We have arrived in Hanoi and are quickly whisked off to our very nice Hotel where we have about half an hour to unpack, freshen up, have a bite to eat and get back down ready to go bike riding or any of the other 5 options for the afternoon. Not a lot of spare time to adjust to the heat and humidity, the very thought of heading off for an hours bike ride in the country had very little appeal but we were ready! However the very nice tour guide Quang took one look at us and suggested we didn't bike but instead went on a lovely visit to a Pottery factory. Good suggestion Quang, we were only mildly disappointed.
While we waited for the bus to take us to the pottery place Erle and I dashed out along the street to have a look around, we discovered the Hanoi Opera House, a very impressive building across the road and all the masses of scooters on the road, even spotted a rickshaw!
The Bus took us to the Pottery factory some distance away where we found a squirrel in a cage running madly all around his house, so fast I couldn't catch a good photo of him, then in we went to the factory where there was no air conditioning just a couple of fans moving the stifling heat around. The workers mainly sat on the ground or on tiny wee 6 inch high seats, wearing masks against the clay dust, all doing delicate hand work, there was hardly any machinery but the pottery was very well made.
The people had to make hundreds of the same item over and over again. Teapots, cups, plates vases and religious icons etc There was a big market nearby selling all of these items.
A nice Guava selling lady gave Erle a green guava to try, we took it home and peeled it to taste it but were not very keen on the flavour.