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Biking Around Hoi An

Hoi An is a famous port town in Vietnam. All of Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has helped preserve its classic Vietnamese and French Colonial architecture against the encroachment of modern buildings and development. It’s cheerful and picturesque and wildly popular with tourists and travelers of all sorts.

Because of its heavy tourist load, it’s also full of people who really, really, really want to tailor a whole wardrobe for you or make a pair of shoes or sell you a boat ride or a hat or a little floating candle to launch on the river at night. Some ladies will even interrupt you while you’re trying to slurp down some noodles and offer their facial hair removal services (whilst cheerfully demonstrating their threading technique on their own face).

We coped with this by renting bicycles, which maximized the amount of the beautiful parts of Hoi An we could see, and minimized the ability of touts to grab our arms and drag us into their stores.

Hoi An residential alley

Boats being repaired

Downtown Hoi An, Central Market Hall parking

Carved bamboo root

Tony with carver

Cafe at the foot of the Japanese bridge

Japanese bridge

Abandoned home on the point

Boats tied up

Riding past fishing boats

Hoi An waterfront 1

Hoi An waterfront 2

The beach

Beard blowing in the wind

Walking to the water's edge

We biked to the beach, where the surf was just as heavy as it was back in Da Nang. Having grown up one thousand miles away from the nearest ocean, having not even laid eyes on one until the ripe old age of 28, and having swum in one for the first time just this past summer, Alicia now loooves her some ocean.

Alicia pointing at something

So excited

Getting a little damp

Huge smile

Running from a wave

Frolicking

Sometimes things get a little out of hand.

I've made a huge mistake

20
Feb 2013
POSTED BY admin
POSTED IN

Vietnam

DISCUSSION 2 Comments
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A Little Ljubljana

You might have noticed by now that we don’t do loads of research about a place before we arrive.  Sometimes we don’t even know how to pronounce its name. (Lyoob-lyee-AH-na, for the record.) Sometimes this ends up biting us, and sometimes it just means our lives are full of good surprises.

We spent one day in Ljubljana in between graffiti hunting in Zagreb and renovating a house in the Julian Alps, and we instantly knew that we wanted to come back before we left Slovenia.  Firstly, there was a Georgian restaurant in town (remember that Georgian food from Tbilisi?), but it was closed the day we were there.

Secondly, wow!

dragon

Dragon Bridge

Dragon tail

Ljubljana is a small city filled with a mix of Baroque and Viennese architecture, interesting sculptures and tons of cafes, all cut down the center by a small river and joined by all sorts of bridges.  Add to that the fact that it’s highly walkable and bikeable, and you have all the great components of a laid back European city in one easy-to-embrace package.

main square

bridge fish sculptures

Triple Bridge

Hidden place to watch the river

boat on the river

Shoes hanging from power lines

River walk

Colorful building

Pony loves you

horse fountain

downtown Ljubljana

One day, we saw a young guy with marker on his face and assumed he passed out at a party with people he thought were his friends. Then we saw another person with even more scribbles. Then we saw others carrying around markers. Later, we found out that it was a freshman hazing tradition for the first day of school.

kids by the river

kids marking each other

a popular target

Our favorite day was when we rented bikes and pedaled through Tivoli park and across the bridges and even through the tunnel that goes under the castle hill. The city is full of bike lanes and bike traffic signals and the motorists are aware of and considerate to cyclists, so the usual fear of getting run over just wasn’t there. It seemed like everyone biked, even middle-aged ladies with perfect hair, nice jewelry and designer clothes. The type that would probably be driving a new Escalade if they were in the States.

(Watch a little video of us biking in Ljubljana!) 

stoplight

our bikes

We had seen many places by this point, and the quality of life in Ljubljana made us think that it was one of the few places we could actually imagine living in. Also, not gonna lie. There might have been some ice cream.

ice cream from Cacao

15
Nov 2012
POSTED BY admin
POSTED IN

Slovenia

DISCUSSION 2 Comments