Vietnam, Heartbreak, Iceland and Home

I awoke in Hanoi to someone poking me in the ribs. I opened my eyes to see a guy stood over me. I grumbled a 'yeah?' and he just said 'breakfast'. I looked at him confused and he mentioned again about breakfast and that it was ending soon before walking away. I looked at the time: 8.20am. I begrudgingly got up and went for breakfast. I'd thought the guy worked at the hostel but it turned out he was just a weirdo staying in my room. I found this out when I went back to the room and had to endure stories about how he dated some 17 year old girl when he was 21 (which was about 15 years ago) who he was still in love with. There were many very weird and elaborate stories that followed. It wouldn't be right if the first day of travels was absent of a weirdo story!

The first few days in Hanoi was mostly killing time until my brother arrived. We spent a lot of time drinking coffee, which is never a bad thing when in Vietnam. We went to some really nice places, one looked out over the lake and another was hidden down a backstreet and had many different levels, mismatched furniture, sofas, plants, coloured umbrellas hanging from the ceiling and someone's washing hanging up. Once my brother had arrived we didn't actually see much more in Hanoi. Our attempt at seeing Ho Chi Minh's mummified body was a total failure. After getting up early and spending an hour walking there dodging traffic, there was a queue like I've never seen before. After walking about 2 miles to the end of the queue, we found out you couldn't enter wearing shorts.

I don't want to dwell on Vietnam too much. Mostly because I've wrote about it before but also because, sadly, my relationship ended and so I'll just sum up the highlights. I'm glad I got to do Sapa this time around as it had been too cold last time I visited. Sapa is in the North of the country and is known for its rice paddies. We got to do a nice walk through the fields on the first day, learning about the lives of the villagers. We did a homestay that night, which didn't feel too 'basic' as there were hot showers and wifi! We had a really good meal there, all prepared fresh. I even accidentally saw the chicken being 'prepared'. The next day consisted of a slightly more strenuous walk and the journey back to Hanoi.

The next day we got up early again and headed to Cat Ba Island. It was a lot more busy than last time I had visited and hotter! My brother and I booked to do a kayaking tour the next day. It was a full day kayaking and was amazing. We even swam in the water which had huge jellyfish the size of lampshades!

After Cat Ba it was a swift headway to the airport. I had to get out of Vietnam and so we flew to Reykjavik in Iceland. It was the time of the midnight sun, so it only went dark for about 2 hours every night. We did quite a lot here, including whale and dolphin watching, eating delicious soup out of bread loaves, walking around the beautiful city, having a 360 degree view from the top of the church and of course the Blue Lagoon! One of the highlights was doing the Golden Circle Tour where we got to see geysers, the rocky cliffs that had been created from the European and North American tectonic plates. We got to see the smallest church in Iceland which seats 6 guests, had ice cream from a dairy farm where from the cafe the windows looked into the cow pens, saw beautiful waterfalls, Icelandic horses and learned about the history and culture of the country. After Iceland it's destination Home to heal and plan a brand new adventure.


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