Recently, we rode through the highlands and central coast of Vietnam on a Grasshopper Adventures bicycle tour.
Our first day was spent cycling around the highlands town of Dalat and getting used to riding on the e-bikes we’d rented.
Our trip was only a few miles, during which we realized that if we hadn’t settled on using e-bikes, we would never have made it through the highlands: some of those hills were ridiculous.
Also, thank god for padded bike shorts. If I’d had those in Greece, my trip would have been a lot easier.
On the second day, we awoke to gray skies that turned to heavy rain about an hour after we started biking. We ducked into a coffee stand for a break, but we knew we had to continue, rain (and cold) or no. We reached the high point of our route at about midday, and then descended 1,500 meters to the coast through some occasionally intense winds; despite the buffeting, I broke 50 km/hour at one point and Abby, daredevil that she is, reached nearly 60 km/hour. (She also drives faster than I do.) Because of the rain on top of the hill, I didn’t take any photos in the morning or on the way down; and then I was so engaged in biking that I forgot to take any photos along the coastal road; so it was 50 miles without a single photo to show for it. Oh well.
One highlight of the Paramount Studios tour is the Paramount Studios backlot. The backlot recreates a number of generic city neighborhoods that have been used in movies and television shows. If you’ve flown on United Airlines recently, you’ve seen some of the backlot in the airplane safety video:
We also visited the (physical) film and video library, which staff were digitizing. The organization of the collection seemed a little haphazard—one shelf contained, in order, “Top Gun”, “Paranormal Activity 2”, “Iron Man 2”, “The Perfect Score,” “Ghost”, “Hotel for Dogs”, “School of Rock”, and so on—but overall, the visit felt like going into a miniature of the warehouse scene from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Then there were the various props and costumes. A small sampling: