Hitting the ground running

Made it to Hà Nội in record time (9hrs 50 mins) due to 100 knot tailwinds up the chuff for most of the way. We had breakfast to recover and thankfully GRJ had arranged early room check ins for us. Virtually everybody grabbed a shower and a nap before heading out to explore Hà Nội in the afternoon.

We started with a rickshaw ride, or as they know it here…. a Cyclo through the streets of old Hà Nội. It’s a bustling city where virtually everybody seems to be either selling something or drinking coffee while seated at the pavement on childrens’ plastic garden furniture. This doesn’t work quite so well when you are nearly 6 feet tall.

After that, it was on to the Temple of Literature, a very Chinese looking place (The Chinese occupied Vietnam for over a thousand years). It is full of gorgeous Banyan Trees.

The day wrapped up with a visit to the Mausoleum of the Father of the country, Ho Chi Minh. This is pretty much the spiritual heart of the nation.

Back to the hotel for a cup of tea/cold beer as required before dinner then an early bedtime after the long overnight flight I went for a walk and discovered this place. Take a guess what it is…

It is the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ the prison where downed USA airmen were kept, in unpleasant conditions during the American War in Vietnam, including the now well known Senator John McCain.

That’s it for today. I’m plumb tuckered. Tomorrow we cruise on Ha Long Bay.

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