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Off we go again! 

So step into the Tardis and we will take a trip to the Gardens by the Bay, where we will visit the two conservatories, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. 

 

And as a special surprise I am going to take you back to show you Christmas at the domes.

 

So hang onto your hats! 

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The Flower Dome

 

We arrive at the ticket office and using our Singapore Explorer Passes we are soon walking to the entrance of the Flower Dome. 

 

You won't be surprised if I tell you that the Flower Dome holds the Guinness World Record as the largest glass greenhouse in the world. Another first for Singapore! 

 

In the entrance outside the Flower Dome, there are some very interesting wooden sculptures, which we stop to look at.

 

This extraordinary sculpture has huge metal ants crawling around it. Made of the hollow trunks of Bishop Wood, these busy ants seem to be hard at work. 

 

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Called Mama Gaya, this crocodile sculpture is ornately carved from a single tree trunk of the Rain Tree. Look carefully and you will see numerous baby crocodiles on its back. The name means 'mother's power' or 'mother's strength.'

This sculpture originated in East Timor, and legend has it that a crocodile was transformed into the island, itself, with the ridges of its back forming the mountains that run east to west. 

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Two baby crocodiles can be seen in the top left hand corner of this photo if you look closely. 

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To the left of this sculpture you can see examples of Ceremonial Shields and Savi Masks, which came from Papua New Guinea originally. 

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Is this a giant snake or worm coiling itself round this sculpture, or is it just a cloak?

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These are the Guardian Lions

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We make our way down a corridor into the Flower Dome, itself. DSC05493.thumb.JPG.585b4150a083e2ba2d03e11e104eea0d.JPG

 

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The Flower Dome

We walk down the corridor and enter the cool Flower Dome. I have to say I was very surprised that it was so cool, but it is meant to reflect the dry and cool Mediterranean. There are 9 different gardens from 5 continents to explore within the dome, and each one has different flora from around the world. 

 

By chance, the Tardis has brought us to the Flower Dome just after Christmas so we can explore the area which has been set up to celebrate this festival. It would have been possible to visit Santa in his cabin, but sadly he has now returned to Lapland to get ready for next Christmas. 

 

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Outside you can see the bay through the glass of the dome.

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Looking up we can see some tall trees and when we look more closely it is possible to see more sculptures, this time of horses. How many can you spot?

 

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We are in the South African Garden, where you can see a baobab tree. 

 

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Almost hidden within the foliage are examples of African animals, giraffes, antelope etc. 

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Chanungu sculpture originated in Zimbabwe in the 1950s, and this one is in jet black springstone. 

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This sculpture is called Multiple Maternity and it is made up of three female figures, each carrying a child. It shows the bond between a mother and child, and is a celebration of motherhood. 

 

The hair of the tallest mother is made from the un-carved stone, and is a rusty colour. 

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These sculptures are of ladies' heads, and show the stylized beauty of African women. Their cheekbones are sunken, their eyelids, nose and mouth protrude and their necks are elongated. 

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As you walk around you can use a headset to hear a description of what you are seeing. 

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Look closely and you will see more giraffes. 

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Hidden among the leaves is this beautiful owl

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The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is visible through the roof of the conservatory. 

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One of my favourite sculptures, Famille de Voyageurs  - or Travelling family, is a bronze which portrays a mother, father and child who, after visiting the gardens, fly home. With parts of their bodies missing they are quite surreal, as they appear to float with little or no support. The sculptures by a French artist, Bruno Catalano, were a gift from Changi Airport to the Gardens by the Bay.  They are very realistic, and I love the suitcase which looks as if it is ready to be checked in at the airport. 

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Another bronze sculpture, of a child holding a golden apple, which she has taken a bite out of. 

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We walk through this archway, with beautiful flowers cascading down. There is an astonishing variety of flowers, their colours so vibrant, they are crying out to be photographed. 

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The Eagle Has Landed...

 

Now where have you heard that phrase before????

