A Travellerspoint blog

Moesgård

a lovely part of Aarhus

semi-overcast 17 °C
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We travelled back to one of our favourite places in Aarhus - Moesgård Museum, and surrounds. The museum has an archaeological and ethnographic focus and is housed in Moesgård Manor estate, located in the forests south of Aarhus, and only 15mins from town. The estate covers 100 hectares of lovely landscape of park, forest, and open fields, which extends from the museum buildings down to the bay.

The museum itself comprises the manor house (a late 18thC mansion, erected 1776-78), and its out-buildings and park.
The manor house, Moesgård

The manor house, Moesgård

One of Moesgård's buildings, built 1798

One of Moesgård's buildings, built 1798

Moesgård Museum

Moesgård Museum


An arcade of beautiful lime trees

An arcade of beautiful lime trees

It then extends through beautiful natural surroundings and fields which house ancient structures from the Stone Age. These structures, mainly graves, are prehistoric monuments which have been relocated from their original locations. Relocation is only done when, for some reason, it is not possible for the structure to remain where it originally stood. The most imposing of these is the Kobberup Cist, a grave from the Stone Age about 1900BC. It was the first to be found from this period, and was exactly as it was left after the last burial. It was re-erected in Moesgård in 1967.

The Kobberup Cist

The Kobberup Cist

Stone cist from the bronze age

Stone cist from the bronze age

The monuments have been appropriately placed in an open field which they share with a flock of Gotland sheep, an old Scandinavian breed. I actually thought they were goats, and have since read that they are also known as goat-horned sheep!! It is enjoyable and peaceful to walk among them as you reflect on the past histories of these ancient monuments. There are many other structures which have been placed in other parts of the park and it is fun to come across them as you wander through the beautiful countryside.

Gotland outdoor sheep

Gotland outdoor sheep

The museum has several permanent exhibitions - a history of Denmark from the stone age, a display of weapons from an area not far from Aarhus which shows the art of war and power struggles in the Iron Age, and various rune stones including the Mask Stone which is famous for bearing a depiction of a facial mask and an Old Norse runic inscription describing a battle between kings. This stone is interesting as the mask has been chosen as the museum's symbol.
Mask rune stone

Mask rune stone

I also came across an excellent illustration which tells one version of the story behind the Hørning Stone which I mentioned in my previous post.
Illustration of the story behind the Hørning Stone

Illustration of the story behind the Hørning Stone

And there is also the famous 2,300 year old Grauballe Man, the world's best preserved bog body which was uncovered in 1952 from a peat bog near the village of Grauballe in Denmark. It is the body of an adult male, aged 34 years, which dates from the late 3rdC BC during the Iron Age. The wounds on the body graphically illustrate that he was most likely killed by having his throat cut. His body was then placed into the bog where it was naturally preserved for over 2 thousand years. This is one of the best preserved bog bodies every recorded. The exhibition illustrates the research conducted on the body (including a post-mortem), and the process that was carried out to preserve the body. This was new territory for the researchers as no entire bog body had ever been preserved before. Would you believe that they were even able to identify what he had for his last meal. Amazing!!! The body has been on display in the museum since 1955.

The Grauballe man

The Grauballe man

The Grauballe man

The Grauballe man

The museum currently also has a special exhibition called the Seven Vikings in celebration of its 150th anniversary. This exhibit utilises modern technology which allows the visitor to choose an object which is linked to one of the seven characters, each of which actually existed. (I chose Tove, the spouse of King Harald I of Denmark.) This object is fitted with an electronic chip which allows you to follow their personal story which is dramatised and brought to life through the use of sound, film, images and authentic archaelogical artefacts. The attention to detail is exceptional. The first stop on the journey shows each of the characters asleep, ostensibly on the start of their journey by boat to their destination. The models are lifelike and beautifully crafted. You can hear them breathing as they sleep, and watch their body rise and fall with their breath. Brilliant!!!

The skill of the museum staff, and the quality of the historical artefacts is exceptional, and the displays are clearly set out and beautifully presented. Viking Aros about which I have previous posted, is another of Moesgård's exhibitions.

