Flying high

Trip Start Mar 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Monday, September 26, 2011

I wake today having had a restless night.. the rain was loud and heavy but thankfully just through the night and stops for the day which is good news...

I have up teen coffees before doing anything and then I hear Robin calling my name from outside, she asks what I'm doing today and I tell her my plans and she asks to tag along... no problem!

I shower and we set off and the first stop after another coffee (making up for all the bad tasting coffee I've had!) we head to the National Museum of Singapore.

The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in Singapore. Its history dates back to 1849 when it was started as a section of a library at Singapore Institution.

The museum focuses on exhibits related to the history of Singapore. The Museum was named the National Museum of Singapore in 1965. For a brief period between 1993 and March 2006, it was known as the Singapore History Museum, before reverting back to its previous name.

After Singapore's independence in 1965, the museum focused its collection to nation-building and the history of Singapore. Its zoological collections was moved to the biology department of the National University of Singapore and to some museums such as in Kolkata in India and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. This all happened in 1969. Its most iconic artifact was the skeleton of a blue whale found in Port Dickson in 1893 and was displayed from 1903 to 1969. The museum then featured exhibits on history, ethnology and arts of  Singapore and the region.

This museum is guided by audio and is a maze of information... you can choose one of two paths to follow... the personal (commentaries and memorabilia by ordinary people) or the events path.. both give you the history of Singapore.  A truly remarkable museum..

I had planned on visiting another but to be honest this one really is culture overload... and so we carry on walking and I show Robin the Fountain of Wealth and took the opportunity to walk 3 times while my right hand remained in the water and so am now hoping I'll have double the luck!!! :) It cant hurt can it??

The city is still busy with the after effect of the Grand Prix and slowly the barriers are coming down and you can now see the track... I mean the normal roads on which they raced!!  You can also see lots of leftover tyres and such.... 

Being able to walk through the city and not detour for miles is so much better for my legs!! Already I'm aching... full credit to Robin!

Robin then asked where the Raffles hotel was as she hadn't seen it and although I have I'm happy to show her... she loves it and we decided to take the opportunity to have a sit down...for some afternoon tea... it surely has to be done??!! 

Feeling more refreshed we make our way to the Singapore Flyer...

The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel, constructed in 2005–2008. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of 165 m (541 ft), making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world!! 5 m (16 ft) taller than the Star of Nanchang and 30 m (98 ft) taller than the London Eye... and I thought that was big!

It comprises a 150 m (492 ft) diameter wheel, built over a three-story terminal building which houses shops, bars and restaurants, and offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about 45 km (28 mi), including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.The final capsule was installed on 2 October 2007, the wheel started rotating on 11 February 2008 and it officially opened to the public on 1 March 2008.Tickets for rides on the first 3 nights were sold out for $8,888, an auspicious number in Chinese culture.The grand opening for the Flyer was held on 15 April 2008.Each of the 28 air-conditioned capsules is capable of holding 28 passengers, and a complete rotation of the wheel takes approximately 37 minutes. Initially rotating in a counter-clockwise direction when viewed from Marina Centre, its direction was changed on 4 August 2008 under the advice of Feng Shui masters. (It pays to be superstitious!)

Early designs showed a 169 m (554 ft) tall wheel similar to the London Eye, drawing criticism that it lacked originality. The developers pointed out that the design wasn't finalised and was merely for conceptualization purposes, though the final project changed little from the early designs. Subsequently, the project was to grind almost to a halt when the developer faced difficulties in sourcing funds to build the wheel. Original plans to complete the wheel by the end of 2005 were thus postponed indefinitely, and there were reports (denied by the Singapore Tourism Board) that the tourism board has set an ultimatum date of 31 March 2005 for the developer to iron out its financial issues and to keep the development going.By September 2005, the project was revived when funds were successfully sourced from two German banks.

What you may and may not want to know is the Flyer has suffered several breakdowns:
  • In July 2008 the Flyer was stopped because of a minor fault in the braking system.
  • On 4 December 2008, the wheel was stuck for nearly five hours due to bad weather and some 70 people were stranded.
  • On 23 December 2008, the wheel stopped moving and trapped 173 passengers for about six hours.The breakdown was caused by a short circuit and fire in the Flyer's wheel control room, which cut off the air-conditioning in the wheel. Eleven passengers were evacuated via a sling-like device from a few of the capsules, and those stranded were given food and drink. The wheel restarted nearly seven hours after it had stopped and two people were hospitalized. The Flyer was closed indefinitely and an investigation into the cause of the malfunction was launched. The wheel re-opened on 26 January 2009 after the Singapore Police received the final safety certification report from the Comformity Assessment Board. Following this breakdown, additional back-up systems costing about S$3 million were installed. These included a generator, winches, three anti-fire and smoke systems, and heat detection devices.
  • At 1 pm on 18 July 2010, the ride was shut after one of its electrical cables supplying power to the air-conditioning systems was struck by lightning, affecting the air-conditioning system. Thereafter, the management evacuated the some 200 passengers and stopped the wheel. The Flyer was re-opened on 20 July 2010 at 2 pm after repair works were completed.
However not taking any notice of the above this is a Singapore must do!!!

We start to make our way back and over the last couple of days my back has been really achy and in pain.... despite Robin who once upon a time was a masseuse... and gave me a massage last night I'm in need of some back TLC and just so happen to stumble upon a spa... The woman asks me about my back, tells me not to drink ice cold water and off we go... to say it was relaxing would be an understatement... the pain is so sore and uncomfortable at times... however she seems to know what she is doing and has strong hands...  the massage is actually a sports therapy one so I hope it makes a difference... in the meantime Robin is has a foot massage!!

Feeling somewhat better we make our way to the station, we've kept these poor people working beyond their hours... two of them Jimmy and Lin see us at the station and ride with us to our destination.... both are such nice people and Jimmy tells me I left my oil behind... apparently you get to take a small bottle afterwards... hmmm not sure how I'm going to use that on my own??!!!

We make it back to the resort at about 11.30pm and say goodnight, I quickly have a shower and am then joined by twin sisters Laura and Melody... both have been travelling separately and have met up for the last leg of their journey...  the luxury of my own room has come to an end.. all good things!!!

We chat for a while before the land of nod takes over... the girls have been travelling 26 hours and are looking forward to some rest...

Until tomorrow....

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