A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Minuano

Singapore

sunny 33 °C
View AU & NZ 2014 on Minuano's travel map.

This country-city consists of Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs / Muslims and the Westerners (Europeans, Americans etc.), depending of course on their current status (citizen, resident, worker etc). This makes it an interesting mixture and an adventurous place offering diversified attractions as food, architecture, religion or simply lifestyle.

We did some 7km walking into Arab quarter and Little India district. It was Sunday so there were lot of foreign workers gathering in those districts and enjoying a free day.

We visited all-white St. Andrew's Cathedral, Masjid Sultan Mosque, drank Arabic coffee and ate some mega-sweet cakes.

The temperature and the humid air are not leaving you completely unaffected so we "ran" from the heat and got back to our room in order to allow the little one get some relaxed sleep. This was exaclty what she wanted: she enjoyed 2,5h of dreaming.

Evening was again tasty and ended around 22:00.

Posted by Minuano 12:16 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Auckland to Dubai to London to Cologne

sunny 33 °C
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Getting to bed early has some advantages. We slept wello and got up at 6:00 am, feeling great! I went for a 7km jogging route and the girls started to pack.

A quick breakfast and we were again on our feet to explore diversity of Singapore. We went to Chinatown where we joined the crowds on the Pagoda street market.

Another hot and humid day - we cooled down by means of water snd fruits, trying also Durian. As the local people say, this is the "king of fruits". It is smelly/stinky, and even not the most tasty fruits we have eaten, but the fruit itself is like a pudding inside and once you get used to the smell, you start to notice its proper taste. A mango juice made our day.

Further we walked to Marina Bay and the gardens behind. Unfortunately we were not guests of the Marina Bay hotel so we couldn't use one of the weirdest swimming pools in the world - the one on the top of the hotel roof. Still, the hotel looks fabulous from the ground level as well. Together with Art Science Museum and the Theater building, they create a special character of the place. Views on the CBD are cool too. Gardens behind the Marina Bay hotel are another must: richly planted, they give a shelter of a shadow and natural coolness on a hot and humid day. Superb.

After a few minutes in a metro, we got back to our room, took a bath, packed and left for the airport.

Emilka got tired after today's walk (10km). And when she is tired, she gets loud! I guess, the whole airport learned it soon enough.

But now, she is sleeping peacefully close to her mom and I'm writing this post using the airplane Internet access (a very nice and practical feature).

Our flight to Dubai will last 7h. If no inflight delays occur, we will have 2h waiting time on order to jump on the flight to London. Then 6-7h break and we will enjoy the last connection to Cologne.

I'll try to summarize and conclude our 5,5weeks travel with the next post. But one thing can be said already: it was wonderful experience for us as family, for us individually and we would have done it again the same way!

See you soon :-)

Posted by Minuano 09:53 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Auckland to Singapore

sunny 32 °C
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The wake up ring sounded at 4:00 am. We had to catch a shuttle and the flight early.

Emilka woke up without fever giving us a hope that we fought it finally off.

All went well and soon we were sitting at the gate skyping with babcia Barbara on her birthday :-)

7h flight was the last time when the fever occurred. We had to be very creative to give Emka a dose of Ibuprofen, as she had no appetite. But after a good sleep and later a sandwich our baby was back with us, with no fever anymore. The travels help her seemingly.

Landed safely in Singapore, got on the taxi and got to the hotel. It was 3pm local time and we were trying to guess how our daughter will react to a 5h longer day, which additionally started very early. She did very well and got out for a walk and a dinner together with us with no complain at all.

Our hotel was located very well so a walk around Parliament's building, along the river around the bay was a nice relaxation after a long day and 2 long flights. Later a delicious dinner at a great Chinese restaurant at the riverside was a good finish of the day. This all at 32C and high humidity - yes, it is typical all-year weather in tropical Singspore (equator is only some 130km away).

22:00 the lights went off.

