A Pleasant Surprise

View From a Window

We started the day early, up and ready to leave the hotel and fly to Hue this morning, but the planes were running late. The tour company figured it all out ahead of time, and we waited at the hotel instead of the airport.

 

On the way to the airport

On the way to the airport

Processing at the airport was quick and simple, no one had to take their shoes off, and I carried a water bottle on board without problem. Laura dissuaded me from taking a picture of contraband taken from prior passengers. Just past the security checkpoint, there was a container much like an aquarium, filled a foot deep with scissors and knives and other sharp objects. I would have broken out my camera, but Laura thought it was a bad idea, and even asked another member of the group, who turned pale at the idea, so I caved to peer pressure.

 

As we were deplaning in Hue, the pilot stopped to chat with Laura and I, and explained that the delay was because they don’t fly in limited visibility, for lack of advanced instrumentation. He was a little apologetic about it.  

As we landed these buffalo were along the runway.  No fence seperated us from them

As we landed these buffalo were along the runway. No fence seperated us from them

On the way in from the airport, our guide explained  differences in rules of the road here vs Hanoi; the biggest difference being that here people followed them.

So what was the big surprise?  Our lodging – a spectacular, four star hotel.  Laura said she’d never stayed anywhere as nice, and I had to admit it was better than anything I’d experienced the last time I was here.

View From The Ground

I find it interesting that Dad forgot to mention the part about us being forgotten.  

We were to meet the tour guide promtly at 8 am for a ride to the airport.  By 8:30 several tour guides have come and left, but none of them was ours.  Finally Dad asks the front desk to contact our guide company to see what is going on.  The only message we get back is that they will come get us at 9:15.  The flight leaves at 10:55 and it is at least a 45 minute car ride to the airport.  

Admittedly I was getting a little anxious because I was ready to leave Hanoi behind and get to the next part of the adventure.  To help pass the time, I break out my laptop.  As I do so a woman across the room notices that I have a bike helmet in my bag and asks if I am part of the bike tour.  Turns out, the flight had been delayed and we were the only ones not to get the updated schedule.  Alright, I feel better now that I have that off my chest.

I love Hue.  Scooters and cars stay in their lanes, the streets are clean, the powerlines don’t hang down in tangles, everyone seems friendlier, and all the colors are vibrant.  It is the difference between black and white and color TV.  Oh yeah, and it helps that we are staying in a hotel that is unlike any other I have seen.  To say that it is palacial is an understatement.  Our room is bigger than my first apartment AND they have Pringles.  I just hope I don’t get too spoiled.

The view from our balcony

The view from our balcony

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