Thursday, July 24, 2008

On Wednesday...

On wednesday M and I decided to go for a ride up Mt Faber and walk back down. When I woke up at was raining heavily but, umbrellas in hand, we decided to head out anyway. By the time we got to Harbourfront the rain had stopped. We made our way through Harbourfront plaza following the sporadic signs. To get to the ticketing office you have to walk through the bottom of the plaza until you get to milling groups of people with luggage, who have just stepped off a ferry from Tioman or Batam, then make a sharp right out a side door. If you look up across the car park you can see Harbourfront Tower Two and little coloured balls on wire disappearing into its side. Generally we have found the signage in Singapore is great if you already know where to go but appauling if you are using them for direction.

We bought a round trip ticket and made our way up to the 15th floor. It was early, a weekday and it had been raining so there was no queue. The cablecar guy looked at our ticket and asked if we were getting off at Mt Faber "yes please" (that was the intention), "not go to Sentosa?" "No, been there done that", "then can go to Sentosa and stay on car and go to Mt Faber." "Ok" I said. We dodged the moving cablecars, went through the barricaded middle bit where the engines moving parts rattled and whirled and popped out the other side where we had to dodge the cars again before slipping into car number 33.
Cablecar guy said again "you stay on car", " yes" I replied, " you not get off Sentosa. You stay on car" he said again. I nodded vigorously, maybe I still had my 'looking confused we'd better not get lost and end up on the third floor again' face from trying to follow the signs in Harbourfront plaza. M and I smiled our best 'we understand Singlish' faces.
And so we headed to Sentosa.
The mainland side is now marred by a huge contruction sight for Universal Studios which is still on track for a soft opening in 2010. It will apparently feature 24 rides and attractions, with 18 of them designed exclusively for Singapore and be made up of different themed lands including Hollywood Boulevard, The Big Apple, The Lost World, Egypt, Waterworld and Superhero City. There is going to be a Casino Resort built on the same site.
We dutifully stayed on the car and rode back through Harbourfront Tower Two to Mt Faber.

Again there were no signs at the Jewel Box, a restaurant near the top of Mt Faber, where the cablecar ride ends, so out came the trusty (but slightly out of date) guide book.
Once we'd worked out which direction up was we began our walk. The views from the 'top' were pretty good for a hill thats only really 100 meters tall. Originally known as Telok Blangah Hill it was renamed after the guy who, in 1845, cut through the thick undergrowth, allowing the road to the top to be built.

The walk down, on wide wooden boardwalks and gravel paths, was very pleasant although the many steps would make it difficult for someone with hip or knee problems and nigh on impossible for a pushchair.

After about 20 minutes we could see the road and it was off to Vivo for a non fat cappuchino for me and a small pinacolada no whip please for M.


Dominic said...

Wonderful descriptions of life in Singapore!
Interesting that you used to live in Indo in the 70's as well as being from NZ! Small world.
Have you been back to your UP?
I found living in Jkt after being away for so many years fascinating yet familiar.

Tanya said...

No I havent made it to Sulawesi yet although it is on my list. My dad still travels into Indonesia a few times a year so has been privy to chnage over the years. I have found the same with Singapore. When we last lived here we lived in Sophia rd up behind Plaza Singapura which used to be Yohan Plaza. Orchard road church was a major landmark and you could buy hot peanuts from street vendors on Orchard road. There was a kampong behind our place (which is sadly no longer there but the building nextdoor and the house over the road are the same) HDBs were just beginning. I sometimes see pockets of live that brings back memories or smells. Funnily enough we ended up living next door to Mt Alvernia hospital this time round where my little sister was born!!Mum and dad have been back to Makassar, mum says the hospital where my sister was born still looks the same and there are bits but she found it so different she was disorientated.