Tag Archives: canal

Singapore, 2013: Part 2

My favourite sightseeing part of the trip to Singapore with my daughter was Gardens by the Bay. Due to smog from fires in Indonesia it was advised that my friend Cynthia and I stay inside with our daughters, but seeing as Gardens by the Bay is an indoor Botanical Gardens, this was not a problem.

The waterfall in the Cloud Forest Dome was fantastic and such fun to be able to walk up to, behind and above. There were many beautiful orchids, lots of colourful miniature hot air balloons and bridges in the sky to cross.

Marina Bay Sands and the Super Trees were mostly clouded by the smog, but inside the air was clear and the colours of the vegetation were bright. There were Boab trees, turtle statues, old olive trees and even windmills. I borrowed Cynthia’s ergo carrier so my daughter could have a nap while we wandered through the lovely Mediterranean garden.

The gift shop was almost as good as the gardens themselves. I left with a pair of dragonfly earrings and a clever cup that changed colours when you poured hot water in it as a gift from Cynthia.

The next day, the air quality was still bad, so I took my daughter on a quick trip to the indoor MINT toy museum. I think I enjoyed seeing Astro boy, Punch & Judy and Tin Tin paraphernalia more than she did.

That night, Cynthia and I left the girls with her husband Tony and their helper Rosie to hit Little India for a French dinner. After some good wine and great company, I almost forgot that we had kids and it was just like old times.

On our last day we went to the smick and modern Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. There was an indoor skating rink, gorgeous window displays and an indoor canal that you could take a gondola on under a bridge. The highlight was Cynthia’s favourite ice cream/chocolate shop Au Chocolat and the ingenious water fountain that dropped from the ceiling to fill the canal.

Singapore to see a good friend had been the perfect first trip to test the waters of travelling alone with the little one and I was so glad that I had come.

Related posts: Singapore, 2013: Part 1Singapore, 2012: Old vs NewSingapore, 2012: Part 1Indonesia and Singapore, 1994England, Singapore and Malaysia, 1998It’s an Asia Thing

Holland, 1997

Sarah and I travelled on the Stenaline Discovery from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.

We tripped over the hundreds of bikes out the front of Amsterdam Central Station and went to stay at the Globe hostel.

As everyone who visits Amsterdam does, we visited the red light district, saw a peep show and went to the Stone’s Café with handy menu’s showing the different forms in which marijuana could be consumed legally. Other cafes such as The Doors Café, the Grasshopper and the Greenhouse were all appropriately themed.

We visited the house where Anne Frank lived behind a bookshelf during the war and went on a tour of the Heineken Brewery. We went for a ride on the huge Ferris wheel in Dam Square and saw the famous Sunflowers painting at the Van Gogh museum.

Amsterdam is a city full of museums, so we also went to the hemp museum, the torture museum and the sex museum.

My favourite day was when we went on a canal boat tour of the Amstel River.

Nearby in Leiden, we visited a real windmill- the Molen De Valk, also known as the Falcon Windmill. Very cool.

We went to The Hague to see the Binnehof and the International Court of Justice.

In Zwaag, we visited some friends of my parents who owned The Great British Shop in Hoorn. They had kids, so we all went to Walibi World theme park in Flavoland for the day. It was strange seeing a big orange kangaroo (the theme park’s mascot) and not being in Australia.

I remember the Holland countryside being extremely flat and windy with dykes and three pronged white windmills.

Our first Euro rail ticket entry was to Station Blaak in Rotterdam.

The Erasmus suspension bridge reminded me of the Anzac bridge in Sydney.

We also saw the the Williems Brug bridge, the Euromast tower, and visited the old port area of Delfshaven before heading to the next country- Belgium.

Related posts: England, 1997, I first started travelling, By special request, Home is where you make it, I first started writing