I was nominated as tour guide for today and the itinerary was jam packed. A delicious breakfast was first on the agenda served by our super friendly hotel owners. Exploration of the old quarter was next on the to-do list. I had carefully planned a route with selected streets, shops and restaurants. This didn't go according to plan but we saw the most exciting streets and loved the food market, street food stalls and the old buildings. We stopped at a museum that was laid out and decorated in the traditional Vietnamese style. Next door was a quaint café where we had some snacks and James had the strongest coffee ever made! It was still early so we continued the information filled tour. We wandered around Hoan Kiem lake and popped into the temple to see and embalmed lake turtle-random.
We had a swift, drink and chips-for the boys and an ice cream sundae for Gail and I, over-looking the lake and we still had time for a trip to Hoa Lo Prison. The original plan was to go to the prison via St Joseph's cathedral. Despite walking along three of the four streets surrounding the icon on the map we couldn't see it, it is the Bermuda Triangle of Cathedrals! Luckily the prison was easier to find but the information and living conditions were brutal (bloody French!) The cathedral was still nowhere to be found on the way back and James and I were flagging so we headed to our room for a rest. G&C went to the Golden Drum for a G&T and we rendezvoused for dinner around 19:30. We had hoped to go to the recommended restaurant at the sister hotel called 'The Gourmet'. Unfortunately there was only room at 21:00 so we wandered around the corner to Hanoi Garden. We couldn't decide if we should stay or go but when the food came it was well worth it. Every dish was delicious and we were pleased 'The Gourmet' was fully booked.
We arranged to meet Sonka and Robin for a drink; we had obviously reassured G&C that they were a decent enough couple! As we were meeting company we tried to get all of the delicate conversation out of the way at dinner. Gail was proudly telling us about the pearl necklace Chris gave her and then kept bragging about all the sex her and Chris enjoyed before James was born. Filth! This did mean they were on best behaviour meeting S&R, well just about! It was good to see S&R again and we organised another hook up tomorrow for another birthday celebration.
*Mini Egg Update-they are all gone from my packet and James has four left.