Tuesday, October 30, 2012
First Stop: Hanoi
Actually, this video was shot upon our return to Hanoi from a side-trip. Pebbles and Slater were "upgraded" to a balcony room. Unfortunately, it was street side. This is just a taste of what the traffic was like. It was both terrifying and exhilarating.
Our flight from DFW to Seoul on Korea Air was amazing. The service was awesome. What wasn't awesome was the brutal nature of a 14 hour flight. Even with careful planning, everyone's feet, ankles and legs swelled something terrible. It was two days before we were all back to normal.
We had a pretty quick plane change to make the next leg - from Seoul to Hanoi, this time on Vietnam Airlines. Russian pilot, which was a first for me. And when we landed in Hanoi, Slater thought our plan was on fire due to the smokey smell that permeates the city. While waiting to deplane, I looked out the window at the runway - the edges of the runway were FULL of deep ruts - all cordioned off with crime scene-like tape. Yep, nothing stops a screaming 777 like some crime tape!
I had arranged with our hotel to have a car pick us up at the airport and that worked beautifully. There was a man waiting holding a sign that had most of my name on it - and off we went - on the ride of our life. Oh.My.Gee - I've never in my life seen such chaos and honking and thousands of motorbikes, scooters and bicycles, going in all directions with absolutely no regard for any sort of traffic patterns. There were few - I mean as in TWO traffic signals - between the airport and arriving at our hotel in the old quarter some forty minutes later. And even those were not minded! And this was a Sunday night! What would it be like during the day? We were soon to find out.