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Published: January 6th 2018
Our vessel for the next 12 hours!
Firstly dear readers, I should start by way of a small apology. This second blog entry should have been posted some hours ago, but a combination of losing a whole raft of text just as I was about to 'push the button' and then finding that there was an annoying problem uploading my photos, culminated in what will be forever known, in the annals of Kilby holidaying experiences as, the Totally Traumatic Travel-blogging Temper Tantrum!!
But, fear not me hearties, normal service has been resumed and I am proud to introduce Episode Two of The Great Kilboran Antipodean Adventure
...........'The Road to Singapore
So, here it is; the big day has arrived! Thursday 4th January 2018; Christmas and New Year are now a distant, but happy memory and tearful farewells have been said to nearest and dearest. Tim and Sue, being the wealthier pair of the happy foursome, stayed in the luxury Heathrow Travelodge (!!!) overnight - note to fellow travellers: Travelodge don't supply hairdryers in the room, so Sue has spent a couple of hours on the runway trying to style her luscious locks from the thrust of a passing 747!!
As for the Kilbys, our taxi arrved on
We're smiling......so it must be the start of the flight!
the dot at 6.15 am and..........it was bucketing down! A poet might say that it was the tears of a nation, sad to see us go; however, I'm pretty sure that it was actually a flipping great low pressure system and the fag end of Storm Eleanor!! Anyway, Burgin's Taxis served us well and we arrived at Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport at about 7.45, only to find that Tim & Sue's hotel shuttle bus driver had missed the part of his training where, in addition to stopping at each hotel, he was also supposed to pick up passengers before setting off again!! Despite fearing that the holiday might be 'Uber' before it had even started, Tim called a cab and before Mandy and I had time to finish our Costa Coffee Grande, Skinny, Special Blend Lattes with extra shots, a valid quorum had been established and we were on our way.
So, a few facts about the aircraft on our first leg. This is our first time on the mighty, double-decker, Airbus A380 and we are actually on the Upper Deck!! Not 'Upper Class' I hasten to add, just plain old economy, but good seats, with decent legroom and,
Now.......is it an A380 or is it a B42???
in addition to the usual overhead locker, a very handy extra storage compartment between the seats and the window. I think the ladies were worried that we might not get fed on the plane, cos that extra storage seems to be filled with sweets and nibbles....... AND Emma, you were spot on, we did go up a separate outside walkway to get to the upper deck!!
We cruised at 39,000 ft, flying at a modest 550 mph and the 440 passengers arrived, on schedule, at 7.00 am, Singapore time. First leg done and 7,000 miles travelled in 12 hours. And no phaffing about; we were through Immigration, Baggage Claim and Customs and in our taxi on our way to the city, before the 8.00 am news on the radio! Super efficient or what?
Our home for the next 3 days, will be the Swissotel, Merchant Court; and a very nice place it is too, in a perfect location. Although we arrived far too early for our rooms to be ready, we were able to upgrade for a relatively modest £40 for the whole stay AND get into the rooms immediately. So, it was off to bed for a
When you're visiting the Tiger Economy, it has to be a Tiger beer!
couple of hours shut-eye, before getting up refreshed (NOT!!) and then hitting the town, with a lovely stroll and lunch in Chinatown and then on to the Clarke Quay waterfront area and treating ourselves to the first ice cream of the trip.
After another pit stop back at the hotel, we then braved Singapore's version of the Underground (beautifully clean, welcoming and cheap) taking us for a magical 4 hours at the amazing Gardens by the Bay. A massive and incredible complex of gardens, including a fantasy land type complex of tree sculptures called the Supertree Grove and a tree-top walkway known as the OCBC Skyway, all against the backcloth of the magnificent Marina Bay Sands hotel, with its dazzling ship-like Skypark sitting astride the top. And to cap it all, the gardens were transformed by a stunning light show at night. What a start to our trip!
After a quick nightcap, it was off to bed for some well earned rest, although that was before the 'tantrum' mentioned above!
But, before I go, a couple of interesting facts/questions about our first day (and see who can avoid using Google!!):
* Singapore is widely known as
One for the Spurs fans!
one of only three modern indepedent city states. Who will be first to name the other two?
* Storm Eleanor has reeked havoc in the UK this week, but who can name the band who had a hit with Lady Eleanor in 1970?
* Singapore is passionate about cleanliness and even introduced a global 'World Day' on the 19th November each yeat. But, what 'World Day' was it?
So that's it folks, Episode Two is in the can and don't forget to look out for the whole box-set on Netflix in due course!! TTFN PS: some of you may have wondered why I was the only one wearing long trousers in Chinatown. Well, the zip offs were removed later and here's the proof!! PPS: don't forget to check out the additional photos at the end of the blog.
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Tips for Mandy!
Don't waste time yanking his trouser bottoms off, start with his blooming neck!!!!!!! Sounds like a great (if not stress free) start to your trip, and having fine hair, I soooooo sympathise with Sue!.
hope you can keep this level of correspondence up through the whole trip Mr Kilby. we are there with you (I wish). great reading, looking forward to the next instalment. Take care and hope the rest of the trip lives up to this first stop. xxxx
I'll do my very best Judy; next instalment being prepared now!! x
Tea at Raffles ??
Would you believe it Gabriel, Raffles is closed for renovation!!!
Would you believe it Gabriel, Raffles is closed for renovation!!
Steve & Lily
Those gardens ARE amazing, but I particularly enjoyed your Pantsdown moment, reminded me of Bucks Fizz doing their Eurovision number. Whilst on music, I know the non intellectual of your 3 quiz questions... Lady Eleanor was sung by the band named after the island off Northumberland, Lindisfarne. Am I allowed a return ?. Name the American '60s rock band who took 'Eleanore' into the charts... if you know, you'll be my pride & joy et cetera
Cheers Steve. You know what, I'm still 'making my mind up' whether the zipped off style is a good look or not!! Limdisfarne is correct of course. As for your question, the song has been worming its way into my head all day, but I can't remember the band. I want to say Nashville Teens, but I'm pretty sure it's wrong!
Very impressed! Brings back happy memories! BUT very disappointed that I didn't get a mention for waving you off at 6.15am!!
And this one did Margaret. So sorry that I forgot to mention your early morning send off! My only excuse is that it was a long day!! xx
Kilborans on holiday
As ever we can rely on Paul to provide a very eloquent and amusing account of our travels. Here at Singapore airport waiting to fly to Auckland- awaiting the account of the next part of our tour. Well done Paulie keep it up bro xxxxx