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Brisbane – Day 2

November 29, 2012

So today was going to be the penultimate day of our incredible holiday and we wanted to really enjoy it like we had the previous 47 days. Tomorrow (Fri) we start our 26hr journey back to the UK and the wintry weather and we are asking ourselves how are we going to cope with temperatures at least 25c lower than what we’ve been used to in last few weeks!!!

Having taken advantage of going into the city because an early arrival in Brisbane last week it meant we weren’t under less pressure to rush around the place to see as many sights as possible in our short stay over. After brekky in the Boardroom Cafe just around the corner from our hotel we took off on a walking tour that would take us through Queen Street, the main outdoor shopping mall, on to the Southbank and then through the city Botanical Gardens. It was hot and humid so our pace was not quick and we were thankful for areas of shade throughout the walk.

At first glance the Southbank is very similar to London’s with buildings that host concerts etc, places to eat or have coffee and is of course along the bank of a river. But once inside Brisbane’s Southbank it is very very different. There are huge grassed areas and a massive Arbour which gently wound its way through the full length of the Southbank and was covered Bougainvillea’s which were in full bloom.  There is also a beach with a number of swimming pools around it and it was being well used when we were there. We returned in the evening and the place was buzzing with activity with people walking, in bars and cafe’s and the most of the eating places were very busy.

After stopping off for some refreshment we walked back across the river by a foot bridge which is not dissimilar to the Millennium Footbridge across the Thames except it doesn’t bounce!!! This led us through to the Botanical Gardens which is just over 1k long. These gardens have loads of green parkland which were being utilised by lots of different school groups. It was also nice to walk through as we were virtually in the shade of large tall trees. There were many different types of trees and this one opposite looked rather strange with its roots exposed – Brenda advised that at sometime in the past it is likely that the river had been as far up the bank where it stood.

Exiting the Botanical Gardens brought us within a short walk to our hotel where we were glad to be able to go to our room and refresh before our afternoon activities.

Brisbane like most cities has a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus which was excellent value for the $35au it cost us each. The entire tour lasted over 90mins and took us around 19 different attractions where you could get off as well as an excellent informative guide rather than the recorded stuff!! In addition you get unlimited access to the City Cats ferries and these operate until very late. We tend to stay on these bus tours for the entire time and then decide where we want to go back too.

On getting back to our hotel at around 5.30pm we rested up before going out for the evening. We decided to use the City Cat ferry to get us back to the Southbank. It was only a short walk along the riverside walk from our hotel to the Riverside Terminal and this took us past a number of restaurants and bars which were all very busy and the air was littered with the buzz of people chatting and eating – it was quite electrifying! The journey on the ferry gave us the opportunity once again to view this great city from a different perspective and it looked amazing with the different lighting used in the high-rise buildings. Our plan was to eat at one of the restaurants overlooking the river however these were all busy and places were at a premium and in some looked a little cramped. Eventually after meandering through the other Southbank streets and looking at the different menu’s and either finding nothing that tempted us or a particular restaurant was busy we took ourselves off back to the centre of the city to a place we had eaten at when we had visited last week. We had been walking for well over an hour and it was humid evening so were glad of a place to sit down at and where we knew the food and drinks were good.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog about how strange it is seeing Christmas decorations up when it is so hot. Here are 2 examples of this in Brisbane.

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