A view from above and a senior singapore moment

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

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Sunday, October 2, 2011

I woke numerous times in the night due to yet more heavy rain and as usual it stops shortly after I'm ready to face the day.

My back is killing me.... well around my neck and I hope it passes soon!!

I find myself today heading to the harbour and after taking almost an hour to get here I then have a horrible feeling I've brought my camera with me but left my battery in the charger back at the resort (not even charging might I add!!!) A quick check and my feeling is confirmed!

So having come this far do I carry on and describe it without pictures? Go back? Or buy a disposable? None of the above I find a shop who sells battery's and sells them already charged!!

So a few dollars later and discount... which I never even asked for but thanks.. I begin my day!

Today I travel by cable car!

The Singapore government came up with the idea of an cable car to Sentosa from Mount Faber in 1968 as part of its masterplan for tourism projects in the country. 4 years later in 1972, construction on the S$5.8 million system commenced, and was officially opened on 15 February 1974 by then Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Goh Keng Swee. During its opening, the system had 43 cabins which required manual opening and closing of doors by cabin attendants. This was increased to 51 cabins in 1976. The show Hawaii Five-O (you're humming the tune aren't you?) was filmed on the system in the same year, while the world's first Mass Weddings on the cable cars was introduced in the late 1970s.  In 1988, the system celebrated its 10 millionth rider. It played hosts to the contestants of the Miss World Pageant when it was held in Singapore in 1989, as well as the sportsmen and officials who were here for the Southeast Asian Games in 1990.

The system's cabins were replaced in 1994 at a cost of over S$11 million. The new cabins totalled 80, and effectively doubled the system's capacity to 1400 passengers per hour in either direction from 700 passengers previously. The upgrade took 25 days to complete, during which time the system suspended operations.  A year later in 1995, the system welcomed its 20 millionth rider, and quickly reached its 25 millionth visitor just two years later in 1997. The stations at Mount Faber and Sentosa were also upgraded in the same year, while Lego presented to Singapore the world's only life-size cable car cabin based on the Singapore cable car's design.

In November 1999, the Singapore cable car system did another world's first with its glass-bottomed cabins at a cost of S$30,000 each. 6 more of these popular cabins were added in December 2000, giving the system a total of 81 cabins today.  For a week from March 16, 2004, the system conducted the 'Surviving the Sky' Challenge as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations. 34 two-man teams (2 teams withdrew at the last minute) from around Asia attempted the challenge to see who could survive the longest in the cable car for 24 hours a day.(sounds like David Blaine, huh?)  A S$36 million upgrade of the entire system started on September 14, 2009 and re-opened on July 21, 2010. All the cabins are now metallic black cars with chrome trimming. There are 67 bigger cabins, including World's First 7* VIP Jewelled Cabin. (hmmm I wish but no travelled in the normal one!) The two cables were raised by 30m to facilitate the bigger cabins, to stand 120 m above sea level. Seating capacity was also increased to eight passengers per cabin from six. There are also new flip-up seats and a new music system.

And with all good things.... there are sometimes incidents....

An accident on the Singapore Cable Car system occurred on 29 January 1983, when the derrick of the Eniwetok, a Panamanian-registered oil rig, passed under the aerial ropeway and struck the cable that stretched over the waterway between the Jardine Steps Station and the Sentosa Station. As a result, two cabins plunged 55 metres into the sea, killing seven people. The oil rig was being towed away from Keppel Wharf when it became entangled in the cable and caused it to snap. It also left 13 people trapped in four other cabins between Mount Faber and Sentosa. The accident was the first involving death or injury since the cable car system opened in February 1974. This disaster caused the entire system to shut down for almost seven months.

And ignoring what has happened, this cable car ride is just lovely if not a bit scary.... you look below at the sea, main road and lots of greenery....   its another must do.

Arriving at Mount Faber, a hill that provides a panoramic view of Singapore and other countries in the distance, it rests amongst the lush foliage and this is where The Jewel Box stands as Singapore’s iconic hilltop destination.

At 106m above sea-level, Mount Faber is Singapore's third highest hill and a popular tourist destination. The hill, originally named Telok Blangah Hill, was renamed Mount Faber in July 1845, in honour of Captain Charles Edward Faber of the Madras Engineers. Captain Faber built a narrow winding road to the summit of Mount Faber for the installation of a signal station and flagstaff to complement military operations on Sentosa island.

