scooter in Hanoi traffic and having zero control is a little intimidating. It only got more so when the rain started! I haven’t been on the back of a motorcycle in ages, and all I could think about as we slowly went around turns was, “so this is how I break my leg, by laying down a Vespa” because I’m not really an optimist by nature. Fortunately, my pessimism was not to come to fruition, although one time my knee did get stuck on a bag of garbage as we wove through a crowded street.

We stopped by a catholic church built by the French on the site of a temple. It appeared to be made from poured concrete. The lone statue that remained was too far us for us to ascertain who it was supposed to be.

Next stop was the train tracks that ran through town.

From there we went to a pagoda and had tea with the guardian of the pagoda, an elderly woman. We got the impression we were interrupting her viewing of The Voice as she sort of kept glancing behind us at the tv! And that’s when the rain started coming down in sheets! YIKES.

We continued on to the site of the wreckage of a B-52 bomber that was shot down and landed in this little lake, ringed by buildings. That also happened to be a virtual geocache. So woohoo! One more country I’ve cache in!

On to the market where we could duck inside. Although still in our parkas because it was a lot of rain coming down. We tried a custard apple which tasted similar to pawpaws. Yum. Definitely a different market experience than I’m used to, what with live fish and eels and containers of frogs and other things I’d just as soon not ask about!

From there we headed out to the kumquat farm where the wheels fell off, although not literally. The Vespa I was on had stalled and wouldn’t start, so everyone was gone by the time we got going. Apparently someone else stalled and then one of the drivers got confused. So while I thought I was bringing up the rear, when we arrived at the house of the kumquat farm’s owner, no one else was there. Awkward. Eventually everyone else showed up and we had a nice lunch with the owner & his son. Note to self…kumquat juice is delicious.

On to our final bit of tourist fun which was to ride over this insanely old, scary bridge that was for bikes, scooters and a train. Yep, built in 1899 by the French. It was a long span over the river and then some. Two lanes separated by a train track. And it was wet. And we were high up. Oh boy, my favorite! We had a short break for refreshments, we all chose hot corn water. It was weird, but not the worst, unless you ask Chad.

And of course, Ping was along for the ride. 

And to wrap it all up, we went to a Czech beer hall. Goodnight!

Click on the little pics to get full size pics with captions and everything!

chris on March 8th 2017 in Travel

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