New Zealand Holiday ... 1 ... Singapore
Date & Time: Saturday 22nd - Monday 24th October 2011.
Locations : Loweswater to Heathrow and on to Singapore
Places visited : Singapore Riverside, Raffles and the Botanical Gardens.
Details : Our journey included a 30 hr stop-over in Singapore en-route to Auckland.High point : Singapore City, beautiful, clean, modern yet full of history.
With : Ann and myself.
Weather : Hot and very humid despite being overcast.
At last we've managed to save enough pennies again for a long haul flight to distant lands,
this time half way round the world to the antipodean islands of New Zealand.
[ They are so far away from UK that if we travelled any further we'd be on the way back.]
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Firstly we say farewell for a while to Harry and Bethan as they couldn't join us on our foreign holiday.
Angie and David have offered a dog and cottage sit service while we are away, so with big thanks to them we drive south.
We leave our car at our daughter's house near Heathrow and present ourselves at the Air Singapore desk ready for our flight.
Passports checked, tickets sorted, we are just about to board once the plane is made ready.
Somewhere along the way, at 35,000 feet in the air, on the thirteen hour flight to Malaysia.
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This time we opt to break our journey and enjoy a 30 hour stop-over in Singapore.
Singapore Airport has a fine floral display to celebrate the Hindu festival of Deepavali
Deepavali is the Festival of Lights, and marks the defeat of the evil Narakasura by the Lord Khrishna. All round the world, Hindus celebrate this day as the triumph of light over darkness, and of good over evil.
It marks the New Year for Hindu devotees, and is a great time of rejoicing and renewal . . . and give Changi an excuse for many nice floral displays.
We make our way to our hotel and get a first glimpse of the city high-rise through the tinted windows of the airport bus.
The first of the outdoor photos of the Riverside has developed a rather nice, artistic, defused light effect.
[ It wasn't planned that way . . . out of the camera bag, the cold camera had condensed the hot and humid air onto the lens and gave the special effect ]
Following the tourist guide and the rather 'artistic' street map we found ourselves down by the river
and were faced with a choice of restaurants, all of which had tables out under the evening skies.
Table twelve . . . that would do nicely !
One of the modern bridges across the Singapore River.
Reflections on the river.
Downstream was the tubular bridge, also beautifully illuminated.
Across one, back over the other, taking in the sights along the way.
Ok for a quick buzz about the harbour but we opt for a more traditional style of river bumboat like the one behind.
The low houses and shops of the Chinese Quarter line the southern bank of the river.
In the old days this area was a thriving commercial centre and the banks would be lined with small boats. The establishment of a free port here
outside the confines of the Malay State, led to the establishment of the commercial port and the subsequent growth of the city.
The wider harbour is overlooked by the modern city of high rise offices and commercial accommodation.
On the seaward side there's a new high rise development, three 57 storey hotels reaching 200m into the sky.
The architects have designed a superstructure like a great ocean liner sitting across the top of the three buildings.
The scale of the development can be estimated by the size of the mature palm trees planted on the roof garden
Your ticket to the Sands Skypark rooftop swimming pool and leisure area cost just S$20, about £10 in sterling.
(If we had more time we could have taken advantage of the cheaper OAP rates on offer at S$17)
Two of the outer harbour bridges
and the ex-army amphibious "Duck-Tours" vehicle driving past our boat.
We turned round in the outer harbour and made our way back into the river . . . this would have been the scene in the last century.
The Chinese Quarter is on the left hand (south) bank . . . and we're just about to pass the grand building on the right.
Today it is the Singapore Asian Museum.
Singapore Cricket Club, inaugurated in 1852.
The main building here was built in 1906 with later additions in 1922.
The club still hosts lawn bowls, cricket, rugby, hockey, tennis and many other sports and is apparently still a social centre of the city.
No visit to Singapore is complete without seeing the famous Raffles Hotel
The inner courtyard and gardens.
The Long Bar, complete with peanuts on the floor and old fashioned oscillating fans on the ceiling.
Our gin sling was accompanied by a little light lunch in the hotel . . . another small international ambition achieved.
Afterwards we looked for transport to take us across to the Botanical Gardens.
A "must visit" for flower devotees and lovers of city parks . . . The Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Famed for its flowers and water features.
The whole park was a riot of colour despite the overcast skies
and everyone was out having their picture taken.
Our stop-over pass allowed us free entry into the Orchid Garden
where there were an amazing variety of plants on show.
Ornamental planters complimented the flowers
Photographers abound too
Looking out on the world.
So the first day of our holiday ends . . . a holiday that would lead us to a whole new world down under over the next four weeks.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . . your very own Singapore Stop-over Pass.
Previous walk - Sunday 16th October 2011 Souther Fell and the Falls