Posted by Minuano 09:46 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Auckland day 2

sunny 22 °C
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We are lucky that we could experience the Island yesterday in spite of Emilia's fever. She was strong and she needs to - it's still a few days ahead of us.

We got up knowing that we have to return the vehicle later today, eat up our fridge :) and there is still one or the other point on our Auckland agenda for today.

Packing and tiding up took us longer than expected. Nearly 2,5 weeks made our campervan our home with all the consequences, e.g. "Have you see my toothbrush? Yes, yesterday it was lying... here." :-)

After 80-90% of work done we went to the city centre to climb (15 min only!) on Mt. Eden. This is a hill with a grassy crater reminding that once upon a time it was a real volcano. There are even two more volcanos in Auckland.
Mt. Eden delivered what it promised: great views over the CBD, the districts around and the bay. And the deep crater covered with grass adds some uniqueness to these views.

The traffic jam back and the time spent around the car made it the only touristic attraction of that day.

After car return we walked to the hotel with a feeling of leaving something behind - strange, isn't it? And the fact that our journey was coming to its end made us melancholic for at least 200m walk :-) Soon we were back in good moods - Singapore was waiting!

See you there.

Posted by Minuano 09:45 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

From Auckland to paradise and back


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Alarm clock woke us up at 6:00am. But let's turn back the clock a bit.

It was an unusual night, with cars hissing by all the time, sounding their horns, airplanes arriving and departing etc. As mentioned, our plan of 1 day travel to the Great Barrier Island had to include parking our "home on wheels" somewhere safe. The option is always to leave it on a regular camping site for the day + night but considering our early flight, it must have been 2 nights then. And this would be a bit like throwing money through the window. Leaving it on the street is unsafe and would be always connected with transport to and from the airport.

The need is mother of all invention. So we invented Air New Zealand security parking lot close to the airport. :-) They work nearly around the clock and we heard it but they let us park inside of one of their washing garages to hide from this parking traffic and have some privacy. Totally non-standard thinking, I guess. And we paid 15$ for staying overnight onsite, securing the van the next day and shuttle to and from the airport. Deal of deals.

Emilka is teething again and had a fever the evening before. We were checking up on her during the night..

So now, at 6:00 am we decided that she is warm but stable and off we went. Shuttle to the airport took 6 min, quick check-in at Great Barrier Airlines was a nice surprise: no security gates, bottle of water on board was ok, so was oversize luggage (Emma's carry backpack), no passports required. Relax, buddy!

Another surprise and an adventure was the aircraft: 20m long and two seats wide and 3 propellers. This looked like a joke and Miggi turned pale. Beside us here were 3 other passengers and the pilot.

The flight was smooth, Miggi survived with a smile and our camera got another new 100 photos of what we could see from the first minute of the flight. Maan, it was loud in the cabin.

No comments about Emka so far... I think because she is handling these things like it all was happening every day. No fear, no over-excitement; all is good as long mom and dad and a banana are around :-)

Great Barrier Island is a paradise at the end of the world. It re-defines colors - green forrests, blue ocean and thr sky, white sands... Everething there is more intense and more natural. People live there well (there are approx. 700) and one can see they try not to disturb the nature.

We rented an old Mazda 121 and drove back and forth, went to spend time on two beaches, talked to locals, stopped by a few lookout points and did the best we could out of the 7h we spent there. It was simply another highlight.

Driving this Mazda was funny: it was another, perhaps the ultimate level of weirdness for me. It was an old, over 200.000 km car with manual gear, right side wheel and the blinker on the right side. All upside down. But we all did well.

Return flight was again funny - this time there were 7 other passengers incl. 1 baby. Shuttle picked us up and drove straight back to our campervan.

Later we checked on a local campsite to spend the last night in our motorhome. Tomorrow we are returning it back. Our home on wheels... We liked it very much.

Emilka slept a lot today (in the plane, in the car, on the beach), needed us more than usually. We hope for her that the new teeth come out soon. Cross your fingers too :-)

Posted by Minuano 02:03 Comments (0)

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