Today, our last full day in Brisbane, we decided to walk around downtown and soak up the sights.
The Brisbane River winds through the middle of the city, so navigating the water to get from one side of town to the other becomes a necessity. There are plenty of really nice bridges, including some that are pedestrian-only, but another way to get around is via ferry.
We’re staying in a great neighborhood on the south side of the river but central downtown is just across the water, so our choices were to either walk two miles or to hop onto a ferry, which stops just outside our apartment building. Taking the boat was a no-brainer, plus we got to see the city from a new perspective.
The thing about the Brisbane skyline that you first notice is that it’s full of modern skyscrapers, but once you’re walking the streets, you find plenty of old gems tucked amongst the newer stuff.
The city is loaded with public art — on street corners, on walls, in the parks, and even on the paths along the river.
We even saw an example of art used to disguise something that would otherwise be unattractive. Take a look at this:
This is a massive mural — starting just above the shops at street level and going up to the top of the building and stretching from one end of the block to the other. We noticed that the mural is actually open like lattice and after another moment or two of staring, realized that it is disguising a parking garage. Brilliant, no?
After our walk-around, we ended up in one of the many gorgeous parks that are scattered throughout the city. It lunch time and Brisbane’s workers were out in full force to enjoy yet another beautiful day (sunny and 65F). We had a picnic and did some people watching.
We eventually started to make our way back toward the river and crossed back to the south on the Goodwill Bridge, which is for pedestrians and cyclists only.
I fully admit that I now stand as tall as I can stretch my spine whenever I’m photographed with one or both of my girls. Grace is either right at my height or has a tiny smidge (1/4″?) on me, while Ellie is rapidly gaining ground on her sister and me. She’s slouching a bit in the photo above, so it’s not as obvious that she’s only an inch or two shorter than I am.
After more wandering about, we hopped back on a ferry and made our way down the river a couple of stops to our apartment.
It’s now early evening. We are making dinner and I’m drinking a Bundaberg ginger beer, which is like a spicier version of ginger ale, only with actual bits of ginger in the bottle. I don’t normally drink sodas very often, but this stuff is goooooood.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll be heading back to the airport and flying northward to Cairns, which is in northeastern Australia and is the jumping-off point for Great Barrier Reef tours. Someone has just been informed that I’d like a very precise schedule for checking out here and getting back to the airport, with plenty of time built in so that we don’t nearly miss our flight. I think that someone may have seen the look in my eye and understood I’m dead serious about this.