Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Golden Tortoise

It was a hazy 30 degree day in Hanoi and I got up early to have some breakfast and walk around Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword), an enchanting body of water in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the old quarter with huge round colorful globes floating in the air above. Legend has it that a giant golden tortoise stole a magical sword from the Emperor Le Thai To in the mid 15th century and disappeared into the depths of the lake, restoring the sword to its divine owners. Apparently it is good luck if you see one of the rare tortoises that apparently live in the murky waters of the lake, but I didn't see anything apart from a few mysterious ripples on the lake surface...

The lake also provides a useful landmark to orientate yourself with when you get completely and utterly lost walking the streets as I did many times. I stumbled across a spice market trying to find my hotel which reminds me - must look into doing a cooking class when I get back to Hanoi, Vietnamese food is one of my favourites.

Today is officially Day 1 of the expedition and I am planning to meet the team at the rendez-vous point at 1pm. Better get cracking...

1 comment:

i like you said...'s the research going?! any amazing new butterfly you've discovered that's never been seen before? and how's the food?