Singapore; what a coincidence

Oct-2017

I’ve heard so many great things about Singapore that I had to experience it myself.  Destinations that have food, art, architecture, greenery, tradition, nightlife and adventure surely tops my bucket list of places to visit.  October 2017, my friend Elan and I took several flights to finally touchdown at Singapore Changi airport.

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The flight was a little challenging, however with the help of a colleague of mine in Detroit, the stalling of a few extra minutes, gave us the opportunity to make that connecting flight.  It’s great to have friends stationed at airports.  Taxi over to our hotel and seeing it was a little late, we pack it in to rest for the days ahead.  Abdul and Cheryl at the front desk were extremely helpful and gave us great pointers to take full advantage of the surrounding attractions.

Weather in Singapore can be extremely humid in October and by the looks of both our t-shirts, it definitely was the case.  We decided to walk to McDonald’s for breakfast and after a short 15 minute walk, we dove right into the dining area.  Only 8:30am and we’re seeking air-conditioned places.  We decide to punish ourselves more so we walk to Little India.  The great thing about Singapore is that they have all different neighbourhoods revealing different cultures, décor and character.  This is where our hop-on hop-off bus tour started.

We circled the town and headed for Marina Bay Sands.  This structure stands out and fills the background of any picture with building engineering marvel.  Three towers erected with a platform connecting them at the very top.  A complete integrated resort  with a spectacular view of the city.  Newly built-in 2010, this expensive real estate offers hotel, restaurants, bars, a casino and shops.  One can spend days walking in and around the area.

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Just next to the Bay Sands lies an area that blends greenery with future modern metropolis.  Skywalk gives the visitors the opportunity to walk the jungle area from atop.  The lights give a Walt Disney effect while roaming from tree to tree via cable suspending bridges.  This area was a “must return” spot during the evening for their fountain and light show was not to be missed.

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Midday arrived and a visit to the food court was overdue.  People coming and going in every direction, each minding their own business, yet all attentive to the traffic.  We find a spot to eat and trying some local Asian delight made us feel part of the culture.

We continue our stroll through Orchard road and the 2 kilometer long boulevard was filled with retail shops and entertainment hubs.  Knowing we would be back later that evening, we took the subway back to our hotel for a quick break to once again head to the Marina Bay.  The metro system was extremely clean and we were amazed on how English was so prominent.  From the signs to the public announcements, language was not a barrier in Singapore.

Friday night, Singapore City Center was alive with people and lights everywhere.  What a great time to be enjoying a fabulous city.  If you have been to Las Vegas and witnessed the fountain show at the Bellagio, Singapore has something very similar but adds a touch of laser lights with it.  Fountains spraying water creating a backdrop of mist, along with synchronized music and imagery left the spectators wanting to see more.  Truly a remarkable display.

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Seeing the show from sea level was one thing, witnessing it from the top of the Marina Bay Sands was another.  We took the elevator to the very top and walked the promenade.  The hotel guests had the privilege of soaking in the infinity pool while gazing at the skyline, while we had limited, but yet impressive view of the city.  To end the evening, we visit the Casino with bells ringing continuously and commotion all around.

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Next morning we head for the Skywalk tour and just like Tarzan, we walk from tree to tree on a cable suspended bridge.  The view below was beautiful with different flowers and plants.

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That Saturday afternoon was packed with many sites to visit.  The iconic Merlion of Singapore; head of  lion and body of fish, Chinatown, temples, busiest part of Singapore’s Boat Quay and the historical river side Clark Quay.  All beautiful sites one after another.  Each offering their own delights.  We’ve come to notice that the cleanliness of the city, the friendly demeanor of the locals and despite several religions, they all respect each other and their beliefs.  A true diverse and melting pot society.

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The night atmosphere was incredible.  Outdoor restaurants filled with people enjoying live musicians, bars with crooner style music and street performers entertaining the public.  No matter where you’d turn to, everyone was enjoying themselves.  The modern buildings with lights in the background harmonized the century old temples.  The expensive new vehicles along the streets meshed perfectly with old style boats offering a scenic night tour along the river.  Singapore has definitely made my top 5 cities in the world to visit!

Sunday was set for Sentosa Island.  An extremely popular island that is visited by more than 20 million people a year.  From its long sheltered beach to golf courses,  and from its hotels to Universal Studio Singapore, all visitors have plenty to do.  We arrive to the island via a cable car from the city giving us a bird’s-eye view of the layout.

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The island wasn’t busy at all, and after our lunch we head back to the city center via the same cable car .  Many travelers don’t like the quick trips “get-in and get-out” approach but something about well planning your points of interests before hand,  saves you an incredible amount of time.  Monday morning we head to airport for what would become, for myself, a moment in Delta’s history.

In 1990, I started working for Delta Air Lines.  A company that, in my eyes, has risen to every challenge that the industry has brought forth.  From hard times to great times,  their philosophy of employee care has stayed the course with no deviation at all.  I’ve lived my career with Delta, and am so grateful that because of them, I was able to live my dream.  The people I’ve worked with and the people I worked for made the already exciting industry, a period of 21 years of passion, joy and belonging.  Delta has become a part of me, and despite being retired, I still consider myself a “Deltoid”.  Having said that, what was to follow, made an already fantastic trip to Singapore, a nostalgic moment in Delta’s history for me.  Let me explain…….

Our long trek back to Montreal involved a first leg from Singapore to Tokyo.  Upon arriving in Tokyo and heading to the gate for our connecting flight to Detroit, we noticed our gate was not like others.  This gate had decorations, posters and a microphone placed on a stand for some kind of announcement.  This flight, Tokyo to Detroit, would mark the very last departure of the Boeing 747 400 series for Delta Air Lines.  I was going to be part of Delta’s history after the aircraft’s  3 decades service.

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Just before boarding, I indrotuced myself to the flight crew and conversed about Delta’s history and their future plan.  What was ironic was that the captain would be giving a speech and a quick synopsis of his career at Delta and announce his retirement.  To add even more of a great story, the flight attendant he married 35 years ago, was on that flight also retiring.  Captain’s last flight and flight attendants last leg.

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Captain’s address to the public provided a trip down memory lane. With all his words, it truly brought back memories, for I lived a portion of those while I was employed.

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The perfect touch to a perfect trip was that the entire Narita Delta crew was outside alongside the aircraft as we were pulling out waving good-bye.  A touch of class for a classy air line.  Proud to be a Delta Retired Employee.

Oct-2017

 

 

 

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