Travel

Singapore – Christmas Day

Well, I knew it was going to be a different day, it’s what I wanted. Last year it was Fuertaventura with my boys, 4 years ago it was New York as a family.

I don’t know if I’ve said this before but I do envy the people who have the big happy family Christmas, I just don’t envy the self inflicted stress and the need to buy lots of stuff. You don’t need a special day to do any of that and my boys get treated through the year anyway. Our house is already bursting with ‘stuff’ that has accumulated over the last 34 years, 23 of them with children.

So for me to go away is my choice and I’m aware some people won’t understand how I can do it. I’m not a completely heartless bitch, I missed them, we face timed on Boxing Day when they were at my mums and my sister was there too. They know I love them wherever I am.

On my trip to the shops I had bought myself a tiny foldable felt Christmas tree and four clip on Santa’s to go on it. This was because one of my gorgeous friends in my work family had given me a present to take with me to open on Xmas morning, so I thought it only right that it had a tree to be placed under.

Now for this day I had pre booked a bike tour around the city but they had emailed me to ask if I could change it to Boxing Day, I had agreed but I was a little sad as I wanted to mark the day with something different.

I now had nothing planned for Christmas Day.

I got up, put the kettle on and was actually excited to open my present. But I wasn’t prepared for the emotions it brought. It was the most thoughtful present ever. She had had a calendar printed, made up of photos from my year of adventures, one for each month (obviously🙄😂) and as I looked through I remembered where each one was taken and memories from each trip. My eyes weren’t dry. It was lovely. I messaged her to thank her, told her it had made me cry, her reply-

“Oh you silly bugger, it wasn’t meant to make you cry! It was meant to show you what beautiful photos you take and that most people don’t stop and appreciate the wonders of nature which are around us everyday whereas you do. Now you go out and have a wonderful day exploring but please try and refrain from boarding any type of floating vessel 🚢 Merry Christmas Bob-a-Lob x x x”

A beautiful person inside and out♥️ Thank you Sue.

I had my coffee and breakfast on the balcony, looking through my guide book I’d been bought for Christmas by Saz, desperately trying to find something to do for the day. I had thought that maybe I would go to Sentosa island, it had beaches and Universal Studios and was more like a holiday destination. I thought about it but thought maybe there would be too many people there and it would be too commercialised for me so I kept looking and I also looked in the app ‘Get Your Guide’

I came across the Singapore Flyer, I’d gone past it the day before on my bus ride and wondered if I could do it or even afford it! I checked it out online, there were different options available, from a basic ride to a dining experience in a capsule. An option in between was a Singapore Sling experience. I mused over it for a minute or so and then booked the Singapore Sling one, wondering if it was available on Christmas Day. It was. I booked it for 6.30, giving me plenty of time to get ready and make my way into the city, without getting lost hopefully, I mean, it was a big bloody wheel so I assumed I’d be able to find it!!

I made my way on the Metro, it was still busy even though it was Christmas Day but not too bad. I surfaced at what I thought to be the right station. It appeared to be deserted. I think I surfaced through different exits each time I used the same station, it got very confusing. Even now thinking back I get confused! I somehow found the waterfront, I was on the opposite side to the Flyer. I walked in the right direction, it got busier as I got closer. I came across a Starbucks, always a welcome sight, and went in and ordered a cheese toastie, an oatmeal cookie and a black coffee, opting to eat it sat outside overlooking the water. This was technically my Christmas lunch even though it was now afternoon.

I sat and lingered over it, people watching, I had loads of time. Plus, they had WiFi!! I made the most of it, googling the walking route to the Flyer and taking a screen shot.

The route was a 20 minute walk so I set off giving myself plenty of time.

It was really busy now, I walked past the Merlion, the mythical symbol of Singapore with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, it is a major tourist attraction and the lion is spouting water into the bay. Walking over the Jubilee Bridge, which was built in celebration of the 50th anniversary of independence, I stopped along with hundreds of others to take photos of the views. The Marina Bay hotel, the skyline, the flyer, the opera house (which looked like a giant armadillo to me!). So many photos being taken it was nearly impossible to not be in one!!😂

It was quite a nice walk, with shade which was a blessing. You could see in the water that they had platforms being prepared with fireworks for NYE, you couldn’t help but think it was going to be spectacular. I knew Richard had a table booked for NYE for him and his partner, it was the place we’d gone to dinner when I’d arrived and it was a good spot.

I kept going until I got to the Flyer. I was early. I went in to see what I had to do and where to go. I had to return at 6.15 and I’d be taken up to the entrance. While I waited I had a little look around, you could see the Gardens by the Bay on the other side of the water and the domes that I had gone in. They looked huge! I don’t think I’d appreciated their size when I was in them!! The super Trees were dwarfed by them.

