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Brilliant Brisbane

sunny 21 °C

We returned our 'Space Ship' campervan - our home and transport for the previous 3 weeks and then took a bus into the heart of Brisbane city. After wandering around the central business district and seeing some of Brisbane's most famous landmarks, we jumped aboard a Citycat river cruise boat which gave us great views of the city.
Having picked up a free Brisbane evening newspaper I was surprised to read an article relating to a burglary in Altrincham, UK where Chris's house is. 3 motorbikes had been stolen and as the thieves were not wearing helmets Greater Manchester Police force had apparently been told they could not pursue the offenders / stolen motorbikes based on health and safety grounds and had instead let them ride off with them. Aussie's are clearly having a good laugh at the UK's ridiculous policies and rightly so!

In the evening we made our way to the 'West End' area of the City and to a typical Queenslander house, the home of Lorraine - a friend of Nicola's friend and ex colleague Glenda. Lorraine had very kindly invited us to stay with her whilst we were in Brisbane and even more kindly had cooked us dinner. Lorraine has travelled extensively and we spent a very enjoyable evening trading China & Japan stories. Lorraine's house is stunning, maintained with it's tradition in mind and furnished with many of her travelling souvenirs.
The next day we visited the Brisbane Museum which had excellent exhibits relating to Australian explorers Burke and Wills and Aboriginal history and culture. After a couple of hours in the museum we walked over Victoria bridge to the botanical gardens and wandered around the trails through bamboo gardens down to the Mangrove Boardwalk on the riverside. We then made our way to the Fortitude Valley area of the city where local music acts play live in bars each night (Noel Gallagher had apparently graced one) to check out the local music scene. The bars were offering 'steak & chips' for $5 which was pulling in many diners in the hour before the music gigs were to commence. To put the food price into perspective, a beer was around $8......
We made our way back over to Lorraine's house later in the evening and sat down to relax and watch TV - the first time in 7 weeks we have been able to do so. Australian TV seems to be full of the same trash as the UK, with 'property auction', followed by 'Farmer wants a wife', followed by 'embarrasing bodies'. Midway through watching TV, a large spider decided to join us and move at pace around the lounge, up and across the walls. The word 'arachnophobia' was defined with Chris in mind and therefore Nic took up the challenge of capturing the beast. Lorraine returned from her evening out to a trapped spider in her house and two (one very) frieked out guests. Lorraine informed us that the spider was a Huntsman type and although very big (and fast) it was not poisonous - even though they can bite humans 'if provoked'!
As we calmed down from our eight legged visitation, the TV by this stage had moved onto 'embarrasing bodies' which just so happened to be based in Newcastle, UK and focused on overweight men's problems performing in the bedroom with graphic images to ensure clear explanation. This provided an interesting topic of conversation for us all to have on the second night of knowing each other - although it did distract from the spiders!
Thankfully our bed had a mosquito net which was implemented to help protect us from any wildlife and allow sleep that night!

Thurs night we went for a barbecue with Lorraine at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, by the riverside watching boats pass by and the rock climbers who were energetically climbing the floodlit cliff face (a result of extensive quarrying years ago) as we relaxed and enjoyed our barbecue food and wine.
On Friday we walked around the South Bank area of Brisbane which has been developed on the former World Expo site and includes a Cultural Centre, a large 'eye' Wheel, an artificial beach and bathing area next to the river and many bars and restaurants. On Friday evening Lorraine drove us to Mount Cout-tha for a spectacular view of Brisbane city at dusk, then for a drink and live music in a converted power house in the trendy 'New Farm' area of the city and then back to the West End where Lorraine lives and to her favourite Greek restaurant which was excellent and despite it being Winter we ate outside - albeit with the support of a heater. Lorraine shared all of her local knowledge on Brisbane with us and ensured that we had a fantastic time in Brisbane - seeing and experiencing places that we would not have found on our own, Thank you very much Lorraine for inviting us to stay with you and being such a wonderful host.

Posted by NicChris 20:08 Archived in Australia Tagged lodging

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