Wednesday, July 06, 2016

We Have Arrived!

We arrived in Brisbane yesterday (July 5th) and got to our hotel. We are staying in Toowong, a suburb of Brisbane. We walked the block or so to the village and scoped out the Coles (grocery) and had lunch at Nando's (including a bit of Peri-Peri). After picking up a few items at the grocery for noshing, we headed back to the room. Not surprisingly, we crashed soon after.

After sleeping about eight hours, taking a sleeping pill and sleeping another eight hours, we awoke pretty refreshed this morning and decided to check out a little of Brisbane. We had breakfast at a coffee shop up the street (above), purchased a goCard for transport, and took the train to the Culture Center.

Everything is very clean. Even at what I can only assume was rush hour (between 8:00 and 8:30), there were empty seats. Everything was very orderly and disturbingly quiet. Very few people were talking on the train. As you see above, most heads were down while people surfed their phones.

Unlike yesterday, the sky was perfectly clear. During the flight in, we saw very little until we were quite close to the ground because of the clouds and rains. Here you see the central business district (that's CBD in Autralianese).

Out in front of the Queensland Science Museum, was a Brachiosaurus to greet us. We got there early, so we took a stroll along the south bank of the Brisbane river. When we returned, we found that the Brachiosaurus calls all day long and swishes his tale. I couldn't tell if he was in pain, horny, or just glad to be alive.

The walk along the river was very pleasant. Warm sun, few people, and a great view of the city.

Along the way we walked past the the Wheel of Brisbane (the local London Eye), and we detoured through the Nepalese Peace Pagoda and the associated gardens. 

After a short tour though the science museum and the art museum, we headed to the CBD and the City Botanic Garden. Google Maps on my iPhone said to do something that made little sense for getting there, so we tried something different and had a nice tour of the cavernous bus terminal under a large downtown shopping mall called the Myer Center. After orienting ourselves a bit, we found a sandwich in the food court and walked a few blocks to the park.

The Botanic Gardens are large and beautiful. Filled with trees and birds, it was a peaceful retreat for the city dwellers. As we sat for a while and E was doing some bird watching (an Australian bird book having been purchased at the science museum), the wind began to blow.

After quickly surveying the ponds in the park for new waterbirds, we headed to the bus stop. The wind had gotten downright brisk, and we were getting cold. Over our sandwich I downloaded a Brisbane public transit app and were able to easily find our way back to the hotel by bus.

All-in-all a productive day exploring this great city. Tonight, we'll repack (after getting our coats out!) and get ready for the ride to Toowoomba. We'll soon be at our destination and starting the next phase of the adventure.