Finally we made an early'ish start. We wanted to enjoy as much of Singapore as we could before heading back to the airport for our onwards flights to New Zealand.
As this was now out third day in this Hotel I was now fed up with their breakfast fare and was ready for a change. I was almost ready for plain porridge but that looked far too watery for my taste. We then went back to our rooms to make sure we were almost all packed up for a swift turnaround from our planned morning trip.
We headed out to the Metro and this time caught the NE line from the Little India station to the Harbourfront station. It was already very hot and very sunny. When we arrived we walked through VivoCity which is yet another large shopping mall and bought return tickets for the Sentosa Express.
Sentosa, which means Peace & Tranquility in Malay is actually anything but that. It is the ‘fun’ part of Singapore built on one of it’s many small islands. There are 4 theme parks crammed here including Universal Studios. The Sentosa Express was actually a monorail. It was also quite slow and definitely not an express service. The first stop which was at the theme park entrances took only a few minutes. The next 3 stops were then so close together that I suspect the end of the monorail had not left the previous stop by the time the front of the monorail was pulling into the next.
We stayed on until the end of the line as we wanted to see the beaches and some of the other attractions. I was not too sure what to expect but what we saw was not anything I could have imagined. It was like a posh yet down market seaside resort with absolutely everything thrown at it in a relatively small space. There was a Luge run down the mountain, Indoor wind tunnel, bars, restaurants and that was just next to the monorail station.
There was a beach walk going in either direction from the station. We turned right. There was some beach but not much of it. There were some smaller islands a few metres offshore, but what they could not hide were the dozens of enormous container ships moored a few hundred feet away. It was like having a premier beach resort on a beach at Harwich and was most peculiar. You have to give them credit for trying to build somewhere like this, but…
We wandered back to the station and found a decent looking coffee shop to have a drink. Karen managed to drop hers all over herself whilst getting out of the cafe. I was blamed for not noticing her struggling apparently as I was playing on my phone.
After being given a free replacement drink and now suitably refreshed we decided to take the beach walk in the opposite direction. This was much much better. The beaches were much wider and the ships far better hidden. There was even an aqua park built into a bay. The water looked very tempting here but we hadn’t brought swimmies out with us.
Sadly it was then time to go back to the Hotel. I had arranged a late check out for 2pm and we didn’t want to abuse this, or indeed get charged any extra for being later. We both had another quick shower before pulling the door shut on the room at exactly 2pm on the dot.
The taxi that Reception ordered for us arrived in 4 minutes and we were whisked away to the airport with no hassles.
Singapore has been good fun and we like the place. There are still things we would like to do so we may come back sometime. However if we do then I hope the airport sorts out their check in system, which was slow. It certainly didn’t help that two couples in front of us were trying to board flights to New Zealand without having applied for their NZ entry visas. Rather than taking them to one side and then trying to help them they just involved everyone on the check in desks to try and sort it. Being very patient I never moaned once about the 35 minutes we stood waiting without the queue moving. Eventually we got our boarding passes and dumped our bags.
Before heading to the Airport Lounge we went to a conveniently placed Starbucks to get rid of the Singapore coins we had accumulated, well that was Karen’s excuse.
The lounge was very nice and comfortable. The food was very Asian orientated. I am not sure some of it was actually real food. Certainly I think some of the names were made up for a laugh. Also some of the colours of the peanut based desserts were extraordinary. I had the very nice cheese and crackers instead.
For some reason I haven’t fathomed, airport security was handled at each separate gate. I’m sure there must be some method or thought behind this but it beats me.
The plane was a 3-3-3 formation. We were given window and middle. I took the window this time. This was our first experience of Air New Zealand and my first impression was favourable. They offer the opportunity to purchase one or more seats next to you in Economy and then the seats turn into a proper bed. Karen wasn’t aware of this and moaned that I hadn’t splashed the cash to do so. A few people had and it did look very comfortable.
I watched an old B&W film starting Robert Mitchum called Holiday Affair which was rather jolly. Then I watched The Notebook. This has the reputation of one of the most romantic films ever. I loved very minute of it. If you haven’t seen it then do so. It works on many levels and the performances are terrific.
The main meal was poor again, in my opinion. I managed a couple of bites of the chicken before just eating the bread & cheese. Karen ate all of her meal. I know it is my own fault for being faddy, but I do wish they would produce simple meals or plain sandwiches as an option for fussy people like me.
The flight was just under 10 hours long and I think I managed about 3 hours sleep again in fits and starts. It was difficult getting comfortable. I know it is the same for everyone but the shape of my back means I struggle to find a decent sleeping position on airline seats coupled with the poor circulation in my legs which if I am not careful gets cut off which is then very painful.
Breakfast was not good either and I passed the remaining time before landing watching Derry Girls which I had not seen before and made me laugh a lot.
And finally after flying over 11000 miles and being in the air for more than 21 hours we were finally landed in New Zealand. Now lets see if it as good as we remembered.