Friday, April 30, 2010

Hue (day 38-40)

Got picked up bright and early at the train station and taken to my hotel. Took a nap. When i got up i realized that my previous stomach issues were nothing. Went out front and watch it rain so hard it flooded the streets ankle deep, then met a fellow named Ni who has relatives in the states. He bought me lunch and i bought him some liquor for his trip to the temple. He got the better end of the deal, but he did take me to a pharmacy for some stomach meds that worked like magic. Spent the rest of the day rolling around on a cyclo cab seeing the sights around the Citadel and the Black Tower.

Got up the next day and set out to find the museum of contemporary art. Met Duc, a member of the Easy Rider group in Vietnam, who insisted on driving me around for free (or, as it turned out, for gas money). He took me to a cultural museum that was pretty nice. Then we went to where i was really trying to go, but there was no museum there, only a school. I never did find the place. Next up, the interior of the Citadel. An amazing place that must have been even more so before first the French and then the U.S. showed up. Hit the DMZ bar that evening and got my ass handed to me by a girl who worked there. Never caught her name, but she was very, very good at eight-ball.

Got up early and met up with Duc. We hit the road on his Honda, first stop Long Hung Church, which had been bombed to smithereens. Then we headed out to the DMZ. Not much to look at there, other than people setting up for tomorrow's festivities for the 35th anniversary of the end of the American War. And a giant monument and a tiny bunker. Then we headed out along a scenic drive up the coast to the Vinh Moc tunnel complex. The fact that people lived in these things at all, let alone for years at a time, was a bit overwhelming. There are still plenty of craters all along the coast from the shelling it took. Next up, Quang Tri Citadel, where a battle lasting 81 days took place. There were many veterans there, burning incense and paying their respects to their fallen comrades. I didn't take many pictures there, it just didn't feel right to me. Finished out our ride with more countryside scenery. A good day, one of the best so far.

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