Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hue makes me happy

We've made it to central Vietnam and everything seems so much brighter. It is still misty and cool but now everything is alright.

Our clothes are clean and dry and the showers are hot. The Vietnamese of the North were, in our experience, bitter and rude to us. In this city we've been greeted with smiles and patience and even got invited by a stranger over for dinner and drinks (we didn't go fearing poison and robbery).
Hue has a reputation for good food and, so far, the rumors are true. Most of our meals have been so much better than they have been.  Both the Vietnamese and International restaurants have been delicious. Last night we gorged on sushi ($25 for what would've been $100 back home) and tonight we had some very fine Indian food. The Vietnamese food is typically a little cheaper and simpler: chicken soup with rice noodles, stir-fries, and seafood.  When I am able to eat tasty food, life just seems more joyful.
Today we rented bicycles and toured the city.  The main feature of the town is the citatel, a tall and thick wall that encircles the majority of the original land area.  Inside are houses and streets, shops and restaurants, and the Imperial Enclosure which houses the ruins of old temples and the old palace. 

Gate into the Citatel

Bike trouble inside the Citatel Walls
All in all, it's a very impressive structure that is completely surrounde by a moat. 

Gate to the Imperial Enclosure
Once inside the Imperial Enclosure, we were all very respectful in our actions and picture taking...

Nice Angle

Jevin vs. Lucky Dragon

Robyn found a friend
OK, so maybe we weren't as respectful as we could have been.
My camera ran out of juice just as things were getting good so I'll  have to convince Jevin to upload some of his shots.  In the back of the enclosure, we found a lake and made our way onto its island where we were surrounded by overgrown ruins.  Every crack in the walls had a fern or vine growing out of it.  On the island we found a nice quiet spot to watch a fisherman in a tiny boat with a tiny paddle check his nets.  Watching him slowly glide across the water was very relaxing and I can't think of a better way to spend a misty day.
Tomorrow we are planning on checking out the local market.  Maybe I'll get some new undies!  After that, we will tour some emperor's tombs.  Should be a good day.

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