17 March 2016

Walking the SG50 Golden Jubilee Walk

During last year's festivities for SG50, Singapore's 50th anniversary of independence, a new walk route was laid especially to celebrate this. This follows an 8km route taking you through some of the history of Singapore right up to the modern day. We like walking and exploring so decided to give this route a go.

The walk begins at the National Museum of Singapore, somewhere well worth visiting too if you haven't been. Although there is the marker in the photo below outside the museum one thing I would say is that the start and end of the walk are not that obvious. Whilst the trail of SG50 markers to follow the route around are generally good, though we did lose them at one point and looking at the map afterwards it seems we also missed a part of the walk so maybe in hindsight they weren't so clear, the start and end could definitely be better marked. Regardless though we still had a good walk!

Start of the SG50 Golden Jubilee Walk at the National Museum of Singapore

National Museum of Singapore 

Back to the walk ... from leaving the National Museum of Singapore we headed towards Fort Canning Park and on past here towards the Peranakan museum and past the National Archives of Singapore. As we walked along Armenian Street I spotted this graffiti or street art on a wall, quite a rare sight in Singapore so it definitely caught my attention.

Graffiti on Armenian Street

Then we walked on towards the Central Fire Station, Singapore's oldest operating fire station which also houses a heritage gallery. Along the route are several plaques with information about some of the places of interest you pass. I'm not altogether sure whether these were put in place for the jubilee walk or if they were already there. I suspect some of them were already there. The information was a bit limited though and it would be good if there could be a little more along the route.

Central Fire Station

As we approached the Singapore river I have since realized that this may have been where we missed part of the walk. It was around this point that a section of the footpath by the river was closed off for work so this may have been why or that the markers were not too clear at this point. Either way we followed markers that took us straight towards the Esplanade area and on to the Helix bridge rather than walking near the Padang and National Gallery etc. Regardless though the walk we took at that stage, that obviously didn't quite follow the set route, was still very pleasant.

As I mentioned we completely lost the markers near the Helix bridge, maybe in hindsight because we took a slightly wrong route. However we headed on over the bridge and managed to pick up markers again on the opposite side which we followed into Gardens by the Bay.

Sir Stamford Raffles with the CBD in the background
Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall

Once we were in the gardens we followed the route around towards the Marina Barrage, walking past the domes and also near where the family of otters live. I'm still waiting for the day I see them but I suspect it probably is not going to happen now! The walk ends at the Marina Barrage but, as I said previously, it wasn't terribly obvious. Regardless though of these minor issues (which in no way spoilt our walk) and despite us taking the incorrect route the walk is very pleasant and lets you see both the historical and the more modern sides of Singapore. It's worth doing if you enjoy walking.

Closest I've got to seeing the otters at Gardens by the Bay

09 March 2016

The End of Our 'Expat Adventure in Singapore'

So as many of you already know sadly we are leaving Singapore after (for me at least) just over five and a half years here. This isn't a post I particularly ever wanted to have to write but sadly I must. Naturally there are a whole mix of emotions going on but I am truly sad to be leaving a place I have come to consider as my second home and somewhere that I've made a life for myself in.

We'll be returning to the UK for now. I say for now as I strongly believe our days of living abroad are far from over but as yet we just don't know quite where. For those wondering, of course George our wonderful cat will also be joining us for this new chapter in our lives.

I have many fantastic memories from my time here that I'll always hold dear and whilst no where is perfect and we've certainly had good times and bad I can't imagine having not taken the chance to live here now. Singapore will always be special to me but who knows what the future has in store for us ....

There is lots I shall miss, in particular all our wonderful friends. We've been fortunate to live in the same condo (albeit in different units) our whole time here so I shall miss our local neighbourhood and the people I've got to know around here. Likewise I shall also miss my work colleagues who have been a great bunch of people to work with. I could go on and on about the things I'll miss but maybe I'll leave that for another time!

So as life gets a little crazy now with farewells, packing and making the arrangements for some very important cargo to take his first flight I also wanted to let all of you know what the future holds for us. I shall continue to blog, I have a number of Singapore posts still to share as we try and do the last few 'must dos' so this blog isn't ceasing just yet. I do plan to start a new blog, I can't imagine not doing this anymore, which I am in the process of doing and I'll let you all know once it is up and running. As I say I certainly won't forget this blog (I've poured too much love into it these past years to do that) but obviously this one is very specific to life here so I feel the next stage of our lives needs something new. I do hope some of you will make the transition though and stay with me as I move on from Singapore.

Watch this space! 

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