Not far from the manor estate is the old water mill, and our favourite restaurant, Skovmølle (The Mill in the Forest), with typical Danish half-timbered buildings with thatched roofs. This water mill is powered by the waters of Giber River. The first reference to the mill is from 1590, however all the buildings were rebuilt and a mill-wheel installed in 1785. The mill is still working and grinds organic grain which can be purchased in the mill shop. The mill had not been working when we previously visited, but we were extremely fortunate on this visit to be able to see it in action.

Skovmøllen

Skovmøllen


The internal wheel mechanism

The internal wheel mechanism


The waterwheel which powers the mill.

The waterwheel which powers the mill.

And to top off a wonderful day, lunch was a must. Chas had his favourite Danish dish, Stjerneskud (translation: a shooting star), which consists of lettuce, 1 fish filet steamed in white wine, 1 fish filet in bread crumbs and fried in butter, dressing made from mayonnaise, tomato paste, tarragon vinegar and mustard, and topped with prawns, mayonnaise, dill, a slice of lemon and tomato, and .... black and red caviar. Not to be outdone, my dish was equally delicious with a beautiful fresh salad complete with the most delicious orange berries which complemented the flavours beautifully.

How idyllic is this.

Looking towards the mill and the restaurant

Looking towards the mill and the restaurant

Lunch at the Skovmøllen restaurant

Lunch at the Skovmøllen restaurant

Giber River

Giber River

Posted by patsaunder 12:56 Archived in Denmark Tagged buildings animals places history denmark Comments (0)

Viking Aros

... the founding of Århus 1200 years ago


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Yesterday we visited Viking Aros[i] the Århus/ Aarhus viking museum. This is the actual site of an archaeological dig by Moesgård museum archaeologists conducted 1963-64. The site takes you approx. 3m below street level into the basement of the Nordea Bank building in the centre of Aarhus - literally a journey back to [i]Viking Aros. The museum showcases artefacts of daily life on display in the very place they were found.

Viking Aros

Viking Aros

The Viking age lasted from from the end of the 8th century to the end of the 11th century. The Vikings were Scandinavians - Swedes, Norwegians and Danes whose name is associated with piracy and plunder. Their superior shipbuilding and seafaring enabled them to launch surprise attacks on their victims and they were feared for their warlike and violent behaviour. But there was much more to them than that. They also traded widely, and eventually colonised England, Normandy and the North Atlantic Islands. Some even made it to North America where they settled for a while. However, the majority of Vikings were peaceful people who looked after their families and homes in the areas where they had settled.

Depiction of daily Viking life

Depiction of daily Viking life

Depiction of daily Viking life

Depiction of daily Viking life

This is evidenced by traces of a Viking settlement in Aarhus as early as the late 8th C on the north bank of the Århus River. The settlement was named Aros, which means 'the town by the river mouth', which shows Aarhus to be one of Denmark's oldest cities. (Hence the name of the Aarhus art gallery from previous post - Aros).

The excavations found evidence of 4 houses and artefacts reflecting the everyday life of the inhabitants, such as wells, fences, streets, tools, and personal items such as combs, coins and weaving loom weights. There was also a skeleton of a man which dates from the middle of the 9thC. The skeleton still lies where it was found. It is the oldest Aarhus inhabitant yet found and its position on the floor suggests that he may have been a murder victim.

Skeleton of man

Skeleton of man

Evidence shows that the settlements had a variety of houses. Small pit houses which were generally placed a metre or so below ground (which has helped to keep them preserved) had fireplaces and sleeping facilities. Larger houses which also had fireplaces and ovens were used for family life, craft activities, and storage and may also have housed domestic animals. The pics below show a reconstruction of a pit house with the lady of the house at the weaving loom.

Reconstructed pit house

Reconstructed pit house

Reconstructed pit house

Reconstructed pit house

Reconstructed pit house.

Reconstructed pit house.

Archaeologists estimate that around 934AD the town was encircled by a rampart 2-3m high and 10m wide, which was later enlarged to 6m high and 18m wide, as well as a stockade and moat. The community consisted of ordered groupings of large homes which served for the families and as workshops, and smaller buildings for workshops, storage and other activities. There was a pagan burial ground in the centre of town. Outside the confines was a jetty to assist unloading of ships, and a wooden bridge to take land traffic across the river which could be lifted to allow ships to sail further upstream.

