Saturday, March 04, 2006

Day 268 - Singapore

Day 268 – 3rd March 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53488

Managed to wake up and get out of bed by 10:30am today, and have decided to visit the science museum. So I walked to Outram Park where I caught the underground to Jorong East and then managed to catch a bus to the science centre.

Singapore Science Centre

I paid my entry and started looking around the first floor, which was called The Minds Eye and all to do with optical illusions. The main part of the centre is spread over 3 floors and has many sections such as Aviation, Discovery Zone, Energy, Genome (about genealogy). I spent a few hours looking around and then found what attracted me to the Science Centre in the first place. They had a big Star Wars Exhibition on which had the original artwork, costumes and props, unfortunately you had to pay extra.

My Star Wars Ticket

I paid my money and spent about an hour looking around, it was split into sections starting with A New Hope and then moving through the films in the order they were filmed. They had more exhibits from latest film.

A Stormtrooper Costume

A Clone Driod

Some of the highlights were Anakin’s Pod Racer from The Phantom Menace and they had Bobafett’s original outfit.

Anakin's Pod Racer

The Star Wars Exhibition

A set from Revenge of the Sith

I then walked back to the station and caught the underground back. I think went for a swim and then sat in the sun reading for a few hours. I spent the rest of the evening in my hotel room, ordered room service and watched a film.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Day 267 - Singapore

Day 267 – 2nd March 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53481

Woke up and looked at the clock… Gee’s it’s 4:47pm… I am back on UK time…8:47am in the UK. Well got up and ready and did not want to waste what was left of the day so walked down to the MRT station and caught a train to City Hall. We then walked to Raffles Hotel which is the most famous hotel in Singapore.

Raffles Hotel

Fountain in Raffles Hotel

Raffles was the founder of Singapore. We had a look around the rather Posh hotel and then sat in the open courtyard and order some food and a World Famous Singapore Sling Cocktail.

Me with my Singapore Sling

This is the actual place that first invented the Singapore Sling and here we are tasting it like it was invented today.

The Singapore Sling

Well another beer and then it was time to move on so we looked around Raffles place which is a large shopping mall across the road and then slowly walked back to the hotel meandering through the streets of Chinatown.

Singapore Skyline

Back at the hotel I watched the film Flight Plan and read a little before trying to get some sleep, hopefully I will wake up a little earlier tomorrow.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Day 266 - Singapore

Day 266 – 1st March 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53478

So this morning I walked to Orchard Road which is the main shopping area some call it the Fifth Avenue, the Regent Street, the Champ Elysees. The Via Veneto and the Ginza of Singapore.

Orchard Road

Well that would not be wrong it is a stretch of a couple of miles filled with Shop and Shopping malls, which is over run by tourists trying to find a bargain. Orchard Road was about a 20 minute walk from out hotel and we started exploring a huge borders which happened to be the first shop we came across, from then on it was mall after mall after mall, until our feet hurt. So stopped of at many Cafe’s and food courts simply to top up our fluid levels and the heat and humidity is almost unbearable. We ended up buying a few of the latest movies for around £2-£3 each what a bargain, In the UK they would be about £20 each. After several hours of shopping we found an MTR station and bought a ticket to Outram Park. The station are large an airy the tickets have a chip in them so you just hold them against a panel as you walk pass and the gates open, like how the oyster cards work in London. The trains are all open so you walk from one end to the other without going trough any doors and as you would expect in Singapore the trains are spotless. Our journey only took about 10 minutes and cost about 65p but that included the deposit for the train ticket. When you finished with the card you return them and you get a refund. We then walked back to our hotel and I decided to take a little nap. I awoke 4 hours later and decided that it was a mistake. Now we headed off to Clarke Quay to find a nice restaurant beside the water.

Our Restuarant Beside the Water

We walked along the Singapore River until we reached Clarke Quay and it was ever so busy.

Clarke Quay

We found a nice place and sat right beside the river and ate and drank.

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay

We walked back on the opposite side of the River.

Clarke Quay

Jill on the Bridge

We passed a park area covered in lights and groups of people flying some kind of remote controlled planes, which were covered in hundreds of bright lights.

Friends we Met by The River

We walked back to our hotel and sat and watched a bit of TV and a few movies but were not tired enough to sleep. So I visited the local shop and got some food for a good late night snack, after eating and watching more TV I eventually decided to sleep but it was about 4:30am by now.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Day 265 - Singapore

Day 265 – 28th February 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53475

Woke up at 2:30am, this jetlag thing is a pain, but got back to sleep after a couple of hours. Finally got up again around 11am and left Jill to sleep and went for a walk along the Singapore River. Took a few minutes to get my bearings and find which direction was the city centre.

Colourful Bridge on the Singapore River

The humidity is awful here as within a couple of minutes you begin to sweat, it’s only around 32 C today, well it’s actually pretty much 31C or 32C every single day of the year as Singapore is only a few miles from the Equator. After a short walk I went back to the hotel and spent the next hour or so by the pool cooling off and reading my book. When Jill was awake and ready to go out we walked back along the river into the city, we passed Clarke Quay which is an area full of riverside bars and restaurants.

