I found yet another photograph for Ed’s Sunday Stills challenge this week starting with the Letter B.
It is a picture from one of my favoured cities in the world – Ha Noi. In the midst of the craziness of traffic and noise is Hoan Kiem Lake and the Red Bridge. It is an oasis out of the frenzy and although it can be quite busy with people, there still seems to be a steadiness about it. Some people are in groups doing Tai Chi, others just sitting conversing with each other. The Red bridge started my love affair with bridges. It is in the old quarter of Ha Noi which has a meld of ancient Vietnamese architecture and French influence.
Legend has it that the Golden Turtle God claimed a magic sword from an ancient emperor, an important symbol of his fight against the Chinese Ming Dynasty. This emperor named the lake “Hoan Kiem” meaning “Lake of the Returned Sword” and a small pagoda was erected on the island within the lake (Turtle Tower) to commemorate this event. Today, large and rare turtles inhabit the lake, though there seems to be a controversy as to how many specimens there are in the lake. One giant turtle in particular is said to be the direct descendent of the original turtle that claimed the sword, and is affectionately called Cu Rua (great grandfather turtle). The Red bridge takes you over the lake to the pagoda.
On the day I went there, it was very busy as is usual in Ha Noi. I waited patients until I had a gap in the traffic and took my shot. On this trip I took my very new Canon 1000D. You would have thought on the plane trip over I would have read the manual but no, I went through most of the country just winging it. Luckily on this occasion it didn’t turn out too badly.
I would dearly love to go back with more experience under my belt to capture some of the same pictures and lots more of Vietnam. It is a fantastic place, easily travelled alone as in my case with very friendly people.