Take-off .... and Landing!

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January 5th 2013
Published: January 9th 2013
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Butterfly Garden 1Butterfly Garden 1Butterfly Garden 1

@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
January 5...I'm at my uncle George's apartment, overlooking the Galle Face Green park and the ocean in Colombo. It's a bit gloomy and mostly overcast, but hot and humid outside, much like yesterday but without the persisitent drizzle. Apparently the rain that Colombo has been experiencing recently is somewhat unusual for this time of year.

The journey from Calgary to Colombo was long but uneventful. The travel gods were smiling, as the flight from Los Angeles to Singapore (with a 2 hour layover in Tokyo) was not full and there was an empty seat between myself and the next passenger in my row. It was unexpected to have a bit more elbow room but very welcome when trying to manoeuver into a comfortable sleeping position. (a note for Dean W. - the plane was an Airbus 380-800 - the biggest plane I've ever flown on with seating capacity of 417 passengers). I did manage 4 to 5 hours of sleep per segment, but was happy to check into the transit hotel on arrival at Singapore's Changi Airport at 4 am to get some more sleep in a real bed!

If you have to endure a long layover (mine was
Butterfly Garden 2Butterfly Garden 2Butterfly Garden 2

@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
nearly 19 hours), Changi is one of the best airports in the world to be stuck at. There's a mind-boggling array of shopping if one is so inclined as well as internal butterfly, orchid and sunflower gardens, a swimming pool, movie theatre, 3 transit hotels, Singapore's tallest waterslide and many other attractions among its 3 terminals. Downtown Singapore is relatively close - I left the airport midafternoon on a free 2 hour bus tour that gave me a flavour for the city's central attractions but decided not to explore further as it was pouring rain by that point and my umbrella was in my checked bag.

Arrival in Colombo was very efficient. I arrived just after midnight local time on January 4, approximately 51 hours after leaving Calgary. I had applied for the Sri Lankan visa ($20 USD) online and after scanning my passport and giving me the visa stamp, I was through immigration - it took maybe 2 minutes. Waiting the bags took much longer as I'm sure they were buried in the bowels of the aircraft and came out nearly last. An hour's drive into Colombo proper and I was at George's at 2 am, tired but
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@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
happy to have arrived. Time for more sleep!

My aunt has been visiting, so we spent Friday morning down in the old Fort area while my uncle was at work. It was good to get some fresh air, although the humidity is going to get some getting used to. We visited the local jeweller as well, as Maria had some pieces to pick up - probably not the best time to start shopping but what the heck!

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Butterfly Garden 4Butterfly Garden 4
Butterfly Garden 4

@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
Orchid Garden 1Orchid Garden 1
Orchid Garden 1

@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
Orchid Garden 2Orchid Garden 2
Orchid Garden 2

@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
Orchid Garden 3Orchid Garden 3
Orchid Garden 3

@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
Orchid Garden 4Orchid Garden 4
Orchid Garden 4

@ Changi International Airport, Singapore
Marine Bay Sands HotelMarine Bay Sands Hotel
Marine Bay Sands Hotel

On the top of this hotel is an outdoor swimming pool and park
The MerlionThe Merlion
The Merlion

Symbol of Singapore

9th January 2013

Looks like a fab time
9th January 2013
Butterfly Garden 4

Awsome pictures. I know you are having a wonderful journey. Keep us posted. Take care.
9th January 2013

Butterfly & Orchid garden right at the Airport where you are 'trapped' for hours!!! What more could a girl ask? Your trip so far looks so interesting and exotic and I am extremely jealous! lol! It sounds like you are having lots of interesting things to do despite the rain and then shopping in a Jewelry Store - now there's a wonderous pastime! Have fun - see I don't have to ask you to take lots of pictures!!
9th January 2013

Great post, Marilyn. I'll have Kyra and Hayley read it, I think they'll enjoy it better than National Geographic. Look forward to more of your adventures and fantastic photography.
9th January 2013

Good morning
Thanks for the update --nice you had a soft landing in Colombo with George and Maria -- Hi to them --have fun Marilyn --have lots of fun XXXX OOOO U.B.
9th January 2013

The butterflies and flowers are so beautiful. It is around zero to 10 below the last few days. A little fluffy snow. Love Auntie Barbara
9th January 2013

Yay MM, you made it!
Glad you arrived safe & sound... continued awesomeness to you on your adventure! Keep the updates coming; you do know how I l-o-v-e to live vicariously through your adventures : ) xo, kk
10th January 2013

Wow! amazing pics! The new lens was obviously worth it.
11th January 2013

Enjoying your blog!
Hello Marilyn! I was so excited to read your blog and see those spectacular photos! Can't wait to follow all of your journey! Sounds like you are off to an amazing start to your adventure! I am currently in La Fortuna, Costa Rica....near the Arenal volcano area...Bob and I have had a really exciting vacation white water rafting on class 5 river, zip lining, mountain biking, hiking, waterfalls, rainforest...however we leave tomorrow, back home after only 8 days.... Will live vicariously through your travels....wishing you a safe and exciting time, hoping you meet very interesting people, keep this wonderful blog going!

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