Nauru Travel Diary

From Houston to Sydney 2013

From Houston

to Sydney



After our overnight flight from Moscow, we touched down in Singapore a little ahead of schedule at 5:35 am.

It was immediately apparent that Singapore’s Airport works on a far higher level of convenience, efficiency and courtesy than Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, or any other airport we had been through on the entire trip for that matter, with the possible exception of Stockholm.  It was a wonderful welcome back to Asia.  There was no queue for immigration, and as the smiling lady processed my passport, I was able to say in a whispered voice that she could nonetheless hear clearly “it’s so quiet here, isn’t it”.

5:35 am is not an ideal time to arrive in a city when you will be staying in a hotel.  The issue of such an early check-in time is perhaps even more acute in Singapore, as our luggage arrived almost as soon as we arrived at the baggage belt, and we were in our taxi to the hotel at 6:05 am.  US international airports – please take note!

We arrived at our hotel in downtown Singapore at 6:20 am – amazing when you consider that our aircraft was still on the main runway just 45 minutes earlier.  I did not really expect that our room would be ready at such an early hour, and of course, it was not.

However, in order not to have to wait to have a rest, the hotel offered us a different room at no charge until our room was ready, together with breakfast as well for free if we wished.  This was a wonderfully generous, kind offer that we of course accepted; neither Di nor I had much sleep on the plane and it was great to be welcomed with such gracious hospitality.

Our stopover in Singapore is not really intended for sightseeing, but for catching up on rest prior to our arrival in Australia.  After all, we are not expecting to get much rest at all after we arrive in Sydney as we deal with moving into a house, looking to buy a car, a phone, a refrigerator, catching up with family and friends – in short, establishing our new lives.

In that spirit, we made the most of the room that had been made available to us, and we slept until about 1:30 pm, feeling much better for it.  It was not easy to get up at that that time, but we knew that we needed to do so in order to sleep well tonight and adjust to the different time zone.

After showering to make myself feel as though I was fully awake and in the time zone where I was supposed to be, we went for a walk to explore some of the area close to the hotel along the Singapore River.  The tropical humidity took some getting used to, especially as dark clouds were building up for the afternoon thunderstorm.  Nonetheless, there was a very welcome gentle breeze that made the walk quite pleasant.

We headed south from our hotel along North Bridge Road to the Singapore River.  When we reached the iconic white arch bridge, we turned left and walked along the northern bank of the river, taking in the sight of the old colonial buildings lining the southern bank of the river with the high-rise glass-and-concrete skyscrapers behind them and the small water taxis on the river in front.

We completed a circuit back to North Bridge Road just as the afternoon rain was starting, so spent some time exploring Raffles City Plaza while the rain fell before completing the rest of the walk back to the hotel.

The walk was more for exercise than for serious exploring, but it was an enjoyable way to reacquaint ourselves with the heart of Singapore, a place that I have not visited for a couple of years.

Day 43 - Singapore


17 August 2013