Monday, 7 April 2014
07.04.2014 - 07.04.2014
After uploading yesterday's image and blog we walked along Tanglin Rd and found an extensive Supermarket where we picked up some essential supplies. We didn't need any rocking to sleep after we returned to the hotel. The bed was comfortable, there was no noise and we slept through to about 07:00.
We set off just after 09:00 and walked to the Orchard MRT station. Bought two 2-day rail/bus passes and used them to travel to "Gardens by the Bay" an extensive and magnificent garden complex with many environmentally sustainable features. After wandering through the general park area we bought tickets to visit the "Flower Dome" and the "Cloud Forest". Both venues housed in huge climate-controlled domes. The Flower Dome contains plant from the Mediterranean climates and includes huge thousand year old olive trees, palms and baobabs. We walked around there for the best part of two hours - completely enthralled.
Next we entered the Cloud Forest dome where we were greeted by the spray from the 35 metre man-made waterfall. We continued to ascend to higher and higher levels and traversed the network of walkways up above the trees. On the way down there were a number of halls where the impact of rising global temperatures were graphically presented. Jenny commented that Tony Abbott should visit here for a "lesson". By the time we'd found our way back to the surface we decided that $4 spent on a shuttle ride was a good investment. An awesome experience and one of the very best attractions we've ever visited. Pity their "Seniors Discount" only applies to local residents - proof of residence IS required.
Back on the MRT to Chinatown and after some initial confusion - I took the wrong exit from the station - we found the jewellery store we'd visited in 2010. Spent some time looking at rings and walked away. I bought a replacement gorilla-pod for the camera and escaped to the food court for lunch. Along the way I also replaced a pair of sandals that were showing signs of serious wear. Ate some of the cheapest dished in Singapore but I'm almost convinced I was charged more than the locals. I was intrigued by the length of the queue at one stall in particular. Didn't get to work out the attraction.
With a large measure of luck we managed to find our way back to the MRT Station.
Back to "Orchard" station and we were forced back to the surface for the three blocks back to the hotel. Along the way we were enticed by a "75% Discount" sign at a huge Jewellery store. Jenny scanned the display window while a very smooth Asian Gentleman made polite conversation. He quickly recognised that Jenny had selected a Ruby and Diamond Gold Ring. Quick as a flash he had us inside and seated. There were at least 15 staff inside and no other customers. We'd established that he was the store manager and I had a credit card !! Numbers flashed across the calculator screen and we were presented with an incredible figure. Then he took off the GST and converted to AU$ and the number still looked a bargain so I pulled out the credit card. Smooth as silk we were offered chilled water and the size of the ring was discussed. While we waited for the credit card slip to be returned he conjured up a set of matching ear-rings at a ridiculously low price. Explained away by telling us he was allowing for a pre-stocktake sale due at the end of April. Long story short, we added the ear-rings to the invoice. His next trick was to trot out a fantastic matching bracelet but this time Jenny held firm. He reluctantly agreed it would be easier to sell ice to the Eskimos. We pick up the re-sized ring on Wednesday.
After a short rest we walked to the supermarket we'd found last night to buy my fruit ration and have a quick meal in the food court.
I'll try to upload this lot tonight and a picture from the Cloud Forest dome at my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-04-07
Cheers .. Tony