Clarke Quay

We passed Parliament Lane and the Raffles landing site. We took a short walk around the parliament area.

Singapore Parliment

Singapore Parliment

Then crossed the bridge over the river to Boat Quay and settled at a waterside restaurant for a nice cold beer.

Jill at home with a cold beer

A pint of Tiger beer cost about £1.30 so fairly cheap, we sat by the river watching the bumboats go by. Singapore is not as busy as I thought it would be, there seems no hustle and bustle to it.

Victoria Memorial Theatre

Victoria Memorial Theatre

We took a walk along Boat Quay and then made our way through China Town. We found a small bakery and bought some drinks and cakes to munch on the walk back.

Our Hotel Room

Jill trying on the Guest Robe

We had a rest in the hotel and then went to the hotel restaurant, you have a choice of a buffet and you pay depending on the type of meat, i.e. $22 (£7.88) for Poultry $28 (£10.03) for Fish and $29 (£10.39) for Mutton, then you help yourself to starters, salads, vegetables, soup and a pudding, but tonight we choice of the menu. The meal was very good and a reasonable price, so we visited the local shop and headed back to the room, where I tried to have a webcam conversation with my father and then watched the local television.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Day 264 - Singapore

Day 264 – 27th February 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53473

Awoke after a couple of hours sleep and watched Tim Burtons Corpse Bride on the planes entertainment system before falling asleep again. When I woke up there was only 3 more hours of the 12hrs and 30 min flight remaining. Soon afterwards the cabin lights came on again and breakfast was served, time for a couple more chapters of my book and we had landed in Singapore. Changi airport is Singapore’s newest airport which is ultra modern with bright colours and huge plasma screens everywhere. We walked through the airport filled out our entry cards and easily got through security, they even give you a sweet as the process your passport. The part of the entry visa they stick in your passport reminds you that you are in a foreign country and have to abide by there laws as it says in large red letters “Warning - Death for Drug Trafficking under Singapore Law”.

Warning in my Passport

We made our way outside and decided that even the train to the city centre only costs $2 (65p) it would be easier to get a Taxi. So we got a taxi, apparently there are 15,000 taxi’s in Singapore even though it is smaller than the Isle of White, UK. The taxi drive was friendly enough and pointed out all the good sights on the 30 minute journey to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel and the meter read $17.60 (£6.30) which is a bargain, it would cost that much to open a taxi door in London. We tipped the driver and he got new customers jump in from the hotel and sped away. The Bell Boy ran out and grabbed all our bags, so we wandered into the hotel which was the Holiday Inn Atrium.

The Holiday Inn Atrium, Singapore

The first impression is amazing you are in an Atrium and can see the glass ceiling 30 floors above you and all the rooms are on the outside leaving a huge void, which is all lit up. The elevators are covered in lights and move up and down one wall.

The Hotel Atrium

The reception is on one side so we meander over and check in. We are given a room on the 22 floor so we find out room and the phone immediately rings, “May we bring the bags up to your room now sir” 30 seconds later the bags arrive. The room is large and airy and is a nice temperature, we have a huge King Size bed that cold comfortable sleep four. The Coffee and Tea tray has Mug size cups, which makes a change as they are usually tiny.

Our Room minus the flowers and Champagne

The view from the room is pretty impressive overlooking skyscrapers and parks.

View from Hotel Room

View from Hotel Room

We find a shop on the ground floor and buy some beer and orange juice to put in the fridge in the room. We decide that we will order some food so get room service to deliver us some Pizza’s and as we are waiting we check up n the etiquette of the country and find tipping is not expected, well that will save us some money. I have time for a quick shower before the food arrives, then we eat will watching TV. I find I can pickup free wireless internet if I sit by the window so e-mail home to let them now I have arrived safely. Then I try and get some sleep.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Day 263 - Gravesend - Singapore

Day 263 – 26th February 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 47223

So slept ok considering it is my last night in the UK. Had a busy morning with lots of phone calls from friends, I had to finish packing, then clearout the room I’ve been staying in. My Sister and her fiancé turned up for dinner and then I had to say goodbye to my Grandma. By 5pm I was ready to leave for the airport so my parents accompanied me and I drove to hour trip to London Heathrow. I said goodbye to my parents and then joined the check-in queue. An hour later I was checked in with tickets in hand. So I went through Security and onto the gate, where I sat quietly playing on my new PSP game. The flight boarded at 9:30pm and I was sat next to a German Photographer who was flying to New Zealand to take photo’s for the next 6 weeks. We took off at 10:30pm and shortly afterwards food and drinks were served. Unfortunately I was only interested in one out of the nine films they were showing, so read my book for a bit and fell asleep.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Day 257 – 262 - Gravesend, Kent, England

Day 257 – 262 20th Feb – 25th February 2006 GMT Total Miles 47222

Dropped Jill’s parents off at the station at 9am as they caught the train back to Scotland. My parents arrived back from Egypt that afternoon and we caught up on there holiday. The rest of the week was spent packing and putting away everything that Jill and I were not going to take with us. We phoned a few friends to say farewell and just tried to sort out all the paperwork we needed. We showed my parents all the photo’s from the first part of our trip and they responded by showing us al their Egypt photos.
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