A last little look at the pretty fishing town of Fiscardo now between we head on with our Kefalonian jaunt.
I try to go for an Insta worthy pose – feel like rather a tool TBH! Not sure how people have the patience (or the lack of embarrassment) to get their significant others to take what appears to be 100s of posed pics . . .
I would much rather focus on one of my favourite things – painted walls and rusting shutter hinges!!
Horror of horrors – someone offers to take a photo of us both together – hence the rather pained expressions on both our faces (and the appearance of the ‘frilled lizard’ neck flesh)
A last saunter (or languid melt in my case) through the main harbour as we head onwards to our next destination.
There’s an architectural oddity in Hanoi that doesn’t seem to fit in with the local style – St. Joseph’s Cathedral (Vietnamese: Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội, Nhà thờ Chính tòa Thánh Giuse)
It’s a late 19th-century Gothic Revival that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country.
If you look closely you can see a tiny man up a ladder cleaning!
Below are just some of the incredible stalls on every street. Lots of the streets are themed according to what they are selling.
Below are some of the DIY shops – the Vietnamese equivalent of ScrewFix!
The city has grown organically – but upwards not outwards. That’s due to the cost of land -when the cities started growing, the laws were that you’d only get charged on the length of the front facade of the dwelling.
As a result you’ll see lots of thin, narrow but very high buildings, usually at least three stories tall.
These are called tube houses. Because of high population density you find them in cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
At the front of them you’ll find the whole of life being lived on the streets. Cooking, selling, arguing and chatting.
Whether it’s traditional food being cooked on teeny, tiny little stoves, to live crabs in buckets.
Heaps of fresh greens await a multitude of home cooks, while flower sellers hawk their wares on their rickety old bikes.
And to finish it off, another of the fantastical, rainbow coloured lanterns.
Plus some cute little cooking moulds and tiny good luck charms.
Established in 1889, Dong Xuan Market is Hanoi’s largest indoor market and is crammed to the rafters with a bewildering array of goods from fresh produce, plastic hair accessories and makeup to electronics and household appliances.
Let’s explore just a small section of it below – the fabric floor!
Being the daughter of an immensely talented, fully qualified tailor did not, alas, imbue me with any noticeable sewing talents, but I do share my mum’s love of a good fabric!
And they don’t come any better than here . . . in this maze of tiny shops and endless expanses of coloured cloth – it’s tiring work, just check out the man below if you don’t believe me!
Every colour of the rainbow is here and every type of fabric, from tulle and satin to lace and cotton.
Whether it’s patterned or plain, embroidered, weaved or stitched, you’ll find something to oooh and ahhh over (if you’re a fabric nerd like me!)
It can be hard to find space to walk between the narrowly packed in stalls, so shop owners just crawl and climb over their vast stock.
So many choices! Another place I had to be literally dragged out of . .. but never fear, there’s LOTS more markets still to come 🙂