Well, I slept like the proverbial B – give or take waking up at 3:30 a.m. and my body thinking it was dinner time. Anyway half an hour of Facebook soon put me back to sleep and the next day of my trip begins with a spring (ish! I had my cane with me) in my step, a smile on my lips, a song in my heart; that is to say the sun was in the sky and the gods (out here you can choose almost any faith you wish and come up trumps) where wherever they were meant to be. I doubt there are many Nordic Heathens here but nonetheless it was Thor’s Day for me and that boded well.
As stated the S. was well and truly shining forth and the first encounter with Singapore’s café culture led to a delightful variation of Eggs Benedict to start the day off as well as could ever be expected.
Now I don’t know about you and I’m nowhere near as well-travelled as many, but on arriving in any strange city, given that sight-seeing is the order of the day, I heartily recommend the hop-on – hop-off tourist bus. Never fails. You get to see most of “the stuff” you feel you ought to and as it says on the side in large letters you can happily hop on and off to your heart’s content every time you see something that you feel merits closer inspection. This being the unanimous opinion of the family, we duly climbed aboard the old Charabanc and set off around the glistening metropolis to see what there was to see.
Did I mention it was still very much hot and steamy? Well it was. But a gentle breeze and a sun shade on the upper deck provided for some relief. After the initial over-load of “here’s a mall where you can buy_____ (fill in blank as many times as applicable) we finally started to see the town. Little India, Raffles Hotel which is disappointingly next to a mall and singularly unimpressive, architecture old and new and all accompanied by an excellent running commentary in as many languages as you can imagine which included a what to do and see at each stop along the way.
The stop that caught our eye was the Flyer. The Singapore Flyer is an observation wheel. Hmmm…that’s a bit like saying the Taj Mahal is a marble tomb. The Flyer is the biggest observation wheel, makes London Eye look puny and offers some absolutely magnificent views over the city from a variety of levels – all the way up and all the way down again. About 45 minutes to do the loop and well worth the time. I took a mass of photos to record the entire experience, a sampling of which is here. I hope to post complete albums from the trip once I’m back home on unlimited, fast broadband.
Well, just enough time for a smoke and back on the bus to continue our tour. Next stop for us will be China Town and the Chinese Market Streets. The smells, the noises, the atmosphere…everything a-buzz…the made-in-a-day tailors, the get-it-here-cheap bazaars, the eat-a-bit-and-move-on stalls, the narrow lanes, the temple, the people, the well the…
…the whole THING of it. You really have to be there to get the feel, the taste, the THING but all I can do is say, if you go, don’t miss it!
Oh! And the rain!
The half hour mini-monsoon. We had sat down to enjoy a well-earned beer in the midday S. as expected of Mad Dogs and ourselves and whilst we were the discussing the next step and how it was too early for lunch the heavens opened and, well, SPLOOSH! would sort of describe it. The strange thing is how the humidity and relative heat increase about three fold as soon as the rain starts. As I mentioned earlier, it was Thor’s Day so a little dampness was to be expected. Somebody must have well and truly pissed off my favourite deity as that was some shower! So naturally we decided to have lunch where we were. A delicious Thai selection was soon forthcoming and we were nicely fed and watered by the time our friend from Asgard had cheered up. My Aged Mother decided to get a massage for her ailing back, which worked wonders whilst father and I strolled the lanes. I was toying with the idea of a suit but, wisely I think, decided against. We wandered into an electrical bazaar – my father always being a one for gadgets – and he started to ask about iPads. You could’ve knocked me down with a feather when he said it wasn’t for him but rather for me! A short while later I became the proud new owner of an iPad Mini 4 with 4G and WiFi etc. Dumbstrucklucky is now a new word! Oh yes, and The Aged M turned up and commandeered The Aged F’s credit card in order to purchase a new camera.
Next stop was a fresh juice bar – seriously, if you’ve never tried Guava juice, well, you must! It’s delicious!
Well then, dear reader, it was time to go. My leg was starting to hurt and the bus and my bed beckoned – I could feel it calling my name and whispering “Siesta” on the breeze. So we duly “hopped-on” again and completed the circuit, taking in more of the city’s beauty, its outstanding greenery and a strange mock-Tudor hotel/shop complex. The old 360 achieved and we are nicely deposited in front of the hotel with its scrumptious beds, fresh linen and blissful air-conditioning.
A snooze, a long soak in the tub for the sake of my stupid leg and dressed for dinner…we got about 50 metres and ate American! Well, we were tired and it looked nice and to be honest I can only really manage one Asian meal a day. Well it was very good and a late drink across the road at a Spanish wine and tapas bar (the irony kills me) and it was back off to the land of Nod, our body clocks still not having the slightest idea of what the heck was going on.
Tomorrow is our short day – we leave for the airport at 6 p.m. – fancy the zoo? I do!