Once again, I awoke before my alarm- though not as early as on the previous mornings. This was my 4th day in a row of having eggs and bacon for breakfast- since they always ask me if I want coffee/tea (no) and if I want eggs; there are other options available on the buffet but eggs are ok and I would have felt bad not ordering anything from them. Still, I will be happy to not have eggs for a long time!
After breakfast, I finished packing up my stuff- I'll miss that room. In addition to being adorable, the bed, which had ploh bedding, was very comfortable. The hotel's bathrobes that felt super soft and cozy. I dropped off my bags at the front desk so I could go out and not worry about being back by checkout time- which turned out to be a good idea.
For my last morning, I decided to do the Southern Ridges Walk- this is a hearty walk through trails, much of them high above Singapore streets, linking 3 parks. I figured I'd start at Mt Faber- and rather than walking uphill, I'd take a ride up there; normally, there are cable cars to connect the Harbourfront with Mt Faber but these are under renovation so there is a shuttle bus. Given that I hate heights, I was glad to be able to take a shuttle bus instead! However, I had to actually find
the bus... after not locating it at the bus depot, I had the bright idea of following the signs for the cable cars; I figured they'd at least have signage about where to find the bus. Good idea as that was actually where the buses stopped- and there was one coming in 10 minutes.
After a ride twisting up one way roads, the little bus arrived at the Jewel Box, which is normally the terminus for the cable cars. (I saw some cable cars
sitting unused there) I walked around admiring the view
before journeying onwards through Faber Walk
; when I got to Faber Point, I was assaulted by tour groups- so much for a peaceful hike, eh? Actually, it wasn't that bad- although I did have to wait awhile to take a photo of a Merlion
statue. (because no, I didn't want to include Random People posing in the front of it) There was also a group of school kids- I don't know if it was the same group that would intersect with me throughout the walk or another one.
After stupidly backtracking because I wasn't sure I was going in the right direction, I made it to the next section of the walk: the Henderson Waves which connect Mt Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. This section intrigued me the most because of the undulating design
(like a sine curve) of the walkway. My guidebook said that it was not for those who are afraid of heights (which, as I've said above, is me)- and when I got a closer look, it did seem terribly high. Would I go forward or would I decide to just take my photo and backtrack? And the answer is... I didn't come all the way to Singapore to go back! I walked rather briskly across- always looking ahead- while admiring the design elements
. It's definitely one of the coolest walkways
I've experienced. I wonder if my guidebook's admonishment freaked me out more than I would have been otherwise.
After walking through the rather ordinary Hilltop Walk, I came to the zig-zagging iron pathways of the Forest Walk
. Due to my fear of heights, I was nervous about this walkway (despite my guidebook not saying anything about it being potentially scary) since it was narrower than the Henderson Waves. But it was mostly very nice- at a couple points where I was a little nervous, I just looked straight ahead. At the end of the Forest Walk was the Alexandra Arch
As I walked through Hort Park, I was starting to get tired. And hot. In fact, this walk served to redefine my definition of "hot and tired" ;) Remember- Singapore is hot. Think "hotter and more humid than Disney World in the summer" So... yeah. But there were a lot of beautiful displays
at Hort Park.
At this point, I had entered a 3rd park: Kent Ridge Park. When I saw that the pathways to Canopy Walk were uphill, part of me wanted to turn around to Hort Park and be done with it. But, again, I didn't want to come all the way to Singapore not to do the full walk. I'm hard core that way. So I persevered- along with the group of schoolchildren who were walking all around me. However, all the kids went in another direction, so the Canopy Walk
itself was a very peaceful- but short- walk on elevated wooden platforms.
OK, whee, I was done the main walks... err, now what? It was nice being isolated from urban Singapore-- until it came time to want to get back to my hotel! I meandered through Kent Ridge park and was unsuccessful at figuring out how to find some civilization. It was actually a little eerie to feel that there was no one around if I had an emergency. After running into a dead end that required me to use strength I didn't have to walk up several flights of stairs... I decided to just backtrack to Hort Park, where I knew there were people who could help me try to find a cab. I continued to redefine the words "hot" and "exhausted"- yet, at the same time, I was also feeling very inviguerated from my walk. You know I was tired because I wasn't interested in taking any more photos. ;)
At Hort Park, I stumbled on a snack kiosk- paradise! I purchased a bottle of water (the one I'd taken from my hotel was long gone) and a big chocolate chip cookie. Yumm! At the main info desk, I asked about a cab- they said I could walk to a main road or they could call me one but it would take a few minutes and would cost a couple dollars for a cab to be called. Ummm, being beyond exhausted (at this point, I must have been walking for about 3 hrs)... I asked them to please call! The cab came pretty quickly; I'm not sure why the cab driver asked me if I'd had lunch, but I said "yes".
