After enough hugs to last six months, we say good bye to M&D and drive north to spend a few days in Brisbane before our flight home.
We are staying at a motel near the airport to make our departure day easier, so we take the Translink train into downtown Brisbane.
We brought with us a copy of a walking tour we found in a Lonely Planet book. We decide to follow it to get a sense of the downtown area. Meandering through the street peering up, first at a tall modern glass tower and then, at a stately historic stone building.
We stroll along the riverside Boardwalk following the Brisbane River and then step into the edge of the City Botanical Gardens. Deep greens, shady, peaceful. Cross the Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge and find ourselves in the South Bank Parklands, which houses Streets Beach, a man made beach and park for all ages. Brisbane, in fact the whole state of Queensland, has beautiful and abundant parks.
At the end of the park, are the performing arts center, museum and art galleries. We will explore the art galleries tomorrow.
We cross back over the Victoria Bridge into downtown again and wander a part of Queen’s Street, where all the shopping is. We may have to go back there! Past City Hall and back to the train station with tired feet.
An hour of rest at the hotel and the stomach says it is dinner time. The street we are on is mostly residential and does not have much in the way of food. However 5 or 6 blocks to the west is Racecourse Road with an abundence of restaurants and cafes.
Debbie has a hankering for sushi and damned if we don’t find a sushi place. Mediocre sushi but it does the trick and we are satisfied. Traversing the rest of the street we scope out places for the next couple of days dinner.
Farther afield down by the river is the Portside Wharf. The docking place for the cruise ships. Here is another cluster of eating places, with prices seemingly higher than on Racecourse Road. It is quite busy even for a Tuesday night.
Our walks today, this afternoon through the neighbourhood to a distant tram station, around the downtown area and this evening traversing another neighbour has left us with a good impression of Brisbane. It is a big city but to me quite homey, not alienating at all. We will see what day 2 brings.