Thursday, 23 July 2015

A tropical escape from the Antarctic Vortex

Well I have to admit I have been quite neglectful of the blog lately.  First I was flat out with work and then we had a long awaited escape to Singapore.  It seems we lucked upon the best time to go, with Australia experiencing a cold snap of quite extreme proportions - and which was called (rather dramatically) the Antarctic Vortex.

Singapore is a great place to visit.  I had been before, 10 years ago, and mostly remembered the heat. And it certainly is warm.  The humidity is high, and the temperatures seem to only vary between about 27-33 degrees Celsius almost year round.  What really struck me was how green and lush it seems.  Everywhere there are plants.  Even on parking garages, on road overpasses, all along the road verges, there are green plants on all levels.  A lot of bougainvillea, which I am not that much a fan of, as it is so spiky. But other plants I am not so familiar with are also in abundance.

And of course, there are the official gardens.  This time I didn't go to the Botanic Gardens, but instead to the relatively new Gardens By The Bay.

As you can see (hopefully) from the tweet above, the gardens are extensive, with a number of structures which you can walk between, and two special domes which you can walk through.  We visited the Cloud Forest dome.  The temperature drop was a welcome one, but the plants themselves were also gorgeous.

The whole enclosure is a "mountain" with waterfall, and is to represent the botany found high above the clouds.

A nice coleus (I think!)

I would definitely recommend a visit if you happen to be passing through Singapore.  I didn't get to see the Flower Dome but next time I will definitely have a look!

And just to prove we really did go at the right time -