Remember a song that goes like this?
When I was small and christmas trees were tall
we used to love while others used to play
Don’t ask me why, but time has passed us by,
some one else moved in from far away
Now we are tall and christmas trees are small
And you don’t ask the time of day
But you and I, our love will never die
but guess we’ll cry come first of May…
I know it’s not Christmas yet, but being on the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel sure brought back bittersweet memories about my childhood. Bitter because those days are gone forever; sweet because of what those memories represent.
I’ve always loved merry-go-rounds, carousels and “fairies” wheels (or so I thought). I would imagine literally hundreds of little fairies working really hard at turning the gigantic wheel. It was much later (all thanks to my teachers at school who corrected my spelling but stymied the healthy development of my childhood imagination) that I realised the truth about the “fairies wheel” – that it’s spelled as ferris wheel and it’s certainly not the work of Tinker Bell and her friends.
When you’re young, you’ll be easily impressed with anything that seemed a whole lot bigger than yourself. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve come to realise that absolutely no ferris wheel can compare with the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel that makes 28 rotations in a single day. Made up of a total of 28 capsules, the Singapore Flyer stands at a towering 165 metres (the height of a 42 storey building) above the city and 150 metres in diameter – about the length of 87 Singaporean men who are 1.72m in height and lying head-to-toe. Each of the 16-ton capsules is uv-protected for optimum comfort and safety, comes fully air-conditioned and can accommodate up to 28 people. So, exactly how long did it take for this S$240 million structure to be put together? Answer: more than 1 million manhours.
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of feeling on top of the world in one of the Moet and Chandon Champagne capsules. For a good 30 minutes, time stood still while I took in all the sights and sounds of Singapore’s dynamic cityscape. It was magic. I was a little girl all over again, running from one corner of the capsule to the next and taking pictures of the different landmarks of Singapore and naming the different buildings and skyscrapers, some old while others, new.
The most amazing thing was that for a person who had been suffering from motion-sickness and a fear of flying for quite a number of years, I never felt safer onboard the Singapore Flyer! There was no experience of jerky lateral movements or vertigo. In fact, it was like watching television in the comfort of my living room. The wheel design, based on an extensive study of the dynamic wind load data and precision wind engineering must have ensured that.
Being onboard The Singapore Flyer is truly a moving experience at every turn. If you haven’t been on the Singapore Flyer and would like to soon, tune in to My Favourite Things on Evening Drive 5-8pm, with me, Lynette Tan and win your chance to up, up and away into the gloriously bejewelled night skies.