Thursday, 7 June 2012

Hello Brisbane

In the week of the Diamond Jubilee, it is perhaps slightly fitting that we find ourselves in Queensland. Somewhere betwixt 'long weekend' and 'short holiday' lies the exact definition of our time on Australia's east coast, heralded by a welcome rise in temperature and renewed acquaintances with members of Rachel's family, Guy and Carolyn, hosting us in their Brisbane home.

No longer are we a travelling duo, however. There are now three Tervets in the southern hemisphere after my Dad jetted out for a two-week visit. Greeted by drizzle in Melbourne and far heavier precipitation when we passed through Sydney, he is now sharing our relief at warmer conditions up the coast.

Here we are, then, squinting slightly into the sun at the Mount Coot-Tha lookout. This was one stop on a city bus tour the three of us took on our first full day in Brisbane.

Our tickets also gave us access to the City Cats, speedy water crafts which travel up and down the Brisbane River. We experienced a less dramatic voyage than this poor chap, who you can just see scrabbling in the bottom of his sinking boat (click to enlarge).

 Onwards, towards the heart of the city - and patchy blues skies.

Brisbane is the fourth state capital we have visited in Australia. It's not in the 'powerhouse' category with Sydney and Melbourne, but it felt bigger and busier than Perth. We must have seen hundreds of Boris bikes; a real challenge for the locals in such a hilly city.

Out came the sun as we strode towards the Cultural Centre. We didn't bother with the Wheel Of Brisbane you can see behind us.

Many of my views on art are similar to those held by Karl Pilkington. I tried to be open-minded when I walked into the Gallery Of Modern Art, but the main exhibit (above) just looked like a bit of a mess. We left soon after to catch the next bus.

Several ibis tried - unsuccessfully - to join us for lunch. Staff were constantly chasing them out of the food outlets, spraying them with water, but this seemed an extremely short-term solution. In any case, when the ibis retreated, courageous pigeons began to advance.

The buses - and boats - were a good way of getting around the city. Each driver had his own tour guide style, from stream of consciousness ("whoops, caught the kerb there") to the more minimalist ("I'll point out the next stop when we get there, let's go") and the personable character who waited while we jumped off, took two photos and clambered back on board during the final leg of our Brisbane circuit. Fair play.

1 comment:

  1. That made me laugh out loud! So pleased your Dad made it out there ok and I can't wait to come out in November to see you both...talking of that, MUST skype soon! xx