As the mercury flirted with 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity approached 100 percent during our July visit to Hanoi, we strolled past the long, snaking line of domestic tourists waiting to view Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body in his tomb. Instead, we bypassed his former palace and explored the stilt house where he used to live. Just as the heat was about to knock us down for the count, we found a place selling coconut popsicles, served by a man behind a napkin dispenser that proclaimed, “Work is glory. Happiness to everybody.”
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If location is everything, then Lausanne has it all. The Romans noted this crossing point between the Mediterranean and the Rhine in the first century B.C., establishing a trading colony. In the Middle Ages, Lausanne’s cathedral was an important pilgrimage stop on the Way of St. James.