Sunday, 20 March 2011

Winter Sun in Singapore.

The problem with finding ‘Winter Sun’ from the UK, is that you have to go on a long haul flight to find it, a flight of at least 4 hours really. As I was fixed to the routes Emirates fly, I narrowed down my choice to Goa, Sri Lanka or Singapore. After a little research, Goa was the first to be deleted. This was due to the requirement of a tourist visa to visit India. The visa has to be issued prior to travel, I was struggling to find out the cost, but it appears to be around the fifty pound mark and feel that that was a bit too expensive as I may not get on a flight! Also, with only a week’s leave, I didn’t really have the time to relax enjoy Mumbai then take the slow train to Goa.
Sri Lanka was a strong contender for a few days, but talk of TukTuks taking you to destinations you have no desire to see were rife on web sites such as Thorn Tree and blogs, I wanted to relax so decided this was not destination for me at the moment.
Singapore, the home of the Singapore Sling, Raffles and the new Universal Studios, and you can drink the tap water, ummm, not really a place to relax but so what, decision made, Singapore it was.
This evening the journey began, a taxi to our local station then the train into Manchester Airport. It’s always nerve racking checking in to the Emirates counter, when you’re not on a ‘firm’ ticket, but lady luck was smiling and we were issued our boarding passes and were on our way.

Termial One Manchester
Manchester Airports terminal one has been renovated, I think it was partly due to the A380 coming to MAN. Anyway the renovations are now complete and it looks great. Loads of shopping, cars to win, bars, coffee shops and eating establishments to help you while away your time whilst waiting for your Flight

Step one for me Manchester to Dubai, the connection in Dubai is tight, 120 mins, but this has already been cut short as the flight will be late out tonight, 30 mins at the moment. I will report back as to how I get on at DXB.
We took off about 60 minutes late. Our seats were a window and a middle, and i would like to say a very big ‘Thank You’ to the bloke on the aisle seat, who moved to give us a bit more room. This was really appreciated as its a night flight and we could both stretch out a bit and get some sleep. Under the 'stary sky'.
The crew were quick getting on with the service. I have been asked what Emirates have on the Menu, so here goes:

On the Menu for EK20, MAN to DXB;

Tuna Nicoise,

Lamb Casserole, Arabic style lamb served with biryani rice, beans & tomato coulis.

OR, Roasted Chicken Breast, topped with creamy mushroom sauce, gnocchi, carrots & peas.

Mango & Coconut cream.

Cheese & Biscuits.

Tea /Coffee, and a Chocolate.

Then just prior to landing Tea /Coffee & a cake, mine was Lemon.

We got to Dubai on time despite the late departure time, and the connection onto the Singapore flight was very smooth.

This flight was far more uncomfortable than the MAN-DXB leg, due to the seat allocation, an asile and the next one in the middle. I was sat next to a very large German girl. She took up all the space with no regard for sharing the arm rest or foot space. (sharing the arm rests is always an issue....whose is it!!) I was bumped and jostled by her for 7 hours. But worse than that, she assumed that because I was English, I would have no understanding of German. I do appriciate that as a nation we are really not good / very lazy at languages, but some of us older ones were made to study a language at school and as an Army Brat, I lived in Germany for many years.....I can follow German very well. And she was a BITCH and a rude one at that! The things she said about myself and Saz were dreadful. She was part of a large group of Christian Youth who were going to Singapore! ironic.

Once again we were fed, a Lunch , Hay what happened to Breakfast? It consisted of ;

German style Potato Salad, it looked and tasted like Sauerkraut.

Black Bean Chicken, stir fried served with coconut rice & veg.

OR BBQ Beef, with potato wedges and veg.

I don’t know what either of these were like as it had all run out by the time they got to me at the back.

Triple Chocolate Surprise. Cheese & biscuits, Tea/Coffee.

Then, about 1 ½ hours before landing an ‘As you like it service’, this was a bit chaotic! I think the idea is that you choose one of the following;

Vegetable Jalfrezi Wrap. Chicken & Sweet Onion Wrap, Fresh Fruit, Assorted Chocolate Bars. But none of the passengers just had one item. They took two or in some cases piles of each. So once again, nothing left for the folks at the back. I felt like I had been fed and watered across so many time zones that I was not bothered about the lack of food on this flight, but some passengers were more than a little pissed off about not getting anything.

Once in Changi airport, i followed the advice in the Lonely Planet’s City Guide regarding Airport Transfer and got a shuttle bus to Traders Hotel. This cost SIN $ 9.00per person, and took ages. We waited over ½ hour before we got going, then it took well over 60mins from Changi to Traders Hotel on Orchard Road as we were the last to be dropped off. When we did the journey in reverse upon departure, I got a taxi, this was cheaper at 15 SIN $,more convenient and considerably faster, taking only 25 minutes. My advice is to get a Taxi!