Happy Birthday to my handsome boyfriend today, yay!! We woke all very refreshed today, half six actually was the time, due to a very early night and also all the noises coming from outside. We have a balcony which is very cool to spy on people just it does mean you can hear lots from out there on the road, and it’s pretty noisy with all the cars and mopeds around – not as noisy as India though, they bib way less here.
We snooze and go down to check out breakfast at about 8 – oooo it was good. You’ve got your noodles and soup for a Vietnamese breakfast or the usual continental stuff like ham, cheese, jams, fruit, yoghurt, and these little cutely cut sausages! You’ll see them later when I upload pics. We opted for continental today being Javi’s birthday and also there was a guy there with a little table in charge of the eggs. I asked for an omelette and said surprise me with anything he likes in it – best omelette I’ve ever had! I think it was simply red and green peppers, onion, salt and pepper but it was just perfect and so flippin fluffy. Maybe whisking them with chopsticks is the secret, they were his only utensil.
After a hearty breakfast washed down with yet another malaria pill (woke up with a few bites on my feet argh), we went back up to the room to get our stuff to go out. Javi was just in the bathroom when someone knocked on the door. I opened it and Chin, one of the ever so friendly staff, was there holding a ginormous bunch of lillies and another guy stood behind him with a cake! I said he’d be out in two mins and they were all giggly and said ok they’ll wait there. Not believing it I got Javi out and told him I just couldn’t understand what Chin was trying to say could he please go talk to him… he opens the door and surprise! Aw god we both got tearful about it, it was just too nice! The cake was so cute with Happy Birthday Mr Javier Moya on it! And the lillies, well they’ll make the room smell amazing when they open. How thoughtful is that?!
When we’d stopped gaping at each other (I mentioned it was his birthday yesterday, that was my only part in it!) and grinning we got our shit together and began our day with a search for St Joseph’s cathedral. It’s probably about a mile and a half from our hotel but you can imagine how long it takes wandering through these streets. It was beautiful but closed when we got there so we admired it from the outside. Then we decided to go visit the tour lady we met yesterday and sort out some deals with her. Ended up being with her for nearly 2 hours! She’s such a sweetie – 4 months pregnant and was a tour guide herself for 5 years before opening her own tour office due to the pregnancy. So we spoke about a lot of different options and she explained every single detail to us over and over again. In the end we are all booked to do an all-day tour to see the Perfume Pagoda in the countryside on Saturday, then on Sunday we are going to Ha Long Bay to spend 3 days 2 nights on a boat and doing cool things, then return to Hanoi the Tuesday evening to jump straight on a sleeper train to Sapa Valley and spend 2 nights 3 days there doing more cool things, then back to Hanoi on the sleeper train again and chill out for a day then we will be going down to discover Central Vietnam. Ooo yay I can’t wait, gonna see so much! We pre-decided for this holiday to be proper tourists so bring on the tours. And all for pennies!! Won’t give you any details, that would just spoil it.
By this time it was after midday and I was flagging so we stopped in a very modern place called Gecko, The Cheap and Cheerful Bar (honestly is the whole name) and had a coffee and a delicious mango smoothie. That woke me right up.
We then went walking along to visit the Hoa Lo Prison, a very historical site. We were in there for about an hour and it was pretty cool. The layout of the place and seeing into the original cells, some with models in them some with chairs piled in them, was cool and the artifacts were interesting too.
After that it was definitely time that we stopped for lunch. Before we made it across the crazy road to the door (oh which are crazier than India coz here they have proper roads and paths and therefore more room to go faster, so here you gotta watch out but not stop at the same time or you’ll throw off the whole balance! India there was no room for speed or vehicles so if they’re moving slower than you can walk you’re not so afraid) a woman balancing those huge scale-like contraptions across her shoulders with huge discs hanging from them full of fruit plonked it on Javi’s shoulders and her hat on his head. Of course I took a photo and then she did the same to me to me for another photo then demanded 50,000 dong. That’s not even 2 euros but we gave her 11,000 which is 40 cents – but that’s big here trust me! We didn’t get a choice at all with the really heavy thing shoved on our shoulders.
So we went up these tiny stairs into a big open balcony floor of a restaurant snd Javi’s birthday lunch was pizza and chips, served by an adorable little girl of about 7 who was being put to work by her mum so she learned English. They were both so cute. She bought us everything separately so she could say “here’s your pizza, here’s your coke, here’s your fork” aw. We relaxed there for a bit to avoid the heat and then were sleepy enough to come home for a siesta…
To find our BAAAAAAAGS!! Yeah! Oh we were so happy. We did roll around a bit. With the bags, not each other Aita, don’t worry. Kinda brings us up to now – Javi has been siestaing while I wrote this so now gonna get ready to go for dindins. Yay I can wear my own pants and even a dress and DEET me up baby! Never been so excited to out that stuff on. Just now discovered a line of bites on the inside edge of my foot – soooo itchy.
Ok shower time! Laters y’all!