Hello from paradise!
Singapore is a beautiful, beautiful nation, as articulated by many students today on our first full day in the city-state. Everywhere we went seemed to bring on more “Oos” and “Ahs” then the last place, and if course, nothing beats warm weather in January.
First, we hopped on a bus and took a driving tour around the city’s different districts to orient ourselves to where we’ll be. After this we opted for a more interesting tour medium; we stopped for a boat tour down the Singapore River. We got to see all sorts of shops that lined the river, and we even got a glimpse of the famous Merlion – part lion, part fish.
Following the tour, we got back on the bus and drove around to Merlion Park. We got a chance to hop out and take pictures of the awesome view and the iconic statue:
Next, we were given a bit of free time to wander in Chinatown to check out the souvenir shops – there were many awesome food vendors and the smells were abundant! Following this, we traveled to a nearby mall and were given almost 3 hours of free time to spend however we wished. Lunch was on our own in this area, giving us a great chance to try the local cuisine! In this free time, many students found their way to the basketball court out back where they joined Singaporean kids in a small game. With a large audience of Gettysburgians cheering them on, the teams put up a good match, and fun was had by all. Check out the action:
We had a bit of down time at the hotel to get ready, then we ventured to the National University of Singapore for the evening’s activity. We participated in a marvelous exchange between our group and NUS’s wind symphony. After a great welcome, we ate at an impromptu reception, then split off into sectionals. The combined Gettysburg and Singapore sections did a wide variety of activities, and great bonding could be found all over their marvelous building.
We then got back together and played through three pieces together! It was certainly a wonderful and powerful moment for both communities, and we made some strong bonds!
And just when it seemed about time to call it a night, we head off to something we could only experience long after dark: The Night Safari. This featured an open air tram car on a 45-minute circuit though several settings where live animals were living. We saw so many animals, all ranging from cute to majestic. Some were pretty hard to take a picture of, however, because it was quite dark and flash photography was strictly prohibited.
Tomorrow, our last full day in Singapore and on tour, will begin with free time at Sentosa Island! It’s sort of a combination of a beach, a resort, a waterpark, and an adventure park. Stay tuned for this final day!
For all of our photos from today (there’s a lot to make up for yesterday’s lack of pictures, I promise!), check out our flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/113489266@N06/sets/72157639833123326/