In 1974, Singapore’s first cableway system and the first in the world to span a harbour was launched. This cableway linked Mount Faber and the Sentosa island. In 2005, this humble cable car station underwent its biggest refurbishment and rebranding and was transformed into a unique and captivating tourist destination, THE JEWEL BOX.

The transformation into Singapore’s iconic hilltop destination was conceptualized by Mount Faber Leisure Group’s CEO, Ms Susan Teh. The name was inspired by the building’s architecture - a musical jewel box whose luminous lustre could be witnessed from afar. The twinkling star-lights, changing colour washes on the exterior fašade, and the glittering cable cars that traverse in and out of the unique fašade at night, attract millions of tourists and locals to uncover and delight in the many gems that can be found within its confines.

The Jewel Box houses a retail shop, cable car attraction rides and 5 gem-inspired F&B establishments each offering a distinct dining experience. Designated as a premium gateway, The Jewel Box offers a premium and differentiated experience for guests to Sentosa island’s attractions including Resorts World@ Sentosa and Universal Studios

And the legend.....

A long time ago, there once lived a little girl named Cheery. She was blind since birth and her parents were amongst the poorest in the land. Although they had nothing much to offer her, Cheery’s parents always showered her with plenty of love and care.

Years passed and little Cheery grew up to be a young lady of great charm and intelligence. She had a lovely character and many of those who knew her adored her. One of the things she had learned from parents is to give love to the people around her. Soon, the news of her traveled to the faraway Fairy Kingdom where the Fairy Godmother heard about her kindness to mankind and was touched by Cheery’s sincerity.

One warm, starry night, the Fairy God Mother entered into Cheery’s chamber at midnight and woke Cheery. In the gentlest voice, she told Cheery that for her great kindness to mankind, she will be granted a wish that will make her dreams a reality.Kind Cheery replied, "My dear Fairy God Mother, I was born blind and I never knew how beautiful this world is, but I am still happy. I have encountered many unhappy and angry people, crying, quarreling, screaming and shouting at each other. Is the world such an ugly place? Compared to them, I am fortunate because my parents love me and I want to give love to these people.

My only wish is to have a beautiful place where people can go and be bathed in the warmth of love, sincerity, joy and happiness. It should be on a hill where we can smell the freshness of greenery and the sweet scent of flowers and feel the security of tall strong trees. A place where the bees dance and the birds sing to cheer the weary souls. A refuge where we can feel the warmth of the setting sun as it paints an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colours across the sky. A highpoint where people can see the sparkling lights bouncing with every wave that washes across the sea, helping each tired spirit to rejuvenate and let go of sorrow and worries. Here they can breathe in fresh clean air that will help them stay young, beautiful and healthy. A meeting point where you meet beautiful people ever smiling from the depths of their hearts.

It must be a place that fascinates. These are all the jewels of life! Please put them into a Jewel Box for the world to behold and enjoy. My wish is for everyone to come and be touched by these true gems of life all set in The Jewel Box." When Cheery finished her words, Fairy God Mother vanished. Just then, Cheery felt the breaking dawn warming her face and she opened her eyes – she could see! She ran out of the house and saw the house was up on the hill, transformed into The Jewel Box of her dream. Fairy God Mother had granted her wish.

Ever since then, Cheery and The Jewel Box has touched the lives of many who ventured through its doors and enjoyed the gems of life. Though you can’t see Cheery now but her spirit of love is in the air for this is The Jewel Box – the place where you can be touched by passion and enjoy the greatness of the simplest yet most beautiful things that nature has to offer up here on Mount Faber.

Magical? No, it is in all of us and we can enjoy it if only we allow it to surface.Cheery invites you to The Jewel Box to discover and be one true happy person!

You can walk the many paths here or just relax and have lunch or a drink... it really is just lush!

Another Singapore attraction that is totally enchanting.

I then make my way back on the cable car and head to Vivo city.  For all you shopaholics out there, this is the largest mall in Singapore!!!

VivoCity evokes a lifestyle experience that is modern, stimulating and accessible to everyone, a place bubbling with energy and flowing with vitality. It also serves as the official venue for the live televised countdown to the new year!

To say this mall is BIG would be an understatement, its huge... set on 5 levels!!  Even I got lost!!  There is every shop you could imagine and a great shopping destination... did I buy anything.... silly question!!!!

After a full on day my legs are beginning to ache and I make my way back to the resort for dinner and a early(ish) night!!

I've said it before but I'm loving Singapore!!

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