Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Singapore Chronicles - Gardens by the Bay

Often described as the jewel in the crown of Asia, Singapore is simply amazing! It is without doubt one of the most intriguing, beautiful and interesting cities I've ever visited - not to mention the hottest and stickiest. here you don't have "bad hair" days, but rather "impossible hair" days, especially if you have a fuzzy mane like mine - I've had to wear my hair in a bun every day so as not to scare young children.

My husband and I are very fortunate to have good friends who live here in Singapore. We are staying with some of them in their beautiful penthouse apartment over looking the city's high rises. They are wonderful hosts! If it wasn't for their generosity, stay in Singapore might be a different, and much less comfortable experience. Hotels here are expensive. Everything is expensive! Very, very expensive.

However, public transport is pretty good and moving about the city is quite easy. Even taxis are not too bad, so long as it is not raining - then everyone wants a taxi and there simply isn't enough to go around! Surcharges are often levied, and prices can really sky-rocket as everyone tries to stay dry.

Staying dry is not easy in this humid city at the best of times. The heat makes you sweat, but it doesn't evaporate, leaving you feeling sticky all the time. The rain drops are huge, fat, warm dollops of water - it feels just like stepping into a shower!

Though nature makes living here quite the challenge, Singaporeans have risen to that challenge admirably and built a city with beautiful and innovative architecture so that no matter where you look, the eye is rewards with graceful curves and sweeping lines. Singaporeans are justifiably proud of their city and country.

Gardens by the Bay
There is so much to do that I hardly have had time to blog about it all. So I've sectioned it off into different categories  - were you to visit here, each post potentially represents a day's adventures!


On the first weekend, our hosts brought us to the Gardens By The Bay. Lush landscaping surrounds a series of beautiful gardens and two massive glass conservatories - The Flower Dome and The Cloud Forest

Nearby, futuristic giant metal super trees support vertical plantings and we had a dizzying walk in the super tree grove sky way. 
 
It was strange to be so high up and looking down at amazing views yet still dwarfed by the skyscrapers from the nearby Marina Bay Sands complex.


You could spend hours here - your biggest challenge - picking your jaw up off the floor! This seems to be a bougainvillea with many different cultivars grafted to the same root-stock. Pretty nifty...
 
Both the glass houses and the sky walk  have an admission fee. Our friends suggested that we pick one of the glass houses and do it together. After some discussion we decided to do the Flower Dome.

It wasn't without some mirth that we noted the exhibit housed Mediterranean Zone plants. We'd come all the way to Singapore to walk around in a glass bubble artificially acclimated to grow Californian Plants! Though I didn't see too much of the California natives that I have growing in my garden, there were a lot of succulents and cacti.
It was beautifully landscaped and integrated with great sculptures.
A couple of days later, the rain pelted down. My Husband and I decided that it was a good time to visit the other conservatory - the Cloud Forest beckoned!
It was spectacular!
 I loved the carnivorous plant section where they had Lego sculptures of the various plants - very cool!
It's hard to differentiate the real ones from the Lego ones!
And such abundance of flora...
You could easily spend a few days exploring this section of the city. It's a great place to chill out, and the air-con in the conservatories do help with the "chill" aspect of that!

 

So much to see, so little time!


Byddi Lee




2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your travels and stories. We miss you both and can't wait for your return.

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  2. Fun read. Makes we want to visit there.
    I expect I won't be staying in penthouse : ) but never know.
    Thanks!!

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