A Travellerspoint blog


Day 1
Arrived from Singapore on flight (exactly 12 hours) at 6am. Milan sleeping. Airport customs REALLY slow... Took treni to Milano Centrale Stazione. Our hotel less than five minute walk. Rooms (not available until 12) small but updated. Very helpful staff here. We went for a walk to acquaint ourselves with Milan and decided nothing to right home about although some lovely architecture. Although it was Sunday morning and dead. We ventured out later as it got busier and found that we actually quite liked the place. We were all buggered from travelling so grabbed a nana nap before dinner. We discovered that coffee and light snacks are inexpensive and the coffee is good. Gareth recommended we try an apertivo place in Corso Sempione and it didn't disappoint, The boulevard was quiet when we arrived a little after 6pm but became alive shortly after and by 8pm the whole street and all the eateries were humming. We chose a place offering a pretty good buffet at 11 euros each with first drink included (including cocktails) and it was great. Afterwards it was still very light so we sauntered through Sempione Park before taking an uber back to the hotel for an early night, with a 5:30 wake up looming.
Day 2
A big day - a 13 hour Bernina Express trip, leaving on a bus from the visitor centre at 7am. Better class of ubers here - 2 Mercs and an F class Jag so far! The trip started with a bus trip of about three hours via Como to Tirano, lunch there and the Bernina Express itself left at 1pm, arriving in St Moritz around 3:30pm. We stopped at Tirano for lunch , there is a beautiful church well worth visiting. St Moritz was pretty much as expected - full of high-end shops and easteries - nothing much else. windy as heck. The return trip was via bus through the Maloja Pass and took around 4 hours - so a long day... The highlight was the train trip. Everything we expected and more. Simply spectacular scenery against a staggering background of huge mountains, beautiful lakes, waterfalls, beautiful little Swiss villages and tree-lined gorges.
Day 3
Another big day to Lake Como- compounded by the fact that Milan Centrale is a shocking place to find your way around if you're not Italian. Advice given at the ticketing centre by a lady keener to get to her coffee break than dealing with us, wrongly advised us and caused us a bit of a headache finding the correct train. We have found the Milan Metro exceedingly frustrating to use - so much so after the ease of using Singapore's. There is a lack of English signs and most of the staff speak very little English. Regardless, the trip today was very much worth it. The lake is spectacular, dotted with small villages and grand villas as well as up-market hotels. There is a never-ending stream of ferries of all shapes and sizes plying the waters yet surprisingly few pleasure craft or yachts which we found incongruous - could have been because it was a week day? Como itself was beautiful but even its beauty was outdone by Bellagio's. Both towns have unique characters and charming narrow streets abuzz with retailers and eateries, sheer beauty. A must-do if you are in Milan, we all thought it was fantastic and so glad we did it.

Posted by 3kiwisabroad 12:52 Comments (1)


semi-overcast 30 °C

Day 1
we found Singapore to still be a vibrant bustling city with amazing new buildings and great parks and open spaces. We arrived at 6:25am and got an uber into town. Our room wasn't available until noon so we went walking, and walking and walking... (mostly in the right direction). Patrick took us to Orchard Road only to find most shops didn't open until 11am! However we did stumble across an amazing official information centre. Great staff there and really clever apps that not only help you plan your itinerary but also to print an A3 double-sided colour version of it with maps - for free! Stephen there also told us how to use the Metro and where to buy tickets which was just 5 minutes away. We had a snack of chicken and pork pot stickers at the mall there (one of 29 in Orchard Road). Very nice too!

We caught the train back and then grabbed a 90 minute nana nap before heading out again.

in the afternoon we went to Merlion Park then meandered around to Marina Bay Sands hotel (WOW!) and found how to get to the top without paying $26 bucks each to go the the observation deck. The views are phenomenal. OK the drinks were exorbitant but we had a pleasant couple of hours there before going to the Gardens by the Bay next door. These were another WOW! Two amazing indoor conservatories, one containing a variety of plants from all over the world and the second a virtual rain forest. These are absolutely amazing structures covering literally hectares of space and the Cloud Dome has a (highly) elevated rainforest walk which is amazing. We then watched the supertree sound and light show which is a must-see and quite spectacular.

We were too buggered to walk back and grabbed another uber, stopping at a local food market before hitting the sack at 9:30. Patrick reckoned we had walked 16ks so with very sore feet, rest was certainly in order. :-)

Day 2
A ten hour sleep set us up reasonably for Day 2. We have the metro sussed by now so grabbed a train to Dhoby Ghaut (Red Line) and transited to the Purple Line to go to Harbour Front to get tickets to Sentosa Island. It would be fair to say it exceeded expectations. Despite being overrun with tourists (it seems it is Asian school holidays) we didn't really need to queue too long for anything. We grabbed some bikes and spent an hour and a half exploring the island including a visit to Fort Siloso which was fascinating. One negative - these bikes needed some TLC and should be in better working order than they were. We then had a well-earned rest at Maccas before doing the cable car (amazing views), Madame Tussauds (much better than I expected) and the Tiger Sky Tower, a revolving platform that goes up 131 metres to give you 365 degree views of Singapore. We only scratched the surface and I can see why the 2 Day pass is so popular. We went back to the hotel were I had a workout and a swim whilst Julie and Pat aquainted themselves with the barman Best, a real character for sure! We ventured to Orchard road again only to be amazed at the phenomenal number of upmarket malls, with extremely pricey merchandise, all which seemed to be busy. Plenty of money somewhere!

Day 3
We ventured to Chinatown and Little India by metro - rail service is great. Chinatown was the better option with plenty of stalls offering the usual array of cheap and cheaper goods and the vibe was more authentic - we bought a selfie stick - yes we did!!! That didn't add much to either economy at $15.60, a fan and two bottles of water. In the afternoon we found a group of expat bars on Boat Quay where quite a number broadcast the Lions/AB test. We selected Charlies Tapas Bar where we joined a mainly Lions supporters group for an entertaining game of footy. The result was fair - a shared series and the ABs kept their Eden Park record intact. We then took an uber to Changi airport and tried to fill in the five hours before takeoff to Milan. All in all a very worthwhile stopover in Singapore.

Posted by 3kiwisabroad 03:20 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

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