I tried not to focus on the wheel, I’m not overly fond of heights, if I look down it makes my legs go funny (from a height, not when I’m just standing there!🙄😂) but it was going to be worth it for the view.

I went back at the time requested, I was taken up in the lift along with two other ladies who were Singaporean. We eventually had made our way to the front of the queue – great feeling! – and we waited to board our capsule. A couple of them were filled up before us and one went past that didn’t open as there was a couple in there having dinner, very romantic, it looked like the chef and waiter were in there with them too though so not really that intimate I guess but romantic none the less and I hoped the guy had scored some brownie points 😉

It was our turn to board, we walked down the ramp and into the capsule, being handed our Singapore Sling at the same time and they left us and closed the door.

I took my first sip of my first Sling – oh my it was yummy!! The wheel was moving very slowly, there were soft seats in the middle and a place to put your drinks. I started taking photos of the ever changing view – in between taking slurps through the straw😜 – I’d timed it just right, I was up there for the sunset – you know me and a sunset, bit of a special one this one though – Christmas Day in Singapore, definitely one for the memory bank. The other two ladies had a selfie stick so I didn’t even need to offer to take one for them. I’ve seen a lot of selfies being taken while I’ve been here, I hate doing them but sometimes they are needed.

As we came over the top (it’s an amazing piece of engineering and trying to work out how it did it was messing with my mind) the sun was setting and becoming a dim glow. I’d finished my drink, we’d only been in there 30 minutes, and our 360 degree trip was at an end.

They opened the door and we stepped out. I made my way out, through the obligatory gift shop of which I did not partake, although there were so many things to choose from! After leaving the building I realised I was starving! Luckily there were some food booths around the base so I decided to be adventurous and I ordered roast chicken and rice, I know, doesn’t sound that adventurous but for me it was. It only cost $5 and came with a bowl of soup too which was very delicious. A bit more chicken would have been nice but it was very tasty and very welcome.

I retraced my steps back around the Marina, stopping to take more pics, now there were some amazing reflections.

I began to hear band music, I remembered on my way to the flyer I had seen a band setting up in an open bandstand, now they were playing – Christmas music. Now as I go away to escape Christmas I wouldn’t normally partake, but this time I did. I stopped and stood at the back and videoed and there may have been a bit of a sing and a jiggle. It was just lovely. Perfect. I felt really happy, the vibe around was happy. It was a beautiful warm evening, I was in no rush to be anywhere and I just let myself go and enjoyed it. I was actually amazed at how many people there were out on Christmas night!

Once the music had ended with a rendition, a fabulous one that I danced to, of All I Want for Christmas is You, the crowds dispersed and I aimed for the Jubilee Bridge, but not before stopping to take a pic of a map that said ‘You are Here’! In the hope it would help me find a metro station!

As I was going across the bridge a light show began from the Marina Bay Sands hotel, lasers and music and I could just about make out some fountains that seemed to be doing something to the music too. I stopped to watch it and then carried on in search of the metro. Any metro. Please?!😩 I do not know why I was struggling so much finding them?! I walked and walked, I even resorted to asking for directions which didn’t help, I just couldn’t get my bloody bearings!! So not like me. I did a route in the Peak District over a year ago, nearly a year later I was back in the area and I recognised roads and landmarks – so why I was having so much trouble here I have no idea.

I finally got to Raffles Place, I recognised a rainbow bridge from the first night I was there with Richard, where we’d had dinner on my first night. This was all well and good but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where the metro was from there. I walked past all the bars and restaurants, saying no to each of them, I didn’t want a beer or anything to drink – by this time all I wanted was to get back.

I took more turns, convinced myself I was in the right place but I clearly wasn’t. I asked two guys who were smoking if they could tell me where it was was. They pointed me straight down the road and I’d find it🙄 so after saying thank you I trundled off – about 30 seconds later one of the guys came running up behind me!! Holy crap!! He’d seen I was going in the wrong direction so came after me to tell me, turns out the entrance (which was incredibly well hidden by the way) was just across the road! It was literally there!! I said “oh thank you so much!” and breathed a huge sigh of relief when I entered and descended the escalators😃 I knew what I was doing then, found the right track and enjoyed the ride back to the apartment.

I’d really enjoyed my Christmas Day.

I love how when I just go with the flow and shoot the breeze things just seem to happen. I go out with no expectations and come back full of experiences and memories. It’s nice to have some things planned but just go with it Peeps, don’t stress, things have a habit of working out how they’re supposed to – try it 😃

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