Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vietnam 20: Hue: The Family Shrine

Looking into the family shrine.
by Pa Rock

As we were entering the outskirts of Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, our driver pulled over so that we could get out and walk across the busy highway to peek through the iron fence of a very elaborate family shrine.  As we were snapping pictures through the fence, and old man came up and said that he was a member of the family and the caretaker for the shrine.  He asked if we would like to come inside and walk around.  We were quick to agree.

A scene from inside of the shrine
The old fellow told us that he was preparing the shrine for a big family reunion during the next year - the Year of the Dragon.  He said some relatives were coming from the United States who had not been to Vietnam in years.  He said they had fled as "boat people" many years before.

The man unlocked the gate and led us down into the grounds of the shrine.  We had a choice between walking down steps or a long ramp - and because my knee was still sore from climbing Marble Mountain the day before, I chose to walk down the ramp

Another view of the family shrine
That turned out to be a very bad decision because the cement ramp was damp and my shoes, though rubber soled, still did not grip the cement well enough.  Suddenly my feet flew out from under me and my body was airborne.  I landed hard on my back with my poor head bouncing on the cement ramp.  It took a few moments to get my bearings and make it back up onto my feet, but I did and was able to tour the shrine and take the pictures which follow.

And my knee?  Well, it was really hurting!  (And everyplace else that we went that afternoon had stairs galore!)
Beautiful horse mosaics

And tigers!
And cranes!
More beautiful art and architecture
Murphy and I and our host
And horses!
And dragons!
And even the odd elephant!

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