Aros, circa 1100

Aros, circa 1100

Towards the end of the Viking era (~1087) St. Nicholas's Church, the first stone building, was built. The crypt of this church was discovered by accident during renovations on the existing church in 1955 and still forms part of the current Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady) and is the oldest still standing relic in Denmark today.

Crypt, Church of Our Lady

Crypt, Church of Our Lady

Rune stones are a Viking age characteristic and can be decorated with both pagan and Christian symbols. This stone is a copy of the Hørning Stone which was found in 1849 approximately 12km southwest of Aarhus. The inscription on the stone reads Tóki Smith raised the stone in memory of Þorgísl Guðmundr's son, who gave him gold(?) and freedom.

Rune stone

Rune stone

The rune stones are very interesting, especially the Jelling Stones which you can read about in the following link to a post from my previous blog.
http://patsaunder.travellerspoint.com/17/.

The Jelling Stones are one of Denmark’s most important historical sites. The inscription on the larger stone is considered to be the first written record in which the word ‘Denmark’ appears. They call it the ‘Danes Baptism Certificate’.

Interestingly, the Vikings had a large influence on British culture and language, with their kings ruling England during the middle of the 11th century. The city name 'York' came from the Danish, 'Jorvik', so 'New York' has a Viking heritage. Other English words have a Danish base, book/bog, brother/bror, chair/stol (stool), comb/kamen, day/dag, father/far, fish/fisk, hair/haar, dog/hund (hound), house/hus, milk/maelk, person/person, start/begynde (begin), river/flod (flow), snow/sne, tree/trae, wall/mur (mural), are just a few.

The Viking Museum is an excellent conscise, presentation of everyday Danish life in Viking times.

Posted by patsaunder 12:05 Archived in Denmark Tagged places history denmark Comments (0)

ARoS, Aarhus Kunstmuseum

Aarhus's international centre for visual art

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While we had previously visited Aarhus's art gallery, it was a 'must see again' due to 'Your Rainbow Panorama' which has been erected on the roof of the building since our last visit. Our initial reaction to this new addition was lukewarm, thinking that it would be OK, but nothing really special.

ARoS

ARoS

Entrance to ARoS

Entrance to ARoS

However, we were pleasantly surprised with all aspects of our visit. It is a very lively venue, and on the day we visited had many children and families visiting, which was lovely to see.

One of the first pieces you see (because you can't miss it) is the wonderful "Boy", a 5metre, 500kg sculpture. It was great to see it again. You are drawn to it, not only by its size, but also by the intricate details of the body and the expression of the face, e.g. the veins in the foot, the little toe turning inward, and stratches on the boy's knees.

This sculpture has become an iconic trademark for ARoS, and I was surprised and pleased to find that it is the work of Australian artist Ron Mueck. His original design sketchings and photos of his elementary casts were interesting also.

DSC01696.jpg90_DSC01699.jpgDSC01697.jpg90_DSC01698.jpgDSC01701.jpg DSC01709.jpg

We started at the lower level and were immediately immersed in a wonderland for the senses. Many of the exhibits used visual projection. The first led us into a large dark space which had 5 images projected onto the walls (each 4m x 3m) which consisted of slow motion sequences each up to 20mins duration. Surrounded by the darkness and the sound you have the experience of being underwater. Each were projected in a different colour, with the 'red' simulating sun reflecting on the water. It was difficult to know which image to look at and I found myself wanting to watch all at once in case I missed something. A great space to just sit and experience. Excellent.

My favourite however was "Dawn hours in the neighbour's house". This piece appealed to the visual, sensory and tactile senses with a dark room decorated with a comfy sofa and chair which invited the viewer to sit, a coffee table, lamp, TV, bookshelf and other pieces. A projection on the screen compressed 24 hours of a day into 8 minutes. But the viewer was not only drawn to watching the images, but as the day progressed the room lit up and you were also engaged with different activities around the room, e.g. clothing hanging in an enclosed area of the room moved gently seemingly from a soft breeze outside. As day moved to evening, the TV came on, the lamps and books lit up, and little fairy lights set into the ceiling, wall and floor simulated stars twinkling. The intricate details and the engagement of the senses was delightful, though both Chas and I didn't feel that the images projected on the screen actually reflected the happenings in the neighbour's house. Thoroughly enjoyable ... and we are only on our first level!!

