Staying at the airport control tower

No. It is not that the airport terminal or the local airport hotels have run out of space. In July of last year the Arlanda airport folks held a competition where winners can spend some time living in the former airport control tower (here).

Fancy being in the control tower where folks once directed aircrafts?

Today though our post is not about staying in what we’d consider a quirky location. You can easily do that with AirBnB by looking up exotic locations on offer. What we want to talk about today is about airports. You know, the places where you take a plane.

As you might have read (here), our little red dot just opened a fourth terminal at our international airport (we have 5 others airports/strips btw). Now that’s nothing if one’s been to the large hubs in the US (O’Hare, McCarran, JFK etc) or in Europe (Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle etc). And it is not a boast about size.

It’s about the fact that airports are ‘putting on weight’. From a size 8 to a size 12 so to speak. Finding sufficient land to “fit” the expanding waistlines of airports can be a challenge. Getting from one side of it to the other a chore. They’ve become miniature cities in themselves such that some are sited well out and away from the cities they serve. Someday, we predict that they will become tourist attractions in themselves too. Just like the abandoned Arlanda control tower in the above link or the one at former Kallang airport in our little red dot.

Have you explore airports before? Or do you simply transit through them?

A UNESCO site in Singapore?

Yes. After a pretty long journey, we (ie the little red dot) have finally our own UNESCO heritage site in 2015. To be honest, it wasn’t a place that we had visited regularly. The idea actually came about in 1822 by our island’s modern founder, and it has surely gone a long way from being an experimental garden to the present day.

You see, you need to understand this. That Sir Stamford Raffles wasn’t just another colonial official. He was also a very keen naturalist and geographer. His travels had taken him all over the southeast Asian archipelago and he is credited with have discovered the world’s largest flower. Do you know what that is? Well Google it since we won’t tell you!

Our botanical gardens is not huge at 82 hectares. And we’ve been to much larger gardens elsewhere in the world. But it packs a lot of punch into that considerably compact yet well thought layout. It is an important piece in the puzzle that is our city state’s path towards a city in a garden. Did you know you can have an Orchid variery named after you? Join us here as we show you what you can see and do here in our UNESCO heritage site.

Do you love gardens? Hope you enjoyed our showcase!

The MRT series – Yishun (NS13)

Mel got lost here leading a company in a heli-insert exercise here in the early 90s during one of his reservist stints. Heheh… Did you know that most of what is now this suburban town were once ponds of water for rearing shrimps? Can’t imagine that this has transformed into a residential town! And don’t forget to get to the only hot spring in Singapore. Read how to get there at this page.

Merely 10 years ago, it might had been considered by some to be the northern end of Singapore in a sense. Because this was literally where the North-South MRT line terminated. Yeah. Imagine that. It was in 1996 that the circular looking service line that is still called “north-south’ came to be full connected. At least to the East-West line. Fun rail history huh?

←Sembawang (NS11)

→ Khatib (NS14)

The wrong geography

Can you imagine being taught the wrong geography?

In this link, you will find out which famous geographical markers are wrongly positioned. Guess it will be rather hard to move them huh? Imagine standing at the equator, or at least the location that says so anyway… only to find out it was totally wrong! No wonder the water did not circle the opposite way in the WC when you flushed! LOL. We hope you know what we are referring to…

But today our post is not about being in the wrong place.

It is more about how navigation can sometimes be skewed. Did you know that the magnetic pole of the earth has been shifting? Your mechanical compasses that tracks the magnetic pole will thus be affected, making “north” not truly north. You follow? Perhaps that’s why we cannot find Santa’s real home… (maybe it’s here).

Fortunately today we have plenty of satellites up there in geo-stationary orbit. It is these networks of satellites that provide us more accurate positions on our phones and navigation devices. So the magnetic poles’ movement might not be that apparent to you. But think of the migratory fauna. They don’t have GPS devices nor mobile devices and rely on a combination of senses that probably include magnetic fields.

Would that explain why whales beach themselves not knowing it is land that is ahead? Lots of things to ponder over today. Yeah we know it might give you a headache thinking about them all. Perhaps this might inspire you to write something about this too.

Have you been to any wrongly positioned place(s)?

Land of the prophets – Part II

A few days ago (a week actually), we shared with you the start of our journey. Now, it’s time to continue on with the next segment. Because there are so many places we touched and so many photos, we have no choice. Sharing the entire journey in one page would not give it sufficient justice.

To be honest even this is not half of our own travelogue. However on the web it will be challenging to put in too much content. Audiences these days might not have the attention span we’d hope for. Besides, it was our journey and naturally we’d feel special about it. Perhaps for the reader it will feel different.

In any case, you might want to know that this segment Part II of our journey share how we crossed over to Israel from Jordan. It was not an easy crossing, which took hours. But eventually we made it through! A lot of things are misunderstood by folks from outside the region, and we cannot profess to correct them. Rather, one should have an open mind and make this journey to see it for yourself.

We enjoyed the week thoroughly, from tracing the trail of the prophets to floating on the dead sea (it was cold!). It was a fulfilling journey completing one more bucket list item. Now we can retire from traveling. LOL. Nah. You serious?  Heheh… ok no more talking to ourselves. Click in the link above and tell give us your comments!

Have you been to Israel?

The MRT series – Sembawang (NS11)

This is the name of both an air and naval base, though both are pretty far away from the MRT station. Today the area that the station serves is mostly new HDB flats all around, hence more for utility and convenience of those living here. Did you know the name Sembawang belongs to a local tree that is located at the park? Look it up!

Did you also know most of Fortress Singapore’s British naval assets were in the south of the island until the 1930s? Barely completed not long, it had to be wrecked to deprive the invading Imperial Japanese army use of the facilities. Today it is a bustling base comprising of mixed civilian and military use, though you’d never see that from the MRT station…

←Admiralty (NS10)

→Yishun (NS13)