Brisbane is AMAZING. It is beautiful, modern, clean, interesting, historical, friendly and is the first place in the southern hemisphere I have ever considered as a possible place to live. Just wonderful. We met our cousin, who drove us around a bit. We then had brunch with him and then went back to the ship to catch our afternoon tour. We got a guided coach tour of the interesting bits in the centre of town, followed by a paddle steamer trip up the river that runs through the centre of the city. The whole thing was wonderful, although the full Devonshire cream tea on the boat seemed a bit odd!
If anyone is wondering what particularly got to me about Brisbane, it’s the public art. I LOVE public art, it’s a passion of mine. Well, all art affects me, but public art is so exciting. Brisbane has a sculpture on almost every street corner. It’s extraordinary. I tried to photograph as many as I could, and I got even more by accident just by snapping buildings and not noticing what was in front of them! Seriously, there’s sculpture and art and interesting architecture on every street. The place is amazing. Loved it. HAVE to come back here. HAVE to.
We got to Sydney early because we had to do repairs which we’re not supposed to know about or talk about because travelling in that condition probably breaches several maritime laws. Suffice to say, we arrived at midnight, instead of 8am. This meant that I could get off, meet up with Simon and Guy and go out for a drink. We got turned away from the Star City casino – the security guard either doesn’t like English people, or goatee beards, or gay men, or check shirts, or, oh, I don’t know. He said Guy had had too much to drink. Two glasses of wine with dinner four hours previously hardly constitutes too much to drink. Maybe he just didn’t understand that he was listening to an English accent, not a drunk Australian! Anyway, we found a pub nearby and we had a great time just hanging out and catching up. Got to bed about 6am.
Met up again for lunch at a pancake place on the Rocks, which served me beef ribs which turned out to be roughly half a cow. I managed half. Literally half. Heartbreakingly delicious, though. I wished I had the room to eat the rest of it, but there was no way! Then I dragged them both on an open top bus tour, which is my new favourite way to see new cities. They showed me some stuff they’d found that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen, including an amazing fountain in the shape of a spiral. We went to QVB (Queen Victoria Buildings) which is a seriously posh shopping centre that was once described as the most beautiful shopping centre in the world. It was amazing. It was carpeted! Seriously, I kid you not! And the loos contained the biggest toilet cubicles I have ever seen. Astonishing. It has that over-ornate beauty that you only get with Victorian and similar era architecture. It looks rather similar to Harrods, but designed by someone who had a real love for curlicues and extra bits. Even the clocks were astonishing. About twenty foot long, suspended from the glass roof and so over ornate, I can’t even begin to describe them. You’ll have to wait for the photos, I’m afraid. Then back to the Rocks for dinner with my parents and then Simon, Guy and I went to Darling Harbour for a drink at Pontoon, which is a wonderful bar. I heartily recommend it. The view across the harbour is amazing.
So my day in Sydney was the best part of forty-eight hours long. We sailed late, because we mislaid a crew member (and eventually sailed without him/her) at about 1ish.