The next was the work of American video artist, Tony Oursler. Large parts of his work are concerned with the face, as was this exhibition, FACEECAF (Face to Face). Using projection onto installations and sculptures his work was spectacular. Unfortunately, my pics do not portray the three dimensional aspect of his work, the video projection of the faces moving, nor the voices of each. There were over 30 separate pieces in this exhibition, many of them large installations. When viewing work of this kind, I am astounded by the imaginative abilities of some people - where do these ideas come from??

DSC01706.jpgDSC01707.jpgEllo

Ello

There was also an excellent photography exhibition of the work of Danish photojournalists taken from news items over the last year. Unfortunately the text was only in Danish so it was difficult for us to understand the context of the images. We wandered through the modern gallery, though not a fan of this art. However, the paintings from the golden age of Danish art (1770-1930) was excellent.

Finally we made it to the roof area which has been transformed into a recreational space with seating and magnificent views across Aarhus. This area came about as a result of an international architecture competition inviting proposals on expanding the roof's floor. The successful artist was Olafur Eliasson with Your Rainbow Panaroma, a circular, 150m long, 3m wide walkway built out of glass featuring all the colours of the spectrum of light.

As I said, I didn't think the experience would be anything special. However, taking my last step up onto the walkway my immediate response was "Wow". I hadn't imagined the wonderful view over the city looking through a 3m high floor to ceiling glass wall, each separate colour bringing a different experience of the city and the bay below. It was spectacular. From our apartment we can clearly see people walking around the walkway when the gallery is open in the evening. Our apartment is to the left of the tall glass building which can be seen in the right of the pic. We are very close to town.

The final pic is a view of a wonderful circular mosaic centrepiece in the park below. The painstaking and intricate detail that has gone into creating this is, I believe, also a piece of art. I love it.

Looking out through the Rainbow Panorama

Looking out through the Rainbow Panorama

Your Rainbow Panaroma

Your Rainbow Panaroma

Your Rainbow Panaroma

Your Rainbow Panaroma

Your Rainbow Panaroma

Your Rainbow Panaroma

A beautiful mosaic

A beautiful mosaic

I encourage you to take a moment to look through the photo gallery as I also include descriptive comments of many of the pics, especially of the pics from Face to Face which I have taken from the catalogue. You can also view them in a larger format - all the better to see them with!

Posted by patsaunder 11:53 Archived in Denmark Tagged me art buildings places denmark Comments (1)

Aarhus

... and great to be back

overcast
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Tuesday 3 July:
Finally ... arrived in Copenhagen early (approx. 7.30am) at international Terminal 3 and collected our luggage. From our previous visits to DK we knew we had to transfer to the domestic terminal (T1) so we decided to go to straight there to have a coffee and something to eat. We also knew to catch the free bus, and where to catch it. But somehow we must have walked past without seeing them, so we just kept walking, carting our luggage along with us!!. This didn't worry us too much as our flight to Aarhus wasn't until 12.30pm so we knew we would have to wait, wait, wait,... It was about 1km walk and we finally arrived at T1. We were both very tired as neither of us had slept well on the flight (11hrs). To our dismay when we arrived at T1 there was nowhere to purchase anything, other than basic vending machines.

So …. we decided to take the bus back to T3. Luckily I still had DKK350 kroner from our trip in 2010 (in Auz money approx AU$60). I was reeaaalllyy needing a coffee by this time but as with all airports the options were limited in the check-in area. We did find a Starbucks and sat for a short rest and quite a nice coffee (DKK112). Hmm... not a lot left and still needing something to eat. So we started walking (again!!), and eventually found a lovely cafe in Terminal 2. With our left over funds we bought a sandwich each and a beer. I don't know where everyone in T2 was going but it was extremely busy and there was nowhere quiet to sit. So ..... we decided to walk back to T1. Yep back at the beginning!!! where we finally did find a comfy seat to rest our weary bones and enjoy our food.. Would you believe that it was now almost time to check-in for our flight so eventually we were able to sit and take it easy. What a morning. At least we 'enjoyed' some exercise and got to see the sights of the airport!!