(prize for the first person to get this question right - I have one super powered, mini, collapsible, Vortex vacuum cleaner, small enough to fit in your pocket or handbag left for the lucky winner!) 🤣

 

This beautiful wooden sculpture is made from polished and varnished lychee wood, and stands on an unpolished and unvarnished lychee tree stump. Its wings are almost like filigree, and it looks as if it is about to take off in flight. DSC05546.thumb.JPG.9f24a5420ea0440a19fff1b660e094a0.JPG

 

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Beautiful pink cyclamen. 

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We climb these steps and find ourselves in a little cafe with some delicious looking cakes. 

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Shall we stop for some refreshments?

Mine's a Chocolate Cheese Mousse Cake.

Do you fancy a Banana Coconut Cake or a  Chai Latte Eclair????

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Just now, katisdale said:

Neil Armstrong said "Houston, tranquility base here. The eagle has landed". Yes, I am a nerd.

 

 

Well done, katisdale! You are absolutely right! A mini, vortex vacuum cleaner will be winging its way to you via Amazon (the river of course!)    😉 👏

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Sadly we don't have time for more, but let's say goodbye to the Flower Dome and make our way to the Cloud Forest.

 

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Back we walk down the corridor, and make our way to the Cloud Forest.

 

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The Cloud Forest

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More intricately carved lions in the entrance. 

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We enter the Cloud Forest and get our first glimpse of the Cloud Dome, with its 35 metre man made mountain and the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, which is cascading down into a pool below. 

 

The Cloud Forest is spectacular, and the dome itself, though smaller, is much taller than the Flower Dome. Within the Cloud Forest it is moist and cool, so you may need a jacket after the hot and humid conditions outside. 

 

The plants and flowers within the Cloud Dome are all from the tropical highlands, and can normally be found at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. 

 

The mountain itself is covered in plants, including epiphytes like orchids, ferns, and bromeliads. There is an elevated platform which you can walk around. You need to take an elevator to the sixth floor to walk on this spiral walkway which winds its way round the mountain, which is mist covered.

 

Plants at this altitude, high in the mountains, absorb the mist and  plentiful rainfall.   

 

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View from the top of the waterfall, looking down. 

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Let's wander round the amazing Cloud Mountain

 

My photos don't do justice to the scale of the Cloud Mountain.  It is quite surreal as you walk along the elevated platform, which passes through various levels. These levels each have a different theme, such as The Lost World, The Crystal Mountain, The Secret Garden, The Waterfall View and the Cavern. 

 

As you climb higher and higher the views down are spectacular. If you are nervous of heights this could be really scary. 

 

I think some of my favourite sculptures are the driftwood pieces. Quite often they are hidden in what appears to just be a piece of driftwood, but if you look closely you will see all manner of creatures. 

 

This mother is gently grooming her baby.

 

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Sculptures of dragons feature heavily. 

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This multi coloured sculpture of an  orchid is called 'The Rush of Nature,' and it is a bronze cast by the British Sculptor, Marc Quinn

 

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As we walk round we look up and see the walkway snaking round at a great height. 

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At first glimpse this may just seem to be a tangle of driftwood but look closely and you will see the head and beak of an eagle, and a long haired, bearded man holding a globe, but there is so much more to see. It would be so easy to walk straight by, but stop and look more carefully....

 

Can you see the rhinoceros (middle, left handside) or the eagle? Can you find the elephant, the monkey, the dolphin, the toucan, the parrot, the crocodile, numerous fish, a tortoise, the tentacles of an octopus? Look at his beard and you will see a lion, and a snake emerges from a tendril of his hair. 

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This totem is found in the Lost World. Made of weathered wood, these figurines originally commemorated family ancestors, and came from East Timor. 

 

They were traditionally placed outside the home, or used to mark a grave. As the wood weathered it symbolised the soul of the deceased gradually departing this world. 

 

Offerings such as food and nuts  were offered to the statues in homage to their dead relatives. 

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The Lost World

 

Every 2 hours they turn on the cloud generators, which mist everywhere, mimicking the conditions of a cloud mountain. A cloud forest, of course, occurs where cloud cover continually persists at the canopy level of a tropical rainforest. There are very few remaining cloud forests in the world, due to deforestation and climate change, so it's a unique experience to be able to walk amid this verdant and green area. 

