Singapore snippets

Before we scale the heady heights of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, we take another turn around the Gardens by the Bay.

We also mooch around the harbour area and enjoy some majestic architecture!

The lotus shaped building below is the ArtScience Museum.The ten ‘fingers’ contain gallery spaces with skylights.

The husband serves as a handy photo prop for architecture and the latest in a line up of barbie dolls.

Then it’s back to the amazing Garden by the Bay for another gawk at the super trees.

Enjoy some grainy footage of the amazing gardens and the exotic gardens.

From every angle there’s amazing vistas of the incredible gardens. This is my particular favourite.

Come walk with us amongst the super trees!! It really is an amazing spectacle.

Check out the goofy grin – Singapore is amazing!

Sri Veeramakaliamman

Singapore is home to endless architectural and cultural delights and the area known as Little India is no exception.

We’re heading to one of the most historic, colourful temples in the area – Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.

The temple, found onSerangoon Road is one of the oldest temples in Singapore.

The incredibly ornate entrance is known as a Rajagopuram – a tall pyramidal tower built at the main entrance to a Hindu temple.

Built by Indian pioneers who came to work and live here the temple was the first in the serangoon area and became a focus of early Indian Social Cultural activities there.

From the incredibly ornate facade to the colourful interior, the temple is a riot of celebration and human interactions.

One of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is dedicated to the goddess and destroyer of evil, Kali – or Sri Veeramakaliamman.

Outside in the courtyard, a cornucopia of deities can be found in inglenooks, around the roofline and in every conceivable colour.

Each figure represents a particular deity, that offers a different blessing to their devotees.

Incredibly the images above are actually statues not paintings – the level of detail is incredible.

Singapore sensory overload

I’m so far behind with my travel blog that I’m only just starting on the first trip of 2019!!

As it was a ‘big’ birthday year I got to chose where we headed for our long haul adventure – and it just had to be back to Vietnam. The place that set off my love affair with Asia way back in 2008.

We also decided to stop over in Singapore for a few days too. So let’s dive headfirst into these amazing places.

We stayed in the lovely Summer View hotel that was ideally placed to explore this hectic city.

There’s lots of fascinating districts in Singapore including Arab street and the colourful Little India district which is where I dragged the hubby first!

From multi-coloured shutter and incredible street art, to buildings so candy coloured that you want to nibble them, this area is amazing to just wander round and soak up the sights.

The incredible House of Tan Teng Niah is one such incredible rainbow hued sight.

The house was built in 1900 and belonged to Tan Teng Niah, a Chinese merchant who made sweets and sold them in stores along nearby Serangoon Road.

Gorgeous isn’t it! You can find this little gem by taking the MRT to Little India Station, taking exit E and following the snap happy tourists 🙂

Every wall and building is a colour clashing dream – even the toilet below is a pastel coloured delight!

The Louvre pyramid

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and also the most visited.

It contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art and averages 15,000 visitors per day.

The most instantly recognisable part for many people is the pyramid, a controversial addition made in 1989.

The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum and it has become a landmark of the city of Paris.

It’s a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei that is surrounded by three smaller pyramids.

The pyramid and the underground lobby beneath it were created because of problems with the Louvre’s original main entrance, which could no longer handle the enormous number of visitors on an everyday basis.

Even though it is now one of Paris’s key tourist attractions, the pyramid’s original design inspired a lot of heated debate.

Many people were unhappy with the modern design sitting slap bang in the middle of the classic French Renaissance style of the original museum.

Other concerns included the pyramid being an unsuitable symbol of death from ancient Egypt.

But thankfully all the concerns were put aside and we are now left with the iconic structure for all to enjoy.

Galeries Lafayette Xmas

Galeries Lafayette is one of the most popular, chic and distinguished shopping centres in Paris. 

You can browse this temple to consumerism under a stunning 100 year-old steel and glass Coupole.

The Galeries Lafayette offers its visitors a splendid glass Coupole, rising to a height of 43 meters, which can be seen from across the city.

This majestic Art Nouveau steel and glass Coupole became the iconic symbol of the mall

And when is the biggest, best time for shopping? Christmas of course and this mecca to all things shiny does not disappoint.

