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  • Day4

    Civic District and National Museum

    November 20, 2018 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We are sitting beside the pool after another hot day of walking. Our hotel is on the edge of the Arab Quarter so around 4:00 each day, we hear the call to prayer.

    Today we took a cab to St Andrews Cathedral to start our self-guided walking tour of the Civic District. St Andrews is plain by most cathedral standards. It’s white walls are coated in a mixture of egg white, egg shells, coconut husk and plaster. It fits into this district where many of the buildings are of the colonial look favoredby the British. Next to the church are the originall court house and the original city hall. They are beautiful granite buildings in a neoclassic style. They now are joined together as the National Gallery. Our guidebook told us of a free observation deck in the New Supreme Court building so we headed there next. It did provide a nice view of the area but unfortunately, photos were forbidden.

    After a brief stop at the spot where Stamford Raffles made his original landing, thereby changing Singapore’s future, we walked up Fort Canning Hill. This is a high point where a fortress and governor’s mansion was built, overlooking the port area. But many of the historic sites were being renovated so it was a lot of stairs for nothing.

    We had some time before lunch and chose to use it for the National Museum. The museum has a very good exhibit on the history of Singapore (short version: it kept getting invaded by a variety of neighbors because of its strategic value) culminating in the invasion by the Japanese in 1942. The island was captured in 7 days. After the end of the war, Singapore joined with Malaysia for 2 years before becoming an independent country.

    On to lunch at Chijmes, a renovated convent which houses dozens of restaurants. We ate at New Ubin Seafood, having noodles, chicken satay, chicken wings and salted caramel ice cream.

    Across the street was Raffles Hotel which is undergoing an extensive renovation. Only the famous Long Bar is open (it struck us all as not particularly long). We chose not to have a $35 Singapore Sling and headed home for a rest before the Night Safari at the zoo.

    Later....the Night Safari, while an interesting idea, was disappointing. For Christine especially, the animals were hard to see. The “show” was much like that at other zoos. Oh well, live and learn!
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