 

As we climb higher the plants become smaller, but a cloud forest is home to some of the most delicate and rarest plants on earth. 

 

This area of the Lost World is a pool which is the source of the waterfall, and  it is surrounded by lush orchids and carniverous plants. Bizarrely, there are also plants made of lego! Here they represent a Venus Flytrap.

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On the lagoon there are two boats, inside which are some weird occupants. The boats, like canoes, are from Papua New Guinea, and the prows are shaped like crocodiles, which is typical of the Asmat Tribe. Natives of these islands would carve their boats from a single tree trunk, and these boats are decorated with intricate brown and white patterns. 

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Inside the boats are a man, a woman and a dog. 

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Dragonflies feature both inside and outside the Cloud Forest. Indeed, two huge stainless steel dragonflies, with glass wings, can be seen outside in the Dragonfly Lake.

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Carniverous plants trap their food, and consume such things as insects and arthropods. They develop in areas where the soil is poor in nutrients, and although they derive their energy from photosynthesis, they get their nutrients from trapping their prey. 

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🎵  The Long and Winding Road.. 🎶

 

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The views from the cantilevered walkway are spectacular, and we can see how they are suspended in the air - not for the acrophobic - cue for a trivia question.....(having an extreme or irrational fear of heights) 😉

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Crystal Mountain

 

Inside the Crystal Mountain we see huge, real stalagmites and stalactites, typical of caves found in such terrain. There are crystals too.

 

Here we learn about geology, the formation of the continents, and the role that fossils play in our understanding of earth's past. 

 

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Tree Top Walk

 

As it's name suggests, the Tree Top Walk takes you to the top of the mountain where we walk over a tree canopy.

 

We have climbed high to the top of the dome, surrounded by a myriad of beautiful and exquisite orchids, green ferns, bizarre carniverous plants, over 60,000 plants and flowers. 

 

The  dome itself is constructed with 2577 glass panels of 690 varying shapes and sizes. There are no columns to spoil our views, the dome is entirely self-supporting. 

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Ellie, don't apologize for posting flower pictures twice, (that's if you did, I didn't notice).  Your flower pictures are so gorgeous I will find myself coming back to this thread again in the future for a lift.  I just have to see that new area in Singapore.  It was there the last time we were there but I had sciatica so bad I had to stay in the hotel!

I love the sculptures at Tree Top Walk.  So is that's how you lose weight? LOL

When they mist the place do you get a little wet?

With the news lately, I'm losing hope that we will be on that cruise in June.  No vaccine, no cruise.

Thanks again for all you have done.

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2 minutes ago, TeaBag said:

Ellie, don't apologize for posting flower pictures twice, (that's if you did, I didn't notice).  Your flower pictures are so gorgeous I will find myself coming back to this thread again in the future for a lift.  I just have to see that new area in Singapore.  It was there the last time we were there but I had sciatica so bad I had to stay in the hotel!

I love the sculptures at Tree Top Walk.  So is that's how you lose weight? LOL

When they mist the place do you get a little wet?

With the news lately, I'm losing hope that we will be on that cruise in June.  No vaccine, no cruise.

Thanks again for all you have done.

 

 

Hiya, Teabag, nice to hear from you! (Was beginning to think I as talking to myself, ha ha!🥴🤣)

 

So glad you are loving the photos, the flowers were just so gorgeous I couldn’t stop taking photos of them.

 

I am feeling a bit like you, I just can’t see an end to it, and I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but how on earth are we going to get out of this mess? 

 

We certainly did plenty of walking on this vacation, and I did lose half a stone so that is a plus! 😉  I could do with a re-run as I seem to have put on way too much weight as during the lockdown I passed the time baking. 

 

You don’t really get wet, unless you stand close to the foot of the waterfall, but it was quite cool. 

 

I do hope that your cruise will actually take place. We are all so desperate, especially reading the ‘live from’ Mein Schiff. I felt quite sad thinking about what we are missing. 

 

There are a few more photos to come so stay tuned. 

 

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