Once again, a 6:30am wake up and once again we were virtually alongside the dock anyway. On checking our envelopes of tour tickets, to our horror, we discovered that although we have been charged for them, they hadn’t been delivered. This was resolved quite quickly by the front desk and duplicates were issued. We joined the melee at the Wheelhouse Bar after a hastily snatched snack, to queue up for our sticky labels. (Mine fell off a few minutes later.) Along with all the others on the same tour, we sat in colour coded areas in the theatre awaiting our call.
We trooped off the ship and across the wharf, through the Glenn Building to one of the fleet of waiting coaches. At least it was air-conditioned. For the first 10 minutes of the tour, the guide fiddled around trying to get microphone to work. By the end of the tour, I rather wished he had been less successful.
He never stopped talking the whole trip and after every single sentence, it was “(All) right?” It was like Michael Barrymore’s “Aw right?” – but on double strength Valium, repeated ad nauseum and without the humour. The rather bumpy first section of road (being rebuilt by the looks of it) was followed by several Freeway sections – but they weren’t really Freeways as they were tolled. We had a short stop to take pics of the Blue Mosque, then our first proper stop was 30 minutes at the museum. By the time at least half the coach-load of 33 had visited the toilets, we had about 15 minutes left, as we were led by our guide, round the other side of the building, where we managed to walk through the dark ground floor of exhibitions of the history, out the other side and assembled for the coach again. A steady 15 minutes or so drive to our next stop – probably the best of the tour – the Memorial park. There is a massive memorial not only to the Malays fighting in the first and second World Wars, but to those who lost their lives fighting Communism. I never was one for history, but to see specific dates posted, was a bit of a surprise. Well worth a visit and like walking into an RSA/British Legion, quite moving. Paula managed to purchase a pair of shot glasses as souvenirs of the city so she was very happy and then she also managed a cheap ‘bling’ bracelet before hopping back onto the coach. I think the guide was a bit miffed that we hadn’t stayed around for most of his spiel, but we were more than happy!
For some reason, the tour then stopped opposite another city mosque with a less traditional roof but he walked us around the corner in the hot sun, to a building that used to be the railway station. There was nothing to see anyway nor was the architecture very special. Waste of time. Next to last stop and he brought out the bottled water and by this time it was a few minutes before midday, was Independence square, where we gazed at the tallest flagpole in the world (wow!) whilst heeding warnings about bag snatching illegal immigrants on motorbikes or just hanging around for an opportunity to pounce. All we saw were people sitting down in a temporary shelter from a celebration the previous weekend or marginally incontinent old codgers tempting fate with a bottle of water before the ride back. A 10 minute photo opportunity to snap the twin towers from a distance, at spot on midday, and that was it, before heading back to the ship, and the relative peace and quiet – right?
The ship was sailing at 5pm, earlier than the original plan, so we joined others on deck as we cruised past the docks. A nice city Kuala Lumpur, but we didn’t really get the chance to experience it at all. Others did and most enjoyed it. I just wish Nadeson would have his tour videoed and then watch it with an impartial advisor, as his enthusiasm for the city is real enough, but he has no idea how to connect to a tour group and his previous Civil Service background was not the ideal training. Shame.
The star of the dinner table’s ‘show and tell’ tonight, was Garry’s wonderful “Lolex” watch... We are taking bets on what time it will be showing by the end of the voyage – that is if it is still running of course.
Early to the cabin as another early start tomorrow and the two shows on offer didn’t really appeal – Kenny Bennett’s farewell performance was one.
Early start again - Langkawi Island tomorrow. Looking forward to that.
A page of pics I emailed to the blog earlier, don’t seem to have shown up – yet. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.