Richard & Stacy's Round the World Trip 2001


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Update Log
Summary of the Trip
The Family Album
Day 1 - Departing
Day 2 - Amsterdam
Day 3 - Veldhoven
Day 4 - CttM Day One
Day 5 - CttM Day Two
Day 6 - The Holland Tour
Day 7 - Off to Istanbul
Day 8 - Seraglio Point
Day 9 - Bosphorous Tour
Day 10 - Exploring Sultanahmet
Day 11 - The City Walls
Day 12 - The Asian Side
Day 13 - Taking a Break
Day 14 - Leaving Turkey
Day 15 - A Day in Singapore
Day 16 - Arrival in Sydney
Day 17 - Exploring Sydney
Day 18 - ODDC Day One
Day 19 - ODDC Day Two
Day 20 - Toranga Zoo
Day 21 - Off to New Zealand
Day 22 - Road Trip to Tauranga
Day 23 - Tauranga to Taupo
Day 24 - Visiting Granny Stanton
Day 25 - Leaving Levin
Day 26 - Return to Auckland
Day 27 - The Trip Home

Friday, May 25, 2001.

After a couple of fitful hours of sleep on a very bumpy aircraft (typhoons have a nasty habit of making air bumpy), we woke up to sunrise over the Straits of Malacca... less than an hour from Singapore. There was broken cloud and haze, but you could still make out the land and water below. Singapore is only one degree off of the equator, and the visible land all around was deep jungle green.

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Sunrise over the clouds, about an hour from Singapore.   A look down on Sumatera, to the left are the Straits of Malacca.
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The in-flight map shows our approach to Singapore.   Our first look at the Malaysian coast, Singapore is still off to the left.
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The in-flight map shows our entire flight, including the number of diversions south away from the typhoon off the coast of India.   A point of land in Malaysia, just west of Singapore.
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Our first glimpse of Singapore as we pass it left-to-right, flying east while Singapore is to the south.   Turning south toward the city, we see some breaks in the jungle of various industrial efforts.
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Approaching Singapore, the water is the straits that separate the island of Singapore from the Malaysian mainland.   Moving toward the western side of the island, where the airport is.
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Shipping anchored in the straits.   Homes on pilings just off the Malaysian coast.
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Some sort of plantation house on the tip of the Malaysian coast.   This lone home stands near the middle of the strait on pilings that extend back in an arrow shape. Possibly some sort of fishing structure?
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On approach to the Singapore airport, a large residential district full of apartment buildings on the shoreline.   A quick look at another runway on the airport and the city behind as we land.

We had originally planned on touring Singapore for the twelve hours we had there... when we had booked the trip, there was a flight to Sydney available just a couple of hours after arriving, but first class was full. It seemed like a fine idea, to spend the day touring the city and then head off to Sydney on another overnight flight in first class. In fact, Singapore airlines even has city tours available for their passengers.

Unfortunately, the very rough flight and wear and tear of Turkey had wreaked havoc on our systems and we simply could not face any more travel, least of all in a place that was over 30 degrees Centigrade at 8am and nearing 100% humidity. We needed showers and rest, first and foremost. There is a transient hotel in the airport, but they didn't have rooms for another hour, so we headed over to the Singapore Airlines lounge.

Getting to the lounge wasn't easy, especially in our condition - it was upstairs, but we had a luggage cart, so we had to find an elevator, which tended to be down long winding corridors. And after you got to the right floor, there were more long winding corridors to get to the lounge.

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The Singapore airport is quite dramatic, with big open spaces, gardens, shops, but hardly any windows...   A welcome sight - the Singapore Airlines lounge.

The first class lounge of Singapore airlines is amazing! A large buffet with a wide range of food (which at this point we couldn't face), bathroom facilities (including showers), even slumberettes. A slumberette is a room designed to allow a single person to take a comfortable nap. And it appeared that Singapore Airlines went to great lengths to make sure that only naps take place in these rooms, the sleeping surfaces are molded to fit a reclined body, and the rooms are quite small, with glass doors. 

Stacy headed for a nap, Richard headed for the shower and fresh clothing. Once we were both clean, changed and rested, we snacked a bit and relaxed. By the time we felt civilized enough to consider doing anything, most of the day had gone by - our window of opportunity for touring was gone.  

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A serious shower, Singapore Airlines Lounge style. A welcome sight for a tired, smelly and uncomfortable traveller.   Stacy feeling much better after taking advantage of the many facilities of the Singapore Airlines lounge. Notice the web site development going on behind her.

With only an hour to go before our flight to Sydney, we took a stroll through the airport, exploring the shops and services... and found more goodies to take home. Finally it was time to fly, this time on a 747. We had previously flown a 747 from Vancouver to London, in the upstairs "hump" of the aircraft - that's the business class seating. This flight we were in first class, so we were downstairs in the nose - and much to our surprise and delight, there were the super seats again! Singapore Airlines has installed these seats in all their 747s, but haven't finished converting their 777 first class to them. And what a welcome sight - we both had a great sleep on our flight to Sydney.

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Stacy wandering through the Singapore airport on the way to the gate for the Sydney flight.   Happy days! Richard and Stacy anticipating great rest in the super seats of the Singapore 747.

Its easy to think that everything down in southeast Asia is relatively close together, but the flight from Singapore to Sydney is 3900 miles - about same distance as Chicago to Amsterdam! So we flew over six hours, right through the night to arrive in Sydney just before sunrise.