After almost three weeks together, we’d become quite a community on board the ship, so it was a little sad to break up the party this morning. Ellis and Mary were heading to Angkor Wat, Jane and Allan were going home to the USA, Sue and Peter flying back to Heathrow this evening and we were going to spend a few days here in Singapore before following in their tailwind. Goodbyes were a little easier knowing when we would all meet again – because last night was one for hatching one or two exciting plans!
We said goodbye to our floating home for the last three weeks then and having seen our luggage loaded into a truck for delivery to our hotel, we hopped on the coach to be taken there ourselves, together with around twenty others.
As we drove off, the guide accompanying us announced that we were to have a three hour overview tour of the city before checking into the hotel. This was the first we’d learned about it – but hey, we were planning to do a bit of a recce today anyway and we could do it in comfort. Though we were here last year, Singapore changes by the day and it’s certainly altered a lot since we spent any length of time here. Just look at that structure above!
First stop was a brief walk around Chinatown, to get a feel for the place. It was pleasantly warm, not too sunny and it was good to be here. We enjoyed a delicious snack of Singaporean coffee and toast with coconut jam at Ya Kun Kaya, too, but heard the first rumblings of dissent amongst some of our fellow guests.
Singapore has a delightful attitude to encouraging good manners but sadly those with us this morning were not being very gracious. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that some were very rude indeed – but to his credit, our guide Jast soldiered cheerfully on, making sure that the rest of us received the full tour as per his instructions.
After all, we couldn’t check into our hotel until 2pm, anyway.
We turned a blind eye to those who sulked and actually enjoyed our brief overview, getting a feel for distances from our hotel and gathering ideas of places to eat from a local.
We made a stop near Arab Street to photograph the mosque.
Last stop was Raffles, before driving just a couple of blocks to our hotel, where once again, not much grace was in evidence when instant attention was not received by some. We realised that we are ready to break free from the collective and to be independent again!
So, having checked in, ensured safe delivery of our luggage and freshened up a little, we went out into the shopping centre that is Singapore! No sooner had we gone through into the mall attached to our hotel, than we came across this world record attempt.
Watching the youngsters running around completing the early stages of this balloon structure was fun and we look forward to seeing how it progresses.
Further into the mall, I found a couple of stores next to one another which could keep me happy for a week! NBC Stationery had some intriguing paper pads and then, almost next door, Papermarket had just about the best selection of bits and pieces I’ve seen for papercrafts of all kinds. I think I’ll need to return there!
By now, we were feeling hungry. After all, we hadn’t had any lunch! Finding ourselves in Bugis Junction, (third or fourth mall in a row – we’d hardly walked outside!) we liked the look of the MOF Izakaya restaurant and spent a happy couple of hours there, lingering over our meal and taking advantage of the free wifi!
Returning to our new home in the warm and sultry night air, we felt happy to be in Singapore again and look forward to a fun day tomorrow, exploring a few different areas of this amazing city. Come with us in the morning and see what we can find here!