Early in the morning we collected ourselves and our baggage to head for the airport. Not that I ever took it for granted, but I extra appreciate how easy Sola airport is outside Stavanger. The hour drive sure changes things a bit, but it was smooth sailing. It took us all a moment to adjust to the hustle and bustle of central Singapore city, but we managed to find some lunch and squeeze in some naps and start our adventures. Friday evening, we navigated the metro to Marina Bay Sands. The youngins were off to a concert featuring Carly Rae Jepsen, PSY, and Ceelo Green. We heard about it that morning as a girl from KL was next to my aunt and uncle on the plane and casually mentioned she was going to interview Carly Rae. Once we looked up all the details, I opted out, but it didn’t prevent the rest of us from having an amazing evening walking through the gardens (the concert was also reported as fantastic). We were able to take in some views from atop the “super trees” as they are called and then were surprised by a light show. We even lucked out on a delicious roasted chicken and veggie supper. Making our way home and trying to stop for a couple of groceries we saw a taste of the local Friday night activity and finally crashed back at the hotel.
Saturday we got up, ready, and fed before heading out on the hop-on, hop-off bus. It was perfect for Singapore since it is very spread out and I really enjoyed seeing all the little bits in transit rather than being underground on the metro between the places we wanted to see. We spent a fair amount of time around the bay area, which I really enjoyed, and mostly took in all the sites by bus for the day. We still managed to be baked, sweaty, and tired, but I thought it was well worth it and we really did see a lot.
After a little regrouping we headed out to the Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo. It is a ways out of the center and when we arrived they told us the main gates were closed as the number of people inside was getting too high – holiday weekend. However, by the time we finished having that conversation, the gates were apparently open again and we managed to get inside. After the drive and the entrance debacle we did not want to wait in line right away for the main attraction- the tram ride- so we decided to go on some of the walking trails. I had read great reviews, but no one really explained why they liked the zoo. I, however, was instantly in to the whole thing as soon as we started seeing the animals. It was so cool because it flips everything you know. It is night time so you think there will be no activity, but the zoo was full of life. It was also a lot of fun spotting the animals and seeing all the different species I haven’t necessarily encountered before. There were some the enclosures were also very open especially in places like the walk through bat exhibit. That was quite a laugh as all of us were creeping through like it was a haunted house and dropped to the floor anytime a bat flew over our heads. In our defense, they were huge.
Somehow we ended up on the other end of the park and managed to board the tram in an area where they were not supposed to be accepting passengers. It was perfect because there was no wait and we got the best end of the route without hassle. I think the word tram is deceiving because I sort of think of the little cart they drive around in the airport. It is kind of like that, and the whole place is a bit Disney, but the cool part that no one seems to mention is that the tram acts like the safari. You get to drive through several areas where you cannot walk since the animals have limited or no barrier between them and the tram. While I know it has nothing on an African Safari (which is on the list as well) I thought it was fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like animals and zoos, then this is definitely a good one.
Since the zoo was obviously at night it was another late one getting home. Not to mention we also got a flat tire and had to wait for a new bus. Luckily, for that part of the night we all just had to laugh and wait. We did get a bit of rest as the next morning was “free” day. I wanted to use the remainder of our bus pass though and went off to explore a bit more of Little India in the morning. It was fun to get a street view and walk around a bit for a different perspective. The whole thing took a bit longer than expected, mostly due to the bus route, but I did manage to get back and even squeeze in a quick coffee stop with a friend and ex-manager from NYC now living in Singapore. Again, so cool meeting up with people in new places 🙂 After that, I caught up with the gang and we headed to the colorful Clark’s Quay for lunch. Some Mexican food and shopping our way back to the hotel topped off the afternoon before heading back to the airport. Overall, there was plenty to keep us busy, Singapore definitely has the bustle of big city life, and we had a splendid weekend! Double bonus: it was officially my first trip with Teta and Vuyko which seems long overdue.