02.03.2014 - 03.03.2014 -26 °C
We checked into our ship, the Millennium, early Sunday afternoon, and we were pleasantly surprised when we saw our stateroom. Because it is a wheelchair-accessible cabin, there is lots of room, even though it is just an "oceanview" stateroom, not a more expensive one with a veranda.
At five, we left the ship to go on our first tour. There are old parts of Singapore, but they are not likely to be wheelchair accessible. Also Singapore takes pride in presenting to the world what is new, so what is new is what we saw. We were met by our guide, Patrick Ang, and a van and were taken to the Singapore Flyer. It is like the London Eye only even higher - currently the tallest ferris-wheel-type structure in the world, though it is to lose that distinction later in the year. Patrick showed us around the area for a while, and then at a time that was deemed adventageous, Hugh and I went up to the loading area. The glass-walled cabins can hold more than twenty people,but this was not a busy time and we were given one to ourselves, an attendant taking us down the ramp and easily loading the wheelchair into the capsule. We might have seen the sunset if there had been one, but the sun simply disappeared about that time. Twilight in the tropics is very short, and Singapore is near the equator, but we had the advantage of seeing the view first by twilight and then in the darkness with many lights glowing. It was a spectacular ride, the motion smooth and gentle, taking 30-40 minutes to make the circle.
Patrick met us when we finished, and we returned to the van. Then we went to Singapore's high-end shopping area, and we walked (or rolled: Patrick uses a wheelchair and Hugh was pushing mine) around there in the pleasant evening air before returning to the ship at about 10:30.
We ordered breakfast from room service so that we could meet our van at 8:00 the next morning. Then we were off to the Gardens by the Bay, a recently-constructed attraction that we had seen from the Flyer. We enjoyed views of the dramatic Supertrees, and Patrick instructed us on the route we should follow after we had visited the two domes on our own. Then Hugh and I went into the Flower Dome, which contains much more than flowers. It displays plants arranged according to their region of origin; perhaps the odd-shaped Baobobs are the most exotic. From there we went next door to the Cloud Forrest dome. It is dominated by a tall plant-coveered "mountain" with a waterfall flowing down one side. We took the elevator to the top level and worked our way down, sometimes by walkway extending out from the side of the mountain and sometimes by elevator. There is much that one could learn there - or one could simply enjoy the sights!
Following our visit to the domes, we followed a pathway through gardens of various styles, alongside a lake that had in it several large dragonfly sculptures. Then we took a lift up to a walkway that took us high across a highway, through Singapore's most architecturally conspicuous building and across a second highway. We continued along a walkway to where we could see the distinctive arcitecture of the science museum. Then we took a lift down to the convention centre, wandered through a large mall, and drank some green tea in a food court before going to the spot where the van picked us up and returned us to the ship. Though there was much more of Singapore to be seen, ours was a very satisfying visit.