THE HOLIDAY THAT WASN’T, PART XI ­ Blog ­ Susan Steggall

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THE HOLIDAY THAT WASN’T, PART XI
THE HOLIDAY THAT WASN’T, PART XI
THE HOLIDAY THAT WASN’T, PART XI
THE HOLIDAY THAT WASN’T, PART XI
THE HOLIDAY THAT WASN’T, PART XI

THE HOLIDAY THAT WASN’T, PART XI

 

10 MAY, 07.00 HOURS

I am at the pool as soon as it opens to do laps (albeit shortish) and spend time in the jacuzzi pool – need to work off the splendid eating experience of last night – going from stall to stall tasting everything, washed down by large glasses of the local (warm) beer.

 

10.00 HOURS: After one of those amazing breakfasts that only Asian hotels can put on – too much of everything strange, green and mushroom-like – we check out of our room and are waiting in the entrance lobby for a 3&½ hour day tour to explore Singapore's Civic District: from natural views at Merlion Park's Marina Bay to the Thian Hock Keng Temple (so the blurb says).

A few years ago, on our way to Vietnam, we visited the amazing gardens in Marina Bay but didn’t pay for exhibits and the like so will enjoy it today. The Merlion statue and the whole of the reclaimed land that comprises the garden – like much of Singapore – is OTT: splendid, not expense spared, modern. The Art Gallery was, as they usually are, very interesting for me although Jack only lasted half an hour (he waits for me outside under a tree). The temporary exhibition spaces are closed: some for renovation; some for the installation of new displays. It is the permanent collection however, that takes my fancy. I always find the art of the country and its artists is the best way to learn about a culture. 

Our tour over we return to the Pan Pacific Hotel for the airconditioned pleasure of the dining room, for one last Asian meal and time to reminisce over our fantastic week. We have seen island-cultures quite unlike anything we have seen before: no big cities (except Singapore) but plenty to think about and remember all the same. Our plane leaves just after 20.00 hours so around 16.00s, with a last drink at one of the hotel’s pool bars, we retrieve our luggage and wait for the taxi that is to take us to the airport. Our plane takes off and banks over the city to head out across the sea. I look out the window at the amazing Singapore skyline. Seatbelt sign is off; drinks arrive; we are on our way home to Sydney…

I lean back in my seat, here in Manly and close my eyes, imagining of the week that might have been. Perhaps next year…

 

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