After getting back to my hotel, I reorganized a bit and caught another cab to the cruise terminal. Unfortunately, the cab left me off at one of the mall entrances rather than the proper entrance for checking in bags so after checking in with the cruise line, I had to backtack downstairs to check my bags. On the bright side, that diversion made me cross the path of a shop where I could exchange some of my leftover Singapore money for chocolate. ;)
Then it was a loooooooong line for Passport control/ security
. Followed by a looooooong line to turn passports over to the cruise ship. Was I having fun yet? Non! Although it was exciting the first time I saw my ship
in person; I'd hoped to catch sight of it on my walk earlier but I didn't see it. While in line to board the ship
, I stopped to get my boarding photo taken- I figured I looked like crap, but I was showing my Phillies pride and it was a rare chance to have a photo taken of myself.
I was glad to finally get to my cabin
- I had a balcony room and since it was in the aft (back) of the ship, it had a super large balcony
. Niiiice. The room itself also seemed bigger than my previous hotel- definitely more storage space. The only negative was that the shower was tiny. But all in all, it seemed very comfortable. I took some photos of Singapore
from my balcony.
After I took off my shoes, I realized that I had some monster blisters! Eek! Eventually, I hobbled up to the buffet because I was starving. I got some pasta, which was mediocre, and some fish, which was pretty good. However, I had to walk so far to get a table that I didn't want to go back for seconds. I also didn't think I could carry my food and something to drink at the same time; buffets aren't made for single people.
Despite my feet bothering me, I had to take my camera and explore the ship- I particularly liked the Chinese New Year decorations
in the main atrium.
I enjoyed a chance to take some photos without random people in them since everyone must have been getting ready for the muster drill. Which, of course, I had to attend myself. It was hot and humid standing around for the muster drill- not to mention that the blisters on my right foot were killing me. I felt like I was going to pass out and was thrilled when it was finally over and I had to battle the crowds to get back inside.
As you might have surmised, I wasn't having the best day; it occurred to me that I was having more culture shock on the cruise ship than I had in Singapore, where I felt immediately at home. Back in the cabin, I turned on the TV and flipped the channels; I stopped when I found the movie "Up"
dubbed in Japanese! Subarashii! I love that movie and took it as a sign that I should cheer up; I even understood some of it.
After the movie, I walked around the ship some more, and chatted with a friendly American who works at the rock climbing wall. Definitely want to try that- but not when my feet are aching so much. At some point, I signed up for wifi at the Internet kiosks- I tried to check my email but I wasn't able to connect to any sites. Grr. I thought about going to the welcome show at 7:45 but my luggage finally arrived in my room and I really wanted to shower and change before my 8:30 dinner.
We still hadn't set sail by dinner time- the captain had made an announcement that our 6pm sail away would be delayed by 3-4 hrs due to fuel or customs... at least I think he made the announcement; I may have been the only one to hear it, though, because everyone else I talked to seemed perplexed as to why we weren't moving. At dinner, I was seated with a family from Singapore and an older couple from Ireland. They were all very nice, but I felt a little out of place... I'd been hoping to be seated with some people more my age. The food was pretty good, although it seemed like all the other tables got served before us: I had a vidalia onion tart, salmon, and a chocolate mousse type dessert. The dining room was gorgeous and I was glad my table was by the large glass windows. I was also glad when the ship finally set sail at about 10pm!
After dinner, I wanted to work on my trip report but I was truly worn out so I went to sleep- after going out on my balcony to take photos of Singapore
which was fading away. It was a weird day- I went through periods of being excited about my cruise which alternated with periods of not loving the cruise. We'll see how this plays out. It'll be good to have a day to relax my feet after my whirlwind tour of Singapore.