With the tour at an end, Hilary and I set off to explore Singapore. Our first port of call was the National Museum of Singapore. This was a fine building with a colonial classic style front, but an modern and airy main area. We had come to see the Musee d’Orsay exhibition of art and were not disappointed with some stunning pictures of the era from c. 1860 to the 1920’s. One of the best was by a Brit, of a girl by the sea, with light on the sea to die for. After that we headed for the Botanic Gardens, getting on at Dhoby Ghout and changing onto the Circle line. We had a bite to eat at the café, then did the wonderful Orchid Gardens, then the Ginger garden, before strolling back via the Evolution garden – well done. Bathed and changed for Raffles, going smart, so we could get into the bar for a good seat. We both had the Singapore Sling Original, which slips down a treat, so you don’t notice the cost! Then on to Chimjes and selected a nice tapas bar for supper and a beer. Afterwards, we were joined by Kim, Mary-Anne, Grace, Tim and Vanessa, which was fun.
The next morning, we were packing and after breakfast, we brought our cases down to the concierge to hold and checked out. We were vaguely looking for electric tealights and walked up to the Bugis shopping area, but no luck. Then walked south, past the Anglican cathedral and the Padang with the Singapore Cricket Club. Then on Marina Bay to see the Merlion spouting – lots of people about. Had a cold drink and hailed a taxi to take us to the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which has the ship on top, the Sky Park. We got a ticket to the bar and were able to navigate the spectacular viewing platform which forms the stern of the boat – fantastic views of Singapore. Down the 57 stories in the lift, ears popping, and then another taxi ride back to the Carlton. Collected our bags and got another taxi to Changi, arriving in plenty of time to check in, drop bags and have a bite before boarding nearly an hour late. An uneventful flight, with supper served and a glass of wine. We braved the visa queues in Denpasar, the luggage touts ($1 each) and found our driver and comfortable vehicle – cold towels and iced water, what a good sign. It was a long drive, over an hour, with hundreds of motorcycles on the road, but worth it when we arrived after 11:00 p.m. A lovely room, air-conditioned, a comfy verandah – and sleep.