We got an early start and, after eating breakfast at the hotel, we headed towards St. Joseph's Cathedral. It was a beautiful day, but that also meant it was extremely hot! Our early jump on the day didn't pay off as much as we were hoping. Thank goodness for air conditioned cafes and cold beer!
Along the way to the cathedral we stopped to try our first banh mi, which we both really liked. I had had delicious versions of a banh mi during my time in HCMC and I couldn't believe how different they were in comparison to Hanoi. Mark and I compared it to the differences in BBQ sauce throughout the states.
To escape from the heat, we stopped at a coffee shop where Mark had his first drip coffee. He said it was "a delicious drip coffee with sweetened condense milk and sugar." Our breaks from the heat were always very fruitful!
The cathedral is beautiful and produced some of my favorite photos from the trip, but the guys working on the power lines really caught our attention! They were sitting on them!!! We couldn't believe how risky it seemed, but it appeared to just be business as usual for them.
Next, we went to Hoa Lo Prison or "Hanoi Hilton," where we saw John McCain's flight suit and other US military gear. I found it to be a really strange place because they celebrated the conditions that the American pilots lived in, but talked about how terrible the Vietnam prisoners treatment was. It was this mix of happy/celebration with sorrow/torture. A very strange place to me...
When we left the prison we took a rickshaw to Ngoc Son Temple. We took some photos, but decided not to cross the bridge - feeling a bit lazy, I suppose! I was also struggling with some serious blisters so I was a bit grumpy.
We solved that issue by going to "shoe street" and picking me up some cheap sandals that didn't touch the back of my ankles. They weren't exactly beautiful, but they saved me from being miserable for the rest of the trip. I'd call that a win!
Obviously, it was time to eat because when is it not time to eat in Vietnam?! We stopped for our first (and best) Bun Cha and some beer. Mmm, mmm, mmm!!
Naturally, after lunch we needed foot massages (and to escape from the heat) so we popped into a little salon because their sign said, "Come in. We're awesome!" We followed instructions and got an hour long foot and leg massage for about $7/each. Hooray!!
That night, we had Bun Cha. This time the broth was served cold and I didn't care for it as much.... can't win them all! Tired and happy, we headed for the hotel.