Singapore (April 2015)

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Between 11 April and 21 April we stayed at the Singapore Atrium Holiday Inn and enjoyed 10 days in Singapore.

Changi Airport

On arriving in Singapore around 4.00pm on Saturday we went to the Singapore Airlines service desk to obtain our three day Singapore Explorer Pass. Once we had collected our passes we took a shuttle bus to our motel.

Singapore Atrium Holiday Inn

The Singapore Atrium Holiday Inn has been one of the best Holiday Inn’s that we have stayed in. The motel has 26 floors and all rooms are on the outside of the building with a huge atrium inside with 6 or 7 lifts. Each lift looks like a salt’n’pepper shaker and can be viewed going up and down between floors. The lift is enclosed in glass and you can see the ground level as you go up or down between the floors.

Food markets and the Great World Shopping Centre were in close proximity to the motel.

Singtel

Having done some research prior to leaving Australia, we inquired where we could buy a Tourist SIM card which would provide unlimited phone calls, unlimited SMS’s, 90 minutes internal calls and 7Gb data over 10 days for $30. The only “problem” was that they needed to be bought at a Singtel store, and not at a Singtel re seller store!

First priority on the Sunday after we arrived was to find the nearest Singtel store. With our Boarding Pass we bought a day pass for $8.00 for the SIA Hop On – Hop Off Bus. The bus drove down Orchard Road which was the nearest road to the Singtel store. Having bought our SIM cards, the next task was to buy our Singapore Tourist Plus card.

Singapore Tourist Plus Pass

From the Singtel store it was quite a walk to the top of Orchard Road which was were we could buy a 3 day public transport pass for $30. We used this pass for the first three days of our stay in Singapore.

Day 1 – we used the pass to visit the Changi War Museum.

Day 2 – we used the pass to visit Little India and the Mustafa Centre.

Day 3 – we used the pas to take the FunVeee bus ride and the bumboat ride.

Singapore Explorer Pass

The Singapore Explorer Pass included entry to numerous attractions around Singapore. Far to many to attempt to see every attraction. However, we believe we received good value from the pass which cost us $91 per person.

Day 1 – we used the pass at the Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo and bought tickets to the Night Safari.

Day 2 – we used the pass at the Singapore Flyer, Singapore Flyer Foodmarket and the Gardens by the Bay.

Day 3 – we used the pass at Madame Tussauds’s on Sentosa Island and the Singapore Cable ride.

Roger (our Taxi Driver)

On Saturday whilst at the Singapore Flyer we bumped into a guy who we didn’t know whilst we were eating lunch.  Whilst waiting for our hop on/hop off bus to arrive the following day, the same guy drove pass in his taxi. He circled around and asked if we would like him to take us around Singapore for an hour for $12.

The hour turned into 4 hours and Roger took us to some interesting places; a Chinese jewelers market, a vendor of imitation watches and bags, and a shoe market. It was a highlight of our holiday.

Gardens By the Bay
Photo Album

Holland (January 2015)

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We drove from Antwerp to Amsterdam and stayed three nights in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam (3 nights)

Our arrival in Amsterdam was delayed somewhat trying to navigate Rotterdam as our GPS maps weren’t up to date with the roadworks which made following the directions given by the GPS almost impossible.

By now we were just about holidayed out. Our Holiday Inn was close to Schiphol Airport and the weather was inclement so we didn’t venture into the heart of Amsterdam.

Each morning we waited for the weather to clear, which it didn’t, so we caught a taxi to the local shops. The first time walking back to the Holiday Inn it started to rain heavily half way between the shops and the motel and we ended up getting drenched.

The second time, when we wanted to go back to the motel, we looked for a taxi rank and couldn’t find one. When we inquired, we were informed that the nearest taxi rank was at the railway station which was on the other side of our motel. We ended up buying some cheap umbrellas and walking back to the motel in the rain.

Belgium (January 2015)

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Having driven from Paris we stayed two nights in Antwerp.

Antwerp (2 nights)

We were surprised just how big the port of Antwerp was. We decided on a whim to take a “Port of Antwerp” bus tour. The tour included personal use of an iPad which was used to interactive with video of the port whilst we drove around the port areas. This was one of the best tours we took.

France (January 2015)

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From Genoa we enjoyed a majestic drive to Marseille. The highway was relatively flat as we drove through the mountains and over the valleys.

Marseille (3 nights)

The south of France was beautiful. We visited the Ch√Ęteau d’If on If Island. Enjoyed walking around the old port area. Took a bus tour around the sights of Marseille.

Toulouse (1 night)

We enjoyed a Chinese buffet at Wok 31 restaurant which was situated near to our Holiday Inn.

Bordeaux (2 nights)

Moving on from Toulouse we stayed two nights in Bordeaux. Whilst at Bordeaux we heard about the terrorism attacks in Paris and had thoughts of bypassing Paris where we planned to stay overnight before going to Antwerp in Belgium.

Paris (1 night)

Fortunately the terrorists were found and killed, so we were happy to have another day in Paris. This time we stayed at a Holiday Inn near the main international airport.

 

Italy (December 2014 & January 2015)

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Having arrived in Turin and obtained new tyres, we revised our holiday so as to not having to cross the Alps again. This meant that we would not be visiting Venice, Vienna, Zurich or Luxembourg.

Pisa (1 night)

We visited the leaning tower of Pisa.

Rome (5 nights)

The first two nights we stayed at the Holiday Inn. Then we stayed at the West Rome Mecure.

Genoa (1 night)

From Rome we drove to Genoa.