Tuesday June 16, 2009

So far so good! The first leg of our adventure saw us landing at Singapore’s stunning Changi Airport last night after an uneventful 11 hr flight — uneventful except for what might have been an international midair incident (see People News below).

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay

We stepped out of the airport into a sticky 28 degrees, and headed for the Swissotel Merchant Court (on the banks of the picturesque Singapore River – right across from colourful Clarke Quay) where air-conditioned rooms and crisp cool sheets awaited us.

View from Singapore Flyer

View from Singapore Flyer

Most of our mad midlifers woke around 3, 4, 5 o’clock (bodies haven’t yet got used to the time-change). And, after downing a serious breakfast, we explored this amazing Asian city-state on our own. Mrs Cooney and I did what several others did – took a ride in the new Singapore Flyer. It’s the world’s biggest wheel, bigger even than the London Eye, and the views from up top were truly sensational.

Then, in the early afternoon, we boarded a highly-decorated replica of a royal junk, and enjoyed a High Tea Cruise on Singapore’s busy, crammed-with-ships harbour – which included a brief stop at a local island and a quick peep at an ancient Chinese temple and a bunch of turtles.
02 Singapore 3

And now? Well, we’re back at Singapore’s brand new terminal … all checked-in and ready to fly up-up-and-away to Amsterdam in the far-off Netherlands. To be honest, another 12 or 13 hours stuck in cattle-class doesn’t really appeal – but it’s a small price to pay for the Grand Baltic Adventure that awaits us.

Bet you wish you were doing it too – right?

PEOPLE NEWS: It didn’t take long. We hadn’t even landed and a Mad Midlife Award was being won:

* The ‘Could’ve Started World War 3 Award‘ went to Kevin Cook – who, while aimlessly wandering the aisles of our plane in the middle of the night, managed to knock the turban off the head of a sleeping Sikh. The unhatted gentleman promptly replaced his turban and went back to sleep – thankfully!

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on ‘COMMENTS’ (or ‘NO COMMENTS’) under the title for the day’s blog, and type away! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and don’t worry: we’ll make sure they get these messages. Also, if you want a better look at our route map and some of the photos here, just click on them and they’ll enlarge – magic!