It was wonderful to give Aaron a big hug when he come to collect us at Aarhus airport and take us to our first exchange home - a 1bedroom apartment only 15minutes walk from the centre of town. After checking out our new home and unpacking our belongings, Aaron took us to buy some basics for tomorrow, and then home to finally see Rikke and meet Olivia for the first time.

Playing ball with Olivia

Playing ball with Olivia

She is so beautiful – and has the most infectious laugh. We took things slowly not imposing ourselves on her, but allowing her to take time to get used to us. But obviously Dad and Mum thought we were OK, and she settled very quickly and interacted with us, especially after dinner when we went to have a look at the garden and a play with the ball. Olivia likes to touch, sometimes feeling my arm, face or leg. She has even briefly sat beside me on a couple of occasions to read a book.

We've had several lovely times with Olivia this week, and on Monday travelled to Kolding to catch-up with Rikke's Mum and Dad, Anna and Erling. Have a look at Aaron and Rikke's blog documenting Olivia's journey where Aaron has captured our meetings beautifully. You can also read how much their beautiful little one has progressed in a short time. She is blessed with much love and support in her family.

http://olivia2denmark.blogspot.dk/2012/07/olivia-this-is-your-grandma.html

The next few days we settled back into Aarhus, recuperating from our trip and enjoying our walks around town remembering our favourite lunch spots, listening to people talking and connecting back with the Danish language, and driving on the wrong (or is that the 'right') side of the road. While Chas will be the driver, I am helping by reminding him when he veers too close to the kerb, and to stay on the right side of the road when turning left. It won't take him long and he'll be cruising!

Apart from the obvious financial benefits to home exchange, another benefit is the fantastic opportunity to live in the community and experience life as a local. Our hosts for this first exchange are a young couple who live in a very small apartment in a block of 100, mainly occupied by young people. You enter the apartment directly into the (extremely small) kitchen, bedroom (on right), and through to living area (both 3x5m), with very few frills, and communal clothes washing and drying facilities in the basement. I was saying to Chas this morning that 'steps' have featured prominently in our trip so far, as we have already travelled many times up and down the stairs going to and from the apartment, and many times down to the basement. However, being close to town, and also only 5mins from Aaron and Rikke is a big plus, and we are enjoying the novelty of living differently to home. Our apartment is on middle level, to the right of the stairwell in 2nd pic.

Apartment block_1

Apartment block_1

Apartment block

Apartment block

Yesterday we had a delightful morning tea with the couple with whom we will swap homes in October, Bent and Elly. Their home is a lovely apartment almost in the centre of town. Excellent. We are very much looking forward to enjoying this location. They will be taking their 4th trip to Auz and are very comfortable and familiar with Australia. We had to catch up now as we will all be travelling elsewhere and won't be able to meet at another time before October. If you have any questions about home exchange, they would be perfect to speak with as they have had more than 40 exchanges, both home and overseas, since their first in the late 1970s (with not one negative situation). It was great fun to talk with them.

We have enjoyed reconnecting to some of our favourite lunch spots. While I cannot always find vegan food, most restaurants are happy to provide something from the menu for me. The other day we returned to Jacobs Musik Cafe where I ordered a sandwich and suggested that the chicken could be replaced with a couple of falafels from the entre menu. My meal was not only presented beautifully, it tasted delicious. It is a lovely cafe which has been beautiful decorated with artwork on the walls and ceiling since our last visit. You can see the artwork more clearly if you look at the pic in my photo gallery in large size. It is a pleasure to enjoy our meal in the beautiful surrounds.

Jacobs Bar

Jacobs Bar

Falafal sandwich

Falafal sandwich

We have also returned to the Kvindemuseet (The Womens Museum) (one of my favourite eating places) for tasty soup on a wet, and cold day. And also Cafe Gaya, an organic, vegan cafe which has raw food also. We enjoyed the buffet with a variety of fresh salads, sauces and a very tasty spinach and tomato tart, and a raw chocolate smoothie made with almond mylk. Yummo.

