If you missed my previous post about my layover in Frankfurt, you can check that out here. If you’d like to see all of the photos that I didn’t share in the blog post, you can check out the Flickr album with 131 photos here.
So after my uneventful layover in Frankfurt, I finally arrived in Singapore, 12 hours ahead of my timezone and absolutely exhausted. I spent all day Monday working, although I did get to have some great food and drive through China Town and Little India. But on Tuesday, I had the entire day to myself before beginning my late-night return, so I decided to visit Gardens by the Bay.
One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Singapore was how green the city was; even the highways were forested with gorgeous lush trees on the sides of the road. This is because the founding Prime Minster, Lee Kuan Yew, was also the Chief Gardener and he promoted a plan that would make Singapore a “Garden City.” Later on, that plan has been transformed into making Singapore a “City in a Garden,” by continuing to prioritize greenery and gardens within the city. While you can see the trees and flowers as soon as you step out of the airport, this dedication to being a City in a Garden really shows at Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre park that was developed on reclaimed land.
I had done some research in advance on Singapore and its unique attractions, and since Gardens by the Bay seemed quite promising for some photos, I brought my camera and a couple lenses. I packed my Nikon D3300, 18-55mm kit lens, and 50mm f/1.8 lens in a Travelon Crossbody and set off for lunch and then the gardens! Even though Singapore is very low in crime, I much prefer bags that don’t look like camera bags, and this crossbody had the sturdiness, water resistance, and zippers that are important to me as well.
Over the last week or so, I have been in Singapore or traveling to/from Singapore. I spent two nights on a plane, about eight hours in Frankfurt on a layover, and two full days in Singapore. This was my first long-haul trip, as typically I stick to traveling within the States, so this was also my first trip to Asia and first experience in Europe. Singapore itself has a reputation as a mini-utopia (albeit a very strict one) and an excellent place for doing business, so I was excited to see what this city-state was like in person.
The journey there was quite lengthy (from Friday night to Sunday morning my time), but that’s because I had a long layover in Frankfurt, Germany. I partially planned this so I could see a bit of Germany as I’ve always had an interest in the country and would really like to do a full tour of Europe some day, and also since I was unsure of how long it would take to get from one plane to another, I opted for a longer layover as opposed to an astonishingly brief hour layover (why would the website suggest that? I have no idea). My biggest gripe with the States is that it is so difficult to experience other countries and cultures and I’ve always been jealous of these smaller countries, especially those that facilitate easy travel between countries in the Schengen Area (another interesting tidbit I learned when preparing for my travels).
When I arrived in Germany, I decided to take advantage of the mass transit options in practically every other large city besides home and head to the city to experience a small section of Germany. The Frankfurt airport itself is obviously quite large but has pretty clear signage everywhere in both German and English, so navigating was relatively easy. McDonald’s and KFC are quite common in both Germany and Singapore, and in Singapore, both restaurants deliver! (I can only imagine how the obesity epidemic would expand, quite literally, if that was offered here.) Getting through immigration in Germany to exit the airport was shockingly easy for visitors, although I was jealous of the automated lanes that were offered for EU citizens (not the first or last time that I am jealous of the bonuses that come with being in the EU), which had a longer line but proceeded much quicker. The German police officer checked my passport, asked my final destination, stamped my passport, and I was on my way. And yes, getting in and out of Germany really was that simple every time. The “land of the free” could do with some pointers.