It’s hard to do a visit to Singapore justice in one short week, but we gave it a shot. We arrived in the dark so didn’t see the beautiful cityscape until the morning, but there is no mistaking Singapore’s skyline.
This view greeted us from our hotel room. Thoroughly modern, is the phrase that comes to mind. The Marina Sands Hotel, which is the three-tower structure with the curved platform crown, dominates the skyline, and the Art Science Museum crouches in the forefront.
Because so many of the downtown streets were closed for the F1 race, we used the subway to get around. The subway is easy to manage, clean and inexpensive. No food or drink is allowed, which likely accounts for the “clean” part. People don’t wander around with coffee cups in their hands, but smart phones abound.
We took the subway to visit the Gardens by the Bay where we found expansive grounds and a mix of indoor and outdoor gardens bursting with colour and texture. Art installations were interesting and of giant proportions.
The weather was hot and humid, making frequent air conditioned respites necessary.
I’ve included some shots from the F1 race, which I didn’t attend personally, but there was no avoiding its presence. The roar of the motors is deafening and impossible to ignore.
The week flew by and then, just as we were contemplating packing, Typhoon Usagi struck, throwing a rather large monkey wrench into our travel home. Our tickets were from Singapore to Hong Kong to Vancouver. But the Hong Kong airport was overwhelmed with typhoon-stranded travellers, forcing us to re-route.
We stood four long hours in a glacier-slow queue at the Changi airport, awaiting our turn at the front of the re-route line. At first, I thought the soft-spoken Cathay Pacific agent misunderstood the geography when she suggested a route home to Vancouver via London. England. She hadn’t. She understood the direness of the situation far better than we did. Her second alternative was a route through Frankfurt, which included an eleven-hour layover. A routing through San Francisco was possible, if we wanted to wait another forty-eight hours and arrive home too late for a ferry, and a dog-sitter on a tight schedule. She smiled indulgently as we came to grips with the fact that her first suggestion, London, was indeed the best alternative for a timely return home.
So there I was, somewhere over Russia, writing this post and wishing we had more time because I’d have liked a few days to visit London. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the flexibility this time. So I had to wave to the Queen from the airport instead of going to tea.
But neither the long queues nor re-routing haven’t spoiled our memories of Singapore. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the hospitality of some of the most polite and gracious people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Selecting and formatting these photos took much longer than I anticipated. I do hope you enjoy them.