Cafe Gaya

Cafe Gaya

Courtyard garden, Cafe Gaya

Courtyard garden, Cafe Gaya

We are now ready to share some of the sights and stories of Denmark so check back often to see what we've been up to.

Posted by patsaunder 04:17 Archived in Denmark Tagged people places Comments (1)

Singapore stop-over

relax and unwind

sunny 30 °C
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A long day .. arriving late into Singapore after a day which commenced at 5.30am to finalise last minute chores in the house. After the bus to Brissie and check-in we enjoyed one of the great pleasures of travelling - sitting and waiting!! for our flight at 2.40pm.

The Carlton Hotel offered a great deal which enticed us to take a 3 day stop-over hoping to lessen the jet lag, and take some time out to relax. Chas and I like to take our time to wander and just take in the atmosphere by walking everywhere. Our exploration of Singapore started on Saturday morning with a walk (~20mins) to Central Quay passing Fort Canning Park along the way. We had no idea what the park was but just saw a steep set of steps and decided it would be good to stretch our legs after sitting so long the previous day. I was also interested to check it out as my mum's name was Canning. However, what we didn't realise was there were actually two more sets of steps to negotiate before we actually reached the top!! A sure way to pain! but worth it. The park is a lovely tranquil area with beautiful plants and trees. There is only one building, now a restaurant, which was actually the first building built by Sir Stamford Raffles (which he called his ‘bungalow’). It has a beautiful view looking out over the area to the water. Raffles is a name synonymous with Singapore ... as he was the first Governor of Singapore and is known as the founder of the modern Singapore.

I read a statement on one of the tourist brochures that alongside eating, shopping is considered the national pastime on the island. Orchard Road is Singapore's most popular and exclusive shopping experience (though we decided not to visit there) but had fun exploring Central complex and Clarke Quay on the Singapore River. The shops are fantastic - beautiful clothing, shoes, handbags, art - whatever. But we loved The Quay - a great place where "the days are longer and the nights never end" with an amazing selection of restaurants, bars and clubs - obviously a trendy area of Singapore. Whatever cuisine takes your fancy – Japanese, Russian, Turkish, Moroccan, Thai, American, Pizza, Irish, local - you would find a restaurant to suit, including The Pump Room' a microbrewery bistro which would probably be of interest to some!!!

Central

Central

The Pump Room

The Pump Room

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay

The tourist barges travel along the Singapore River from here also. We decided to come back for dinner the next evening to experience the buzz. After a quiet beer and a sit down we headed back to Raffles City shopping centre (across from our hotel) for lunch in the food hall (with the locals) where I was finally able to find veggies. 7 veggies of your choice cooked for about 2 minutes and then served in a light broth with rice or noddles. May not sound too enticing to some but it suited me fine after enough airline food, though Chas wasn't as keen.

Tourist barges

Tourist barges

After lunch, and all the walking, we settled into the comfy chairs at the hotel Gravity Bar for the 'must have' Singapore Sling experience. We were the sole patrons so it was wonderfully quiet and peaceful. We visited this bar each afternoon as it was a very relaxed, enjoyable environment. Recommended.

Relaxing in the Gravity Bar

Relaxing in the Gravity Bar

Singapore Sling in the Gravity Bar

Singapore Sling in the Gravity Bar

Saturday evening we had booked for the Night Safari Tour. We were collected at our hotel and bussed the 45mins. to the park. When we arrived we were advised that the evening show was already booked out so we should take the Night Safari tram ride through the park to see the animals in their habitat. Unfortunately the park was exceptionally busy being holiday time, and a very hot Saturday evening, and there were hundreds of people waiting to catch the tram. We waited in queue for 45mins.!!! Not a good start.

