Monday, October 21, 2013

RTW 2013 / Sydney to Vienna via Singapore.

Day one of the 'Big Trip' found us leaving Stirls (where we leave our car) around 6am arriving well in time for our flight despite a bit of a traffic jam just before airport.
Being early saw a fast check in, in fact, we were the only ones at the counter. At emigration my passport wouldn't 'read'. This was fixed after visiting with a few officials up the line.
The A380 boarded quickly for such a big plane. Obviously Singapore Airlines have done their homework here. The co driver had a spare seat beside her.
Serves me right for swapping seats at the last moment!
SQ 232 was thirty minutes early due to favorable winds. The 7.5 hours passed quickly with 700 selections of movies, TV, music and audio books on the IFE. The co driver watched 18 episodes of Big Bang Theory in a row.
SIN is such an efficient airport. No queue at immigration (and no passport 'reading' problems...phew), bags already waiting at the carousal and an immediate taxi into town.
The Fairmont was a nice hotel apart from the exorbitant daily internet connection charge (the only one of the whole trip).
Raffles City shopping centre is underneath with multiple stories of shops and restaurants plus the City Hall MTR station.
We headed for dumplings and beer at Din Tai Fung for dinner.
And it was as good as anticipated.

We were up early next morning because of the 2 hours time difference.
Had breakfast at, of all things, a German restaurant called Brotzeit. Singapore life starts later in the morning compared with Australia so not much was open.
We spent a pleasant morning at the hotel pool, partook of an excellent Japanese 'fast food' lunch and did a little shopping. It became obvious that Singapore is no longer the bargain shopping destination it used to be.
Huge thunderstorms came in just after lunch and lasted all afternoon.
At dusk, with the storms abating, we took the train to Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino.
Getting off at the wrong station (yes, my fault) created a bit of a long walk but we got the bonus of a wonderful view of part of the Singapore skyline

The hotel and adjoining shopping complex is huge and is worth exploring. It really is a tourist attraction on its own.
However our main goal was to see the Gardens by the Bay and in particular the Supertree Grove.

The gardens are an amazing complex of outdoor and indoor horticultural environments. The Grove was very unusual and as darkness fell the 'trees' lit up in the most wonderful way.
An attraction that lived up to the hype.

After walking for what seemed miles around the huge shopping complex, it was back to our part of town by train (from the right station this time) and another Japanese meal for dinner with plenty of Tiger beer......for rehydration purposes of course.
Singapore is always hot and humid!
We found an excellent place for breakfast pizza just down the road next morning and, at last, a decent cup of coffee.
Then it was another sit around the pool before the co driver went for a pedicure and I sat and people watched.
A pet store nearby was selling strollers for pets.....pretty bizarre.
We had another dumpling extravaganza for lunch and then retired to our room for a rest in preparation for the next leg of our journey.

Then it was a quick taxi ride to airport. Lufthansa was overbooked and offered us substantial compensation to delay our flight for one day.
Sorry, not this time.
It was a long 12 hour flight on an extremely full A380 to Frankfurt for our connection to Vienna.

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