Australia: Day 3 – 14.11.18…………And we will walk 10,000 steps, and we will walk 10,000 more!
We thought we’d touched down at Heathrow as the skies were dark grey, rain clouds were everywhere and it was raining......heavily, however once out of the airport the heat hit us immediately. Welcome to Singapore!
Like at Heathrow, everything was plain sailing and soon we were being whisked off to our hotel, The Royal Hotel on Newton Road. I can assure you there was nothing ‘royal’ about it, more ‘Fawlty Towers esque! On first impressions it was rather chaotic, very drab and very dated, it was one of those hotels that needed a complete overhaul. The reception area was full of local groups, in fact we stuck out like a sore thumb. But that’s okay, we’re here to fully embrace the culture. It was only about eight in the morning, we couldn’t say for certain as neither of us had a watch or phone and there seemed to be no clocks in the foyer. We half checked in but our rooms wouldn’t be ready until 2pm, so we took our cases for a walk round and round the lobby looking for somewhere to sit. In fact, neither of us quite knew what we were doing or what our next step was going to be. We needed to rearrange our bags and decide what we were taking out with us. We had nowhere to put our ‘valuables’ so they had to be packed in our backpacks. We eventually found a seat and quickly sat down. We were both a bit dazed, which we’ve put down to being jet lagged and proceeded to rearrange our bags, getting ourselves into a right muddle during the process.
We needed a plan, but our brains weren’t cooperating by this time, so we just stupidly stared at each other hoping for a glimmer of inspiration, but none, at this time, was forthcoming. We needed Berocca to keep us going but that was packed at the bottom of our cases. We needed coffee, but we couldn’t seem to move from our seats so stayed put. After about ten minutes of arranging, rearranging, arranging and rearranging our bags we gave ourselves a good talking to. Right then, we were going to visit the Gardens by the Bay, having bought some discounted tickets at the airport and then we’d go to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel (MBS) for a Singapore Sling. Great, we had a plan. Now all we needed to do was to make our way there. We mustered up some energy, pulled ourselves together, left our bags with the porter and set forth out into the rain.
To be honest it wasn’t that bad. We actually found our nearest MRT tube station, Novena, without getting lost or very wet and took the tube to City Hall where we thought we’d walk the rest of the way, you know, to stretch our legs. Armed with our map, we tried to decipher where we were and in which direction to go. The roads didn’t seem to match up with what was on our map so we headed towards the tallest buildings in the hope that the other side of them would be the ‘Quays’. We finally saw the skyline dominated by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and headed that way, only trouble was we were on the wrong side of the road. We walked all the way down this very long dual carriageway to the traffic lights, crossed over, into the MBS Hotel and walked all the way through the very, very long lobby of the hotel to where we needed to be to get up to the bar. It was closed! Of course we didn’t have a clue about the time. In our minds it was about 3pm when in fact it was only 11.15am. Was that all!!! Feeling weary now we made our way to the Gardens by the Bay, two big domed structures housing plants, flowers and a ‘cloud forest’. We expected it to be stifling inside but both domes were very cool. We weren’t really impressed with the Flower Dome, made quite tacky by the oversized Christmas decorations, and, it was full of children and people with their selfie sticks! The ‘Cloud Forest’ dome was much better and we enjoyed wandering through all the different levels, it was actually higher than it looks. By this time our legs were really feeling the pressure and we needed to sit down so made our way back to the MBS Hotel. A wrong turn saw us walking all the way down the dual carriageway again to the traffic lights, into the hotel and all the way through the very, very long foyer again until we arrived at the desk to the
Ce-La-Vi bar, purchased our tickets, made our way up in the lift to the bar at the top of the hotel, found a comfy seat, sat down, ordered our Singapore Slings and a pizza, where I promptly fell asleep, mouth wide open. What a spectacle I must have looked!. It was captured on film by Maice who has been given strict instructions to delete, delete!
The sun was now out and it was very hot and humid which wasn’t helping our jet lagged bodies. It was nice sitting outdoors in the bar, but I must say, we weren’t impressed by the standards of the bar. Considering it’s a 5* Hotel, the bar furniture was quite unsavoury, in need of replacing and everywhere looked very shabby.....a bit like our 3* Hotel. With the pair of us looking like we’d been pulled through a hedge backwards, hot, tired and weary, we actually made a decision to return to the hotel, check in, freshen up and go back out again, only it didn’t quite happen like that. We made our way back to City Hall tube station making a detour to a) the Fullerton Hotel for a wee stop and b) to take a look at the famous Raffles Hotel and although it was closed for refurbishment it did look lovely from the outside.
We finally made it to our hotel, checked in, made it up to our rooms with our cases which seemed to weigh 30kg each and plonked ourselves on the bed and that was it. We didn’t budge from there for the rest of the night. No I tell a lie, after an hours snooze we took to the floor of the bedroom with our towels (aka yoga mats), tuned into YouTube and ‘Yoga with Adrienne - 30 day challenge’ and carried out Day 1’s challenge. Oh yes, we know how to live it up on holiday! I would just like to point out this is not my idea, as I’m sure many of you will realise. No, this is Maice’s idea, as I’m sure many of you will also realise. So, having stretched and contorted our limbs into some very strange shapes and positions we unpacked and once again our room looked like a bomb had hit it. Both Maice and I blame each other for our untidiness, I’m never usually like this and neither is she! Thing is, both of us keep losing things......so not like us!
We ended up not going out as we couldn’t muster up enough strength, so we spent the rest of the evening rearranging our room, rearranging our bags, looking for things we couldn’t remember where we’d put them until it was time to sleep. At last. We donned our eye-masks, plugged in our ear plugs, switched off the light and slept.......