Wednesday, 30 December 2009

we walked to the ferry terminal........

We decided to walk to the Nongsapura Ferry Terminal yesterday to meet friends that were coming in on the 10.00am ferry from Tanah Merah in Singapore.

It was a great walk and now we wished we had done this earlier .... our morning walks are usually along the main road to Nongsa Point Marina and back along the beachfront to Nongsa Village. So we were quite adventurous to think about walking to the terminal..... but it did not take us long at all and it really was an easy walk with many interesting things to see along the way....

as seen in the following images:

The above image is the road we see as we turn left out of the main entrance to Nongsa Village and then we walk to the top of the hill and turn right..... the following image is at that corner. Am sure it will not be too many years before all the 'old' style kampongs will be long gone.....

Two men working on building a shop and house ..... the man in the white T Shirt is the man that made my boat. He is incredibly clever with his hands.

above is one of the local homes and below is a roadside stall 
along the road towards the terminal.

above is the pathway across to one of the homes and below is the road
we are still walking along to the terminal....

we passby the old golf course they are redoing
it is plus or minus 300 meters from the roadway!!!

and below is one of the many wildflowers growing alongside the road.

and we continue our journey to the terminal and as we do so
a truck selling kitchen ware passes us.

at last we reach the terminal.

this is the arrival hall to Nongsapura Ferry Terminal
the staff here are all very helpful and friendly,
there is also a small duty free store and cafe.

We met our friends that came off the 10.00am ferry
and we caught the shuttle bus back to the village.

we all had a lovely day with lunch at Turi Beach Resort, a walk to the Marina, some time out on the jetty, back to our villa for Iced Tea before they needed to head back to Singapore on the 4.30pm ferry.


Saturday, 26 December 2009

Christmas Day for the Fabre's in Indonesia

Very, very quiet this morning ….. it is a public holiday here and only the basic staff are working, all security staff are on, a few in the office, some of the house boys but no ground workers or gardeners are on duty.

John and I wake up to Christmas Day on a bright, clear morning in Batam.

As we walk around the village we realize that everyone that is here is here for the peace and quiet, no one out and about at all. Most are inside enjoying a quiet Christmas breakfast ….. even the children are quiet!

We went up to the clubhouse to check emails and make our Christmas calls on Skype …. there is free WiFi access at the club house and we make full use of it …. our first call was to Janine, but no answer, we tried 4 times and each time it rung out ….. it was very disappointing to say the least. We made a couple of other calls and answered many Christmas messages that came through via email and then went back to our villa.

We were very sad to not be able to speak with our daughter on Christmas Day. These are the downsides to Expat living …… but it is also the life we have chosen for the time being and so we need to overcome these emotional obstacles that raise their ugly head every now and then.

My Singapore friends will know exactly how that feels.

… and we sat on the balcony and had our coffee.

Not long after we received an SMS from Janine to say she had her MacBook up and running and for us to call her ….. so back in our buggy to the club house and set up to make the call. Lovely to chat with her and see other family members too. Felt much better after that and as we packed up ready to head back to our villa, many staff members came in to wish us a Merry Christmas. So nice of them…..even more so as most are Muslim.

Back at the Villa we had pre lunch snacks of crackers, prosciutto, salami and cheese with a bottle of Lambrusco. But the cheese we had was my very favorite …. CAMBOZOLA ….. absolutely scrumptious. We brought it back from Germany where it cost us $6.00 and I see it in Singapore for $14.00. It is sinfully rich and creamy. We also brought the salami back from Germany!

as seen here in this image of John:

After our snacks we sat down to our Christmas lunch of baked salmon, potatoes, bok choy, cabbage and Chye Sim and Lesley had left Fruit Mince Pies and we had those with custard for dessert. The wine we had with lunch was a Jacobs Creek Merlot.

Dare I say at this point I needed a nap?

… and of course this is why I have a day bed in the study, 3/4 hour later I woke to find John had cleared the table, washed all the dishes and put everything away …… now one could say I am very, very clever!!

We decided it was then time to open our gifts and have coffee. Afterwards we went visiting others in the village and had a quick walk out on the jetty to stretch our legs. We had booked to have Christmas Dinner at Turi Beach Resort and we needed to be there by 6.30pm….

back at the villa we had a shower, dressed, into the buggy and off to Turi for dinner …… the staff there had worked very hard to make the evening special …… the way everything was set up was amazing. It just looked like a fairy land.

The above image and below are of the candles floating on the pool ...... the candles were not so easy to capture as an image. But beautiful regardless.

The 'green' part is of the infinity pool that overflows into the main pool ..... they had also set up a floating stage for the entertainment.


most of the staff know us and it is quite an experience as we walk into the dining area ….. all of them wishing us a Merry Christmas, which was rather 'strange' as we replied with Selamat Hari Natale, sort of the 'wrong way round'!

Everyone is just so happy and friendly, certainly it makes our visit to Batam that extra bit special.

The image below was taken from the top level of the resort looking down onto the pool. The lights dotted along the top of the image is of the coastline of Malaysia. The blue piece is of the lights in the floor of the infinity pool which changes color every few minutes, the aqua green color above that is the main pool, the rest of the lights are around the pool, the tables and the pool bar.

Like I mentioned earlier - a fairyland.
The food we had for dinner was delicious, there was roast beef, turkey, fish, lasagna, seafood, pasta, vegetables galore and many varieties of salads. 
Plus soups and desserts….

But here are some of the images of the food that was on display at the Christmas Dinner.







The weather was just perfect, a balmy summers evening on a tropical island with the palm tree's swaying, the music playing and the food laid out for everyone to enjoy with their champagne.

and these last two images are here just for the 'spelling'!



but we all understand what it is saying regardless of the miss spelling.

We hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas 
- where ever you were -

Thursday, 24 December 2009

one of our days at Nongsa Village ......

Everyone that knows us, knows that we enjoy every minute of our time at Nongsa Village and we come over at every opportunity that we can. Nongsapura is just 35 minutes by ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore

what do we like about this place?

the peace.

the walks.

the serenity.

the food.

the quiet.

the tree's.

and the people........

the people of Batam really make this place special. We enjoy everyones company because they are always friendly, always smiling and we never hear anyone argue or hear that they are unhappy.

if it were not for the people here, I wonder if we would experience all the special times here that we do?

Yesterday - as with most days we are here - we were up early to go for the usual walk. This takes us along the main road to Nongsa Point Marina, along the beach front and back to our villa at Nongsa Village.

These few photos were taken yesterday on our walk....

First one is of Nongsa Point Marina:

the next two images are of one of the ships 
that is moored at the Marina at the moment!

and these were taken along the beach front on our way back to the village





 I am off now to enjoy our day here at Nongsa Village

will update again soon!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Christmas lights of Berlin.....

The following are a few of the Christmas lights we saw while in Berlin ..... the first few were taken of the Christmas Tree hanging in the main foyer of the hotel we stayed at. It was approx 5 levels high and covered in very small lights ...  the rest are street lights seen when out walking in the East Berlin area......



there were many more than the above ....... but this is just a small example of the Christmas lights that we saw while in Berlin.