No camera, video or laser lights (flashes) were allowed so I was not able to get photos of the animals. The areas were lit with a soft lighting so you could see the animals grazing, eating, or lying around. We assumed this was to simulate moon light but it was still a little hard to find the animals on occasions. However, it was quite amazing … with a wide range of animals from around the world - striped hyenas, tigers, flamingo, water buffalo, giraffe, rhino, hippo, elephants, tapir, deer and others I can't remember. I couldn’t work out how they keep the animals to their specific areas (especially the larger ones) as some of the less aggressive animals (cows) were standing very close to the tram as it went by and there didn't appear to be any fencing. After the tram ride and a quick drink we had to return to the bus to take us back to the hotel. While we enjoyed what we saw, it was unfortunate that we visited on a day when the staff had some difficulty coping with the large numbers of people attending. While you can also walk through the park and see the animals at close range, unfortunately we did not have time to do this or to attend any of the shows.

After a relaxed start and brunch next morning (again at Raffles City (but not in the food hall) we headed in the opposite direction from yesterday, beginning with a relaxed walk through the famous Raffles Hotel which happened to be right next to ours. It is an impressive structure, with beautiful marble pathways, cool courtyards and gardens with fountains, very exclusive shops, and very much an affluent 'colonial' energy of days past. It is also quite extensive, taking up almost a complete block.

The famous Singapore Sling originated at Raffles and I learned from Wikipedia that many of those served at Raffles these days have been pre-mixed, made using an automatic dispenser that combines alcohol and pineapple juice to pre-set volumes, and are blended instead of shaken in order to create a nice, foamy top as well as to save time because of the large number of orders. When Chas first ordered one at the less expensive Gravity Bar the barman asked if it would be ok if it took a little time as he had to mix it himself. When asked "how long", he replied "6 minutes"!!. We thought it worth waiting for and continued to enjoy ours here.

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Raffles Hotel entrance

Raffles Hotel entrance

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel

We then enjoyed a walk through the Arab area with lovely paved streets and small stalls along each side. Chas was interested in the beautiful oriental carpets trying to compare prices with the Berber carpet he purchase in Tunisia on his Sahara trip in 2010. The vendors very enthusiastically tried to sell him one to no avail, though we couldn't resist a few gifts for home. It was interesting that we visited in time to hear the midday 'call to prayer' from the Sultan Mosque which is the largest mosque in Singapore, built in 1928.

Arab Area, Singapore

Arab Area, Singapore

Street in the Arab area

Street in the Arab area

As promised, we returned Sunday evening to enjoy the activity and bustle of Clarke Quay. It was great. Families out together, tourists taking a trip down river, and a few brave souls taking on the G Max Reverse Bungy which flies 60m into the air at speeds of up to 200km/h. No way, it was scary enough watching!! We chose a restaurant overlooking the river and had a lovely meal relaxing with a couple of reds, and a Lime Ginger with Yuzu Soda. I'm going to try to recreate this at home ... very delicious. We had a great meal and drinks, in an interesting environment, however, we nearly died when we received the bill of ~ AU$160. But .. it was lovely. I then spied an ice-cream stall so asked if they had non-dairy ice-cream - YES! strawberry sorbet made from all natural ingredients .... I had to try. $10 for one cone!!! Hmmm .. time to go back to the hotel before we do more damage.

Bunge

Bunge

non-alcoholic drink

non-alcoholic drink

Monday morning we chilled, packed and organised our online check-in, with a 4pm check-out of the hotel, but we had to hang around until 8.30pm for transfer to the airport for our flight at 1.10am. It was very hard to stay awake. Slept roughly 5 hours of the 11 hour flight, which meant I was awake for about 18 hrs all up.

Last dinner in Singapore

Last dinner in Singapore

I enjoyed Singapore. It was easy to find our way and was clean and friendly. However, I couldn't help comparing its size (704 km2, and population of 5,183.700) to Denmark (43,098 km2 and population of 5,584,758). Our guide for the Night Safari told us that it takes 45mins to travel across the island north to south, and 1 hour east to west. That is a lot of people in a little area. I would have liked to discuss some of the social aspects for Singaporeans of living in such a highly dense city. Maybe another time.

Last but not least .... I had a bit of a giggle at this poster that I found in a bus shelter. I didn't realise that we were exporting fresh Koala milk to Singapore, but obviously so ....

Poster

Poster

Stay tuned .... next up Denmark.

Posted by patsaunder 10:41 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore Comments (1)

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