Magic Carpet

Magic Carpet

If you are keen on winter sports, you’ve probably come across one of these before, but it was certainly new to me – a ‘magic carpet’ travellator just like the ones you see at the airport, but going up the ski slopes instead.

For anyone, beginner or not, who has struggled with rope tows or the horror of needing to ski off the end of the chair lift, this really is the easy option. And when they are protected by a ‘tunnel’ of plastic covering, they give you some temporary respite from the weather, too.

OK, they are also very slow, and have an annoying habit of stopping suddenly when overloaded, but they certainly beat hauling a sledge or a tube through calf deep powder to the top of the playground slopes. I had a lot of fun trying them out in Hanazono, and think that if they’d been around when I first learned to ski, I might have enjoyed the experience a lot more…

Snow Bear

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It’s very hot at the moment in Singapore, by which I mean even hotter than usual. If you have to go outside, you find yourself pausing by every large store to enjoy the cool of air conditioning escaping from the open doors.

On Orchard Rd, the biggest shopping street in town, the best possible place to chill is Ice Lab. Here, in the cool white surroundings of a Korean bingsu café, it is actually snowing inside.

No kidding, a machine embedded in the ceiling, just like the ones in the kitchen churning out the soft flakes of frozen milk ice that forms the basis of bingsu desserts, turns constantly to shower a cute white bear with ‘snow’. The counter all around the bear, whose face is turned up to catch the snowflakes in his open mouth, gets a regular dusting of shaved ice as well, but it is all part of the fun and very refreshing.

One bowl of dessert is enough to feed a whole table, so it’s hard for one person to eat it all. But as my mango bingsu was so delicious, heaped with fresh mango and banana, with creamy mango ice cream and mango syrup on top, it was a close run thing and just as well I had skipped lunch. At S$15.50 for a single bowl, this is not a cheap treat, but the café as a whole is such a delight that it was worth every cent.

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Wishing for snow in Singapore?

Category : Other

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These very amusing street signs enliven the climb up to the Norwegian Seaman’s Mission and church, which is technically on Pasir Panjang Rd but actually up a private driveway so steep it leaves visitors gasping for breath in the Singapore heat. The mission is like a clubhouse for Norwegians far from home, selling very expensive Scandinavian foodstuffs and offering all sorts of cultural activities from weekend barbaques to Christmas fairs. There are missions like this all over the world, the one here in Singapore was established in 1955 and moved to its present location in 1977.