Galeries Lafayette has a suspended Christmas tree every year, the first of which was hung from the dome in 1976. It’s a gorgeous spectacle to behold!

The department store has been open since 1912 . The architect Georges Chedanne to head up the first major renovations which were completed in 1907.

Ferdinand Chanut, Georges Chedanne’s apprentice, designed the store’s stunning 43-meter high Neo Byzantine dome.

In 1932, the store was renovated with an Art Déco style by an architect named Pierre Patou.

It’s well worth a tour around to just soak in the glorious, shiny magnificence of its xmas spectacle.

Pieces of Paris

Just a few snaps from around the streets of Paris as we head towards the Pompidou Centre.

Street art plays a huge part in the street scene of the French capital as do numerous cafes and bars.

The Pompidou Centre was opened in 1977 and caused a bit of a stir at the time due to its ‘inside-out’ design.

It was the first building in architectural history to be done this way with its structural system, mechanical systems, and circulation exposed on the exterior of the building.

Initially, all of the functional structural elements of the building were colour-coded: green pipes are plumbing, blue ducts are for climate control, electrical wires are encased in yellow, and circulation elements and devices for safety (e.g., fire extinguishers) are red.

Below the husband is either contemplating the complex architecture or he’s hungry . . . .

Notre Dame

Last year we were lucky enough to visit the iconic Notre Dame cathedral before it was gutted by fire in 2019.

Notre Dame – meaning Our Lady of Paris – is a medieval Catholic Cathedral on the ÃŽle de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.

It is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

The fire that engulfed this noble in April 2019 was a tragedy both in terms of lost history and lost architecture.

On 15 April 2019 the cathedral caught fire, destroying the spire and the oak frame and lead roof,

The cathedral’s construction was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries.

In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed.

The cathedral is famous for its beautiful stained glass and ornate rose windows.

Below is the North rose window including lower 18 vertical windows and another jewel bright window showcasing the amazingly detailed glass.

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Arc De Triomphe

We’re ticking off the landmarks at a rate of knots on a wet and windy Parisian day.

Next up is the majestic Arc De Triomphe – after the Eiffel Tower it is one of the most iconic of all the Paris sights.

It stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, (formerly named Place de l’Étoile( — the étoile or “star” of the juncture is formed by its 12 radiating avenues.

The Arc de Triomphe was started in 15 August 1806 and inaugurated in 1836 by French king, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire.

The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921.

The torch was designed by architect Henri Favier and is a circular bronze shield at the centre has a cannon muzzle which radiates a frieze of swords.

On 11 November 1923, surrounded by a multitude of former soldiers, the flame was lit for the first time. Since that moment, the flame has never been extinguished.

A daily ritual pays tribute to the Great Dead and each evening, at 6.30pm the flame is rekindled.

Bastia

Our overnight stop is in the town of Bastia. A bit battered and run down but with artwork and colour on each street.

Bastia was the principal capital of Genoese Corsica, and it became French only in the late 1760s.

Artwork and street scribbles adorn many of the walls around the city centre.

Many of the buildings look somewhat precarious, if not downright unsafe!

There are more Baroque churches in this city than any other on Corsica.

The most noticeable one is the twin towers of the St Jean Baptiste cathedral which stands prominently above the bustling quayside.

The Vieux Port – Old Port – is the busiest part of the town with many tall, gently decaying, buildings housing restaurants and cafes.

Corte

Heading onwards through the winding mountain roads of Corsica we’re heading for the heart of this enchanting island.

Our destination is the curious town of Corte. Once the capital of Corsica during the reign of Pasquale Paoli.

Corte is set in geographical centre of the island and was but governed by Pascal Paoli, the father of the Corsican independence movement, after he stormed the Citadel in 1755. Hence it is still known as the spiritual capital of the island.

Enchanting coloured shops and restaurants line the winding streets of Corte as you head to the central attraction – the citadel, imposing set on a rocky outcrop with a commanding view of the whole town.

The citadel’s oldest portion – the château known as the Nid d’Aigle, meaning ‘Eagle’s Nest’ – was built at the highest point in 1419.