Part 1: From Hanoi to Hue.
Part 2: From Hue to Saigon.
Dublin, April 2019
When news went out of a 2 week trip to Vietnam, Roger immediately went to his humans and pointed out, that the bears needed to be properly equipped. His requirement was decent hats to show respect to the Vietnamese. Impatiently, Roger was monitoring progress on the first conical hat: his hat! It was decided that also Tom was going to have a hat. No hat for McBear - the shape of his head just didn't fit! McBear of course was a bit disappointed.
Click each photo to enlarge
In order to prepare for Vietnam Roger insisted that we'd practice
jungle trekking. Tom did not see why and McBear totally agreed with
Tom. But anyway, we grapped our gear and went out to the garden.
Roger stopped in front of some severely dense vegetation.
"This perfectly resembles the Vietnamese bamboo jungle".
Having walked and stumbled through the bamboo jungle McBear was exhausted.
"Phew! I thought we were going on a holiday..."
"Remember it will be hot - hot and humid." Roger pointed out. "We have to drink loads of water. And no McBear, you cannot fill up your water bottle with Coca Cola: Too many calories and it's not good for your teeth."
"I don't drink much Coca Cola!" McBear was muttering.
"It will be so hot and humid that we have to shower at least twice daily."
"Shower twice dai... What??? I'm not going!" McBear stated.
"Fine!" Roger responded. "I am sure Bamse will be deligthed to fill up a vacant seat..."
"Eh... I might go... after all..."
London, April 2019
Having left Dublin on the first leg of the trip we arrived
the Hilton Garden Inn near Heathrow Airport in London. We had a
fine room - an upgraded room as Roger noticed.
"I like when we get some value from our Hilton account..." he said.
McBear wanted to catch up with the
latest news about Brexit. He was very concerned what would
happen to EU bears and other toy animals living in the UK. Would
EU bears need a passport to enter Britain?
"It's really one step forward, two step back and three spins," McBear concluded. "Everything is fuzzy and blurred with deadlines and delays, and I don't know whether I'm drunk or plastered!
London, April 2019
Next morning Roger dressed up before we left.
"Today, we'll be flying 13 hours all the way from London to Singapore. I really have to look my very best!"
Roger looked into the mirror.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest bear of all?"
"ME, of course!"
In Heathrow Airport we went to the gate where McBear discovered
that we would be flying the huge Airbus A-380 - the largest passenger
jet in the world! Wow! McBear was all excited.
"Are we going to fly in that... huge ... barrel?" Roger said unimpressed.
"If it's a beer barrel, I don't mind." Tom noticed.
Singapore, April 2019
We arrived Singapore and took the Sky Train to terminal 3. Here we
are checking out the monitor to find our gate number.
"You know..." said Roger, "this is the most southernly I've ever been... 4 degrees North, just north of the Equator. One day I shall travel further south - like when you went to Peru."
"That's right." McBear agreed and added "I remember your concern years ago when you were a bear of 3 continents and wanted to become a bear of 4, and you asked our humans to be posted to Australia..."
Phew! After 2 and a half days and 3 flights we finally arrived our hotel in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Boy, it was hot and humid.
Hanoi - actually, it's Ha Noi - is a busy city with more than 8 million citizens and several million scooters. McBear said it would be unbearable if they all had cars.
Hanoi, April 2019
We got a fine room at the Nesta Hanoi Hotel. There were 5 of us: the usual senior travelling bears, McBear, Roger and Tom. Our humans had decided to invite Olivia as well. McBear managed to sneak in one more bear; Nick, our buddy from Lampeter in Wales.
We went to the world famous Ha Long Bay east of Hanoi. More than a thousand tiny lime stone rocks make up the Ha Long Bay. No wonder millions of tourists visit the bay every year.
Ha Long, April 2019
Years ago one of our humans had watched a French film, Indochine, and she had decided she wanted to experience the Ha Long Bay one day.
Hanoi, April 2019
Then it was time to leave the norhern part of Vietnam. From Ha Long we went back to Hanoi to catch the overnight train to Hue.
In Hue we went to see the large Citadel. It's like the forbidden city in Beijing in China.
Hue, April 2019
During the Vietnam war the Tet Offensive in 1968 turned Hue into a battle zone. Although many buildings and temples inside the citadel got severely damaged, many of them survived. Here we are at a temple with examples of fine architecture and fine details including dragons.
Hue, April 2019
We went to a place outside Hue with a great view to a lovely landscape and the Pearl River. We lined up for a group photo, however, Tom and especially Roger, being under severe protection, were not allowed to stand close to an edge. Hence only McBear is on the photo.
Not just inside Hue, but also outside the city there were heavy fighting during the Tet Offensive. Here we are at a bunker with many dents from bullets and shelling.
Read Part 2: From Hue to Saigon.
Check out the map of Vietnam