What do we fun loving volunteers do on a weekend in Hanoi? Well, on Saturday we took a cooking class, beginning with a visit to the local market to buy ingredients for our Caramel Pork dish.
On Sunday, Jeannie, Sally and I made a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda, which we subsequently learned is Vietnam’s Mecca. We had thought that a boat ride on the river, into the mountains, would be a respite from the energy and dynamism of Hanoi. And had we visited during the summer, that is exactly what we would have experienced. Instead, we figured that it would have been more peaceful had we stayed in Hanoi, because it sure seemed like everyone in the city decided to visit the Pagoda with us.
After lunch, we headed for the gondola. It didn’t take long for us to realize we were the only non-Asians in the very long line. During the one hour wait, the children used the opportunity to practice their English. Everyone wanted to say “hello” to us. Once again, I was impressed with the warmth and friendliness of the Vietnamese.
A sweet young French girl who was on our tour decided to walk up, and arrived at the top before we did. (I wasn’t kidding about the long lines!) She reported that the way up was very hot and crowded, with gift and food stands lining the road the entire way. We know exactly what she meant. We SAW the rooftops during our gondola ride. So much for fresh mountain air.
I am intensely curious, with a spirit of adventure that is tempered by my very strong aversion to anything with potential to cause pain. I love travel, photography, reading, gardening, yoga, music and propelling myself through space (biking, dancing, walking, dancing while walking). I've never considered a lack of proficiency in any of the previous activities to be a hindrance, counting on abundant enthusiasm to make up for my shortcomings.
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9 thoughts on “Hanoi on the Weekend”
Harold more so then Norman would tell us to get off the showcase!!!!!!!!!!!!
Extra points for you! That market, with all the seafood took me back to our childhood.
The pictures of the food really got to me … made me want to go eat a big salad….
I had been healthy till yesterday. Nothing like getting sick on the day before I return!
Shelley, these posts are wonderful and your photos are beautiful. What is your volunteer job description? I’m fascinated!
PS – Thinking maybe Turkey next spring. 🙂
When I get back home, and recover from jet lag, we should talk.
So sorry to hear you’re not well. You have done amazingly well avoiding little bugs til now! I’d love to chat when you’re up to it! I have a meeting in Paris in early April – SOMEONE has to go 🙂 – so am leaving for two weeks in France on March 30th.
Ok so I googled get off the showcase – and you destination.now was one of the choices. I have no idea except for the price is wright, however, you are asking this question when it comes to cooking so was it on one of the cooking shows??? Julia,
That poor animal – looked like he was necking.
Nice photos. Thanks for sharing them.