Singapore to Ahmedabad

After our exertions yesterday we had planned a more relaxing day. Hotel checkout was at midday so we planned to relax through the morning before checking out, looking around the local area, and heading for the airport to catch our flight to Ahmedabad.

We were moving soon after 7:00 am and down for breakfast which was very similar to yesterday. On the way back to our room we checked the pool on level 7 to see what to expect when we came to swim as we planned to do. Level 7 was an open space in the building with a long infinity pool, separate spa at one end, and a gym which we did not intend to use.

We continued up to our room and were soon back ready to swim. Majella suggested we try the spa first but it was a bit too cool. The pool seemed a little warmer so we ventured in and swam for a while. Majella did go back to the spa for a bit once she had cooled in the pool but I stayed in the pool and did a few laps which I think I’m now feeling.

We probably stayed no longer than 30 minutes at the pool but it was refreshing and a change from yesterday. Back in the room I did a little work on photos from yesterday while Majella shortened the trousers from my kurta suit for a better fit.

When that was done we sorted our gear and repacked our bags. By 11:00 am we were ready to go so we checked out of the hotel and left our bags to be picked up later.

There was a nearby church visible from our building and we could see that there was scaffolding around it. We were curious about what it was so walked around the corner to see. It was next door to the design centre where Majella asked and was told it was being renovated as a church. The facaded had signs of substantial wear and tear so it looked like it would be a serious and expensive renovation.

Majella had spent time around the Bugis area when she was teaching for a few days in Singapore years ago. She recalled an alley of small shops which we eventually found and walked through, looking but not buying. Then she recalled that she had seen a fish foot spa in the area and expressed a desire to try that. We looked in a building that she thought she recalled as the one but found nothing of interest. A bit of googling turned up some establishments too far away but eventually we found one in the local area and walked there.

The fish foot spa was a tank in the back of a rooftop (Level 7) establishment which was really set up for recreational fishing – hire a rod and other gear and fish for a period. At least with small tanks known to contain fish there would be a chance of catching something. Majella signed up for 15 minutes of fish tickling and reported that the first few minutes seemed creepy as the dozens of tiny fish nibbled away but then she actually enjoyed it. People are different.

After that we needed coffee which we found at ground level and on a nearby corner. Mellower Coffee served good coffee and apparently nothing else. We enjoyed our coffees but by then it was lunch time so we headed to the next shopping mall across the street. It took some wandering to find the food hall. Majella wanted to eat something Singaporean so we opted for curry rice with pork for me and prawns for her washed down with cold drinks described as lime juice. We ate with chopsticks to the amusement of a man at the table beside us who suggested we would do better with spoons. We persisted and cleared our plates with chopstick.

After lunch we wandered up the street past Raffles Hotel, where we ventured into the garden area, to Raffles City, another shopping mall. We had seen enough shops so did not stay long there.

Across the road was Chijms, originally a Catholic convent but now a collection of bars and a wedding venue. We spent some time there enjoying the cool shady courtyard surrounded by the old convent cloisters. The church is now a hall which functions as a wedding venue. Surprisingly for a Monday there was a couple having wedding photos taken outside.

Along the way back to the hotel we passed the National Library which was advertising an exhibition of old maps and documents telling the history of Singapore prior to the 1870s. We had time and were looking for a cool place to spend it so we took the lift to Level 10 and wandered through the exhibition. There were some fascinating maps and stories of interactions among the local people, Dutch, Portuguese, and British who tussled over the island.

Back at the hotel we retrieved our bags and had them call us a taxi. The driver chatted all the way to the airport, even telling a long and complicated joke. Even with the entertainment, at $17 that ride cost less than the $18 we paid for the shuttle ride in on Saturday night.

The machine at checkin printed our baggage tags but no boarding passes. For those we had to present at the counter and produce our visas for India. With boarding passes issued we wandered into the terminal to sit outside the gate and wait for our flight which was still a couple of hours away.

As we were about to board, Majella recognised a couple in front of us as Debbie and Chris Hazzard, friends of the Ryans from their Maryborough years. We found them again as we disembarked. They had a slight holdup with immigration procedures but we were still waiting for our bags when they got to the carousel and we walked out together.

My hotel booking had included a transfer and I had arranged that by email so we were expecting to see somebody waiting for us with a sign. We saw nobody matching that description despite all four of us wandering the length of the waiting area to look. I tried using FaceTime to call the hotel but could not make that work.

Eventually we gave up on that and I used the Uber app to arrange a ride. That seemed to take ages to arrive. When it did all four of us climbed into a littleSuzuki van and away we went with the cacophony of horns, ours included. Traffic was not very heavy at that hour but there were lots of motorcycles, some with 3 aboard and some with a passenger riding sidesaddle.

We reached the hotel around 11:30 pm. Laura greeted us as we climbed out of our van and told us about some of what they had been doing and had planned for tomorrow.

We headed for our room as quickly as possible after checking in. It had been a long day and was well after midnight at Singapore. We were both ready for sleep.