Busy Busy Milan

After an amazing morning in Sirmione we entered bustling and crowded Milan. Apparently today is the equivilent of America’s “black friday”. So the streets were packed with shoppers, families and tourists. The shops were insanely crowded, torn apart and loud. The Milano fashionistas were out in drones. It was crazy!

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We navigated our way to the top of a shopping center which was basically a mad house. At the top we hung out at a stylish sky bar. Where I sipped tea and took in the impressive view of the Duomo Cathedral. Then we strolled through the beautiful food markets where I had the most amazing pretzel and cannoli!

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After chilling for a bit we ventured back into the berserk city and managed to push our way into the Duomo Cathedral.

Illegal picture!

Illegal picture!

The cathedral was extremely impressive. Dark, gothic and ominous. There were several beautiful mosaics, stained glass windows and also some creepy statues!

We spent the rest of the night browsing shops and getting lost in the busy streets. We struggled trying to find a place to eat for dinner because in Milan dinner traditionally starts around 7PM, but we had to leave the city at 845PM. After several fails we finally found a place that would serve us.

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We ate dinner at an inviting little restaurant with a charismatic older lady who we think was the owner. She didn’t speak any English and we didn’t speak any Italian. Somehow we managed to order and be served successfully! It was a meal full of laughs, mimming and love. I had delicious Buffalina Pizza made by a delectable pizza man! He was making eyes at me the whole night. :p We ended up having to rush back to the coach. I literally ran half the way! But we made it. The people I was with and I were pretty made we had to leave Milan so early. I defiantly would’ve spent several more hours exploring. But once we got the hotel I completely passed. So I guess I needed an early night in.Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 2.29.38 PM

Where did I stay? Milano Sesto B&B

This hostel is amazing! The nicest room I’ve stayed in so far! Super clean, new and modern. I also had a great view. The shower was a little strange because you had to sit and the water got everywhere. Other than that I would highly recommend.

Bustling Hanoi

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We arrived into busy Hanoi mid-day and headed to the famous Temple of Literature. It was college graduation day so the temple was insanely crowded. But it was cool to see the locals dressed up, celebrating and socializing. All of the girls looked stunning in their traditional Vietnamese gowns and the boys looked like models in their perfectly tailored suits.

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Then we went to this great restaurant right outside of the temple. The restaurant supports local kids and provides job training. I had delicious Pho and Water Melon Juice. Everything was heavenly.

Rainy day in Hue

We arrived in our Coach to the very flooded city of Hue, Vietnam. Because of the rain we thought our cyclo tour might be canceled but the rain died down just in time! So we sat back and relaxed as we were biked around Hue and into the imperial city of Hue.   1533718_10152765342945813_5207528779908952106_n10173586_10152765343005813_2185265111394011859_n

Next stop the Tu Duc Mausoleum. Our Local Guide showed us around the enchanting old palace. We learned about the emperors and visited the temples, pagodas and pavilions.

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10351897_10152765343110813_5165044007555301462_nThen after a quick bus ride we visited the breath-taking Thien Mu Pagoda. We had the privilege to witness a buddhist monk prayer session. It was truly mesmerizing.

Where did I stay? The Asia Hotel Hue

Amputees, French things and Vodka.

This morning we traveled through the countryside to the capital city of Vientiane, Laos.

Where did I stay?

Inter City Hotel

We visited the Cope Center. Which is an education and rehabilitation center for Lao people affected by UXOs. It was a little disheartening because much of the blame for war, bombings and death is placed upon Americans. But the country is very progressive and forgiving now. I donated $50 which is quite a lot. I hope that my donation can help positively affect someones life.

Then we were taken on a city tour where we were shown some of the important government buildings and the “Arc De Triumph” of Laos. I climbed to the top and found a great panoramic view of the bustling capital. The city is modern and booming. It’s strange to think that just a short distance away people are living in shacks without electricity.

Afterwards we strolled towards another temple. It was really cool because a huge festival was going on. So there were busy markets, street foodies, entertainment and music. It was a blast and I wish we could’ve spent more time at the concert we stumbled upon. But we were hustled back onto the bus.

For dinner we went to a really swanky three story resturaunt. We had the whole third floor to ourselves. I ordered strawberry cider, spring rolls and a hot plate. I also got some free drinks from one of the boys who bought a bottle of vodka. Contiki kids can really drink. :p

Tomorrow we head to Cambodia!