Thursday, January 13, 2011

Halong Bay

We departed for Halong Bay in the early morning of December 24th. We flew Vietnam Airlines to Hai Phong, just south of Hanoi in the north of Vietnam. Our excursion around Halong Bay was in a traditional boat called a "Junk." This junk was named, 'The Jewel of the Bay.' We spent two calm and carefree days slowly cruising the bay surrounded by a spectacular view of mountains and caves formed by thousands of years of interplay between limestone and salt water. Everywhere you looked astounding beauty, and other boats with tourists from all over the world with their cameras. Christmas Eve found us sharing stories with a smattering of international travelers. We befriended some musicians from California, born in New York of course. (Wherever in the world you go, it seems you're never far from home.) Turned out that our new friend Jared is the guitarist on Saturday Night Live. In fact, Amity had a song on her Ipod that Jared co-wrote with one of her favorite bands, Honor Society. This made all the trials and tribulations of a journey across the world well worthwhile for Amity. The steep climb to the top of a mountain to gaze across the hallowed expanse of Halong Bay energized us all and filled me with an optimism for the future and the conviction that mine would include more of such treks to beautiful and mysterious world venues. Jared's impromptu ditty, "Jewel of the Bay...." quickly became Amity's theme song for the rest of the trip.

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