I’m already enjoying my time in New Zealand, but there are still some things left I should write about Australia. My last three days there weren’t idle. Every time I visited Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, the weather wasn’t on my side. But I guess it was the case of ‘three times lucky’.
My first visit to Brisbane was just a ride by a bus, so it doesn’t really count. Then it was raining last Saturday, when we went to see the match. Monday was sunny, but we had dinner with friends in the evening and I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it on time, if I went to the city. So I stayed at home and updated my blog, deleted some photos and watched movies – a normal lazy day.
On Tuesday the air smelled of rain. I wasn’t sure if I should go or not, but those were my last days there and I hadn’t seen Brisbane properly, yet! By the time I got myself together and got to the city it was afternoon and it started to rain. It took me 1.5 hrs by bus from Kippa-Ring. I had to take two lines, change at Chermside.
When I finally arrived in Brisbane, first thing I did was to buy some New Zealand dollars. The service at Travelex on Queen Street was nice, but I was stupid. They sell very cheap, AUD 1 = NZD1.15 and I realised I lost a couple dollars, because I should have looked for the exchange where NZ dollar is more expensive. Oh, well, I’m not the only one who’s made that mistake, I hope. I’m not good at Maths… and common sense.
The rain was getting stronger and it was late when I finished shopping. I bought a t-shirt with koala and a small boomerang.
All the museums and galleries were closed, but I wanted to see anything anyway. I didn’t care about the rain (I’m proud of my shoes and waterproof jacket, they passed the test), so I went along the South Bank and found Max Brenner recommended by Jessica, my friend from Texas (her blog: Bake Me Away).
Should be “CHOCOLATE BY THE BALD MAN” on the wall, but some letters are missing and is “CHOCO-ATE BY THE -A-D –AN”. I ordered Mexican spicy hot chocolate, very good.
The rain was changing into storm with lightnings and thunders, so I thought it would be better to be at home in the weather like that.
Wednesday was my last chance to see Brisbane and this time was a complete success.
P. slept over and went to work later. He picked me up to Northgate and I went to the city by train this time. It took me 30 min. and I started exploring the city from 10 a.m. roaming the streets. There was some construction work going on on King Gorge Square, they were getting ready for 3 week Brisbane Festival starting this Saturday.
Queen Street (yes, that’s Kimbra on the poster on the lamp 🙂 )
Walking along Adelaide Street towards Victoria Bridge I found a market. It was a Farmers Market Day on the square by City Council and there were stalls with fresh food, vegetables, fruit, nuts, flowers, real sour dough bread and rolls and everything else. In this photo there’s Treasury – Casino in the background.
Crossing the Brisbane River: the wheel and the Cultural Centre.
Then I had some time at GoMA again and finished watching the exhibitions there, had a coffee at the State Library and spent a lot of time at the Art Gallery (everything is actually next to each other). I was impressed by their collection and I could find a couple statues by Renoir, some paintings by Picasso, Pizarro, Toulouse-Lautrec. I stayed on South Bank and walked through Parklands. Australians can’t stay too far from beaches, so they made a beach next to the River.
Then I caught City Cat, a ferry, to New Farm Park. I loved being on the water and it went very fast!
From the left: Central Business District, still under construction to be the tallest building in Queensland, Story Bridge.
New Farm Park. The branches were so wide and heavy that they needed a support.
Walked along Brunswick Street to Fortitude Valley or just the Valley (like Soho in London)
And it was already after the sunset, walked back to Adelaide Street and went back home to pack my bags to New Zealand.
To finish the Australian story I need to mention that there are free barbecues at every beach, so you can bring your food and have a barbie with friends. I drove 5 km on the left side of the road when we were going to Glass House Mountains. I was more scared of driving a better car than my dad’s than driving on the left side. I had problems with changing gears and that car had good breaks. And since I’m writing about the Mountains… Eight years ago, an 11 year boy disappeared, Daniel Morcombe and no one knew what happened to him. When I came to Australia, a man was charged of committing a murder on Daniel and for the whole August the Police was searching for the boy at the foot of Beerwah in Glass House Mountains (the mountain on the left). First, they found a shoe, then the second shoe and a couple days before I left they found Daniel’s bones and whatever left from him. Finally his parents could grieve after him.
What else… I saw Compliments of Gus, a Christian band, quite big here, had déjà vu twice and magpies started swooping if you came too close to their nest. They were dangerous and it was better to wear a helmet when we were going by bikes.
Sorry about this megapost. The next one is going to be shorter and about New Zealand.