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Pune, India, part 4

Friday, August 31, 2012

Reading the local newspapers gives you an idea of what the hot topics are in Pune and India at the moment.

I will share them with you:

1. the weather, in particular the monsoon.

In general, this year there is not enough rainfall, creating problems like agriculturally and for the water supply for households.
Having said that, on the other hand, locally the showers can be intense and long, causing other problems, like floodings.
And around Pune, in the hill stations, the monsoon brings water for the waterfalls, drawing big crowds who want to enjoy the sight and have family picknicks in these areas, causing a lot of drownings, when people slip and fall down the waterfall or swim and get caught in heavy water streams.

In the picture above and under we see the devastating effects of the rain in Jaipur, a city that we will visit in about a month from now.

Pune, India, part 3

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The hotel where we are staying, the Westin pune, has some special features. At least in my eyes.

The first one is the Fly Guy. Actually it is not ONE guy, I saw at least two different men on different days. Their job is to walk around in the hotel restaurant, where the buffet is, with what looks like a badminton racket. In fact it is an electrocuting thing for flies.
The first time I saw the guy I wondered why he was walking around with a badminton racket all the time, until I heard the crispy sound of a fly being electrocuted. Then I got it;-). A very important job, to protect the health of the guests.

We see this man on the right.

Pune, India, part 2

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As promised, today I will give you an impression of the location and environment of the hotel we are staying in: the Westin Hotel Pune.

We have access to the executive lounge on the 4th floor. Although the staff is very nice and helpful, we have to say that the food and drink facilities of this lounge are amongst the poorest that we have met in hotels so far.

The hours that there is something to eat and drink are very limited and the assortment is also very limited. Also the music is often very, very dull.

Again, no complaints about the staff at all and also the quality of the food and beverages THAT are available is fine.

Let's say that 'fortunately' we do not mind so much, since I have to limit myself anyways due to my diabetes and Frits is trying to loose weight;-). Always look at the bright side, he?! Hahaha!

The lounge gives access to a beautiful, giant terrace, overlooking the river, greenery and the city. Oh, how wonderful it would be to have a tango-evening here!!! Although the flooring is not good for the ladies heels...

Back in India, Westin Hotel Pune

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

After two weeks in Singapore, we are now in Pune, India, for two months.

We are staying in the Westin Hotel Pune, a nice 5-star hotel. It is the grey building on the left picture, overlooking the river.
On the other two pictures we see Frits, first in our small room, then in our XLroom.

Gardens by the Bay, part 6

Monday, August 20, 2012

Yesterday I left you sitting under one of the SuperTrees, waiting for the OCBC Garden Rhapsody to begin.

Official description: " ...a signature nightly display of magical lights and music amid the giant Supertrees."

Honestly speaking it is a bit bombastic and tacky here and there and not all that spectacular. But does that matter so much? Not for me, since it still looks nice and poetic. The lights, the changing colors, the's a nice sight and sound.

Judge for yourself. Unfortunately I have only images, no sound, (but then don't miss so much, sound wise that is ;-).)

Gardens by the Bay, part 5

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In my previous posts we had a look inside the two enormous conservatories.
Now it's time to admire the SuperTrees in the Super Tree Grove.

Official description: "Stand in awe of the amazing Supertrees. These uniquely designed vertical gardens of 25 to 50-metres tall have large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with a exhilarating display of light and sound at night." And: " These unique trees of up to 16 storeys in height can be found all around the Gardens - twelve at the Supertree Grove, while the remaining six are placed in clusters of threes at the Golden and Silver Gardens.

Providing scale and dimension to the Gardens while marrying the form and function of mature trees, the Supertrees also create height to balance the tall developments in the Marina Bay area. Take a stroll along the OCBC Skyway, a 128-metre long walkway that connects the two 25-metre Supertrees at the Supertree Grove, and take in a different view of the Gardens. Chill out at the 50-metre Supertree-top bistro and be captivated by the panoramic views of the Gardens as well as the surrounding Marina Bay area."

In the largest of the trees is a restaurant/bar being built and in one of the trees the chimney of the recycling oven is hidden.

Apparently the architect was inspired by a forest with giant trees with a skywalk in between them and wanted to recreate that image. 

I have to admit that the trees are very impressive and the architecture is phenomenal. Very photogenic. 
And the OCBC skywalk is fantastic as well, providing beautiful views over the garden and of the city skyline.

Let's have a closer look:

Standing on the ground, looking up, you want to go on that Skywalk yourself!

Gardens by the Bay, part 4

Saturday, August 18, 2012

After an overview of the Gardens by the Bay, and a look inside the Flower Dome in two parts (1 and 2), we now look at the second conservatory: the Cloud Forest.

Official description:
"Step out of the concrete jungle and visit a mysterious world high in the mountains, where you can learn about plants and our environment.
Take in the views from the top of the mountain, surrounded by unique plants shrouded in mysterious mist."

This glass house is XXXL as well, but has a totally different feel (literally: colder and more humid) and look then the Flower Dome.

The high, hanging walkways are spectacular. The variety in plants and flowers seems a bit limited and here too you feel it has to evolve and grow. Still a nice experience though.

An impression in pictures:

The rainforest mountain that has been created; very well done!

Gardens by the Bay, part 3

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

As promised, today I bring you to the cactae and succulents area in the Flower Dome at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

I liked this area a lot!
Not only because I like these type of plants, but also because the display and area looked more 'natural', wild and organic. As opposed to very neat and manmade.

See for yourself:

This cactus reminds me of the famous 'gurkin'-building in London;-).

Gardens by the Bay, part 2

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Gardens by the Bay have two XL conservatories. 

Let's have a look inside the Flower Dome.

Gardens by the Bay, part 1

Monday, August 13, 2012

Living in the Marina Bay area, I have watched the Gardens by the Bay being built. During about a year and a half I have been looking forward to the opening of these vast grounds and recently the moment was finally there!

Last week I went to the Gardens by the Bay three times!

The area is enormous and it is impressive what has been achieved. A huge botanical garden built from scratch. Whatever you think of it, you HAVE to be awestruck by what has been created.

Having said that, understandably the Gardens look and feel a bit immature, manmade, artificial and Disney-worldy. 
I expect this to get better over time, when the whole gardens and the flora in it mature and improve.

I will give my impressions and experiences in a series of -mainly photographic- posts from which this is number one. 

Follow me while I enter the Gardens:

There they are: the Gardens by the Bay. Two giant conservatories, a forest of super trees, lakes, sculptures and a lot of green.

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