Friday, September 13, 2013

Singapore: Waterfront Wanderings

Oh, it's hot and humid this morning - what a surprise that isn't, considering we're in Singapore.

We enjoyed a magnificent buffet breakfast in Oscar's this morning, another privilege of Executive Floor status at the Singapore Conrad.

After breakfast, the hotel kindly agreed to move our checkout time to 1:00 p.m., giving us the opportunity to stroll down to the waterfront. We thought we "knew" Singapore after four or five visits, but, like Las Vegas, it seems to be constantly re-inventing itself.

It was hard to overlook our first view of three buildings with what appears to be a ship sitting on top of them. Back in our room, searching for "Singapore building with ship on top" enable us to learn quickly  that it's the Marina Bay Sands Resort, designed by famed architect Moshe Safdie, and Number One on at least one list of Best Buildings in Singapore.
We decided to view the original Merlion statue from a distance, as it was surrounded by hordes of tourists even at this fairly early hour. We've seen the much larger replica on Sentosa Island, and don't know whether to be reverently impressed or to look on it, as some Singaporeans do, as a tourist gimmick with no real historical roots connecting it to Singapore.
 It's not Shanghai, but Singapore afforded us our first view of Asia some years ago now, and the buildings in this relatively compact city (in Asia 5.3 million inhabitants isn't all that large) continue to impress us.
From there we wandered onward away from the masses to the relatively deserted Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, taking photos that somewhat resemble a Mediterranean port town, if it weren't for the high-rises lurking in the background.

We walked far enough to catch the MRT on the purple line, then transferring to the Circle Line and arriving back at the Promenade stop, a short walk from the Conrad - provided you take the correct Number Four exit, which we did today.

Even the MRT is relatively quiet Saturday morning.

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