Alex & Jane's Australian Odyssey
Days 1 to 3 - London to Singapore
After months of anticipation, it was so exciting to finally board the BA jumbo bound for Singapore, the first leg on our Australian Odyssey. Jane and I have never ventured further east than Cyprus, and it was simply awesome to stare out of the window at countries and landscapes we had never seen before. The moonlit deserts of Iran were unexpected and particularly awe inspiring.
After 13 hours
in the air, we finally arrived in Singapore. I have never seen a baggage
carousel whose centre piece is an arrangement of pink orchids to rival anything
at the Chelsea Flower Show! OK, so I know it's not exactly hard core Far East,
but we loved our brief two nights there. We splashed out a bit and stayed at the
Swissotel Merchant Court. Got a free upgrade to a very plush room indeed,
although it was rather annoying waking up both mornings at 4am due to the jet
We spent most of the next day roaming around the city on foot. It's true what they say, Singapore is scarily clean! A bit touristy I know but, we had to take shelter from the sapping wet heat somewhere so where better than the Raffles hotel and a delicious Singapore Sling or two! They weren't that pricey and it was a real wrench to leave the cool of the colonial bar. Top tip for lunch - avoid the tourist places (Raffles excluded!) and go where the locals go. We found a great noodle bar - as large and as busy as a McDonald's - with simply fantastic, dirt cheap food. It was Sng$9 for both of us! We took a short boat trip along the Singapore River which was pretty interesting although, if you are nursing a hangover, the constant vibrations from the old diesel engine probably wouldn't help.
Singapore is a fascinating destination in its own
right and makes a perfect stop over, especially if you've never been to the Far
East before. We were a little frustrated not being able to see all that we
wanted (we were only there for one full day) but more exciting things beckoned.
Next stop, Australia ...