Two days in Brissie

Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brisbane is the state capital of Queensland. It is the third most populous city in Australia and the most populous city of Queensland. It is situated on the Brisbane River on a low-lying floodplain between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range in south-eastern Queensland. The local indigenous people knew the area as Mian-jin, meaning 'place shaped as a spike'. The city is named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. Area: 5904.8 km². Population: 1,857,594. It is beginning of the winter: day +/- 22, night 12.

After an uneventful flight (Jetstar, pleasant and on time) from Cairns to Brisbane, we pick up our rental car. Which is a bit of a hassle, since all computers are down. Armed with a decent map, we go to our hotel. It seems simple but is not. We do not screw up too much and think our hotel is OK:

Unfortunately, the internet is very expensive: 30$/24h/laptop. The room is 100 $/night. We choose it mainly for the location. Our Brisbane diving mates suggested South Bank: the coziest part of the city. Hubby puts the laptops on his back and we go and snuffle. Nice neighborhood indeed but we do not find any pub with wireless, let alone free wireless. It is often also the staff being ignorant or incorporative. When you sit in a bar and your laptop finds a wireless with the name of the bar, password protected, I do not believe the waiter when he says there is no wireless. We drop by at the tourist info and collect brochures. And: Dr T finds a Belgian café!!!! He thinks they might not be so keen on his thongs, so we walk back home, change, do some shopping and head for the café. We drive straight to the underground parking next to the café and feel good about our skills when we see: parking closes at 18h30: whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??? Street parking? T gives me a speech how straightforward and easy the parking signs are in Australia. I do not think so. Seems very complicated. You have to know that '2P' stand for 2 hours parking maximum, which does not mean FREE parking. We find a street parking which is paying till 19h: 5$ for 1,5 hours and then: free. But: Tony misread the simple sign: AFTER 19h it is a taxi stand: NO parking. When we come back: parking ticket: 60$. I think it is hilarious, T is growling. Maybe it is not very nice of me to take the micky... .

The Belgian café is the same concept as in Perth. It is a great place. The prices are great too: 12$ for a Jupiler! The Belgian menu is not Belgian. No witloof, stovertjes, waterzooi, gekookte patatjes. The fries are delicious and they do mussels, many styles. I had them in Perth. They were nice but compared to the Zeeuwe mosselen... . I have Toulouse (did you know that is a city in Belgium?) sausage, mash and cabbage. T chicken with frietjes and real mayonnaise.

My Remy from Ratatouille would approve of the meal. Back home Tony buys the internet and I start a new book.

I take over his laptop in the morning, chat to my brother (my 9 in the morning is his 1 at night, so middle of the day for him), look at my mails and wake up Hubby, who rejumps behind his laptop. And stay there all day, while I go side seeing. Buying the public transport ticket for one day (5,4$), it takes me on the ferries and busses and is again a good tip from our diving buddies. I like the city, it is busy, young and cheerful. I have a petite smoked salmon on a terrace, watching the world walk by and read. I arrive at the bus station and hop on one to the other side of the city, where there are no sky scrapers and walk back. The old buildings are standing like miniatures between the huge towers. One more pint for the road later, I take the ferry back to find Hubby still behind his laptop. He did quite a bit of surfing for our next destinations so hopefully we will be able to book soooooooooooon. I do not feel like walking anymore so we take the car to the center of South Bank, where they charge 15$ for entrance to a car park. I refuse. That is a meal!!! The many bars, restaurant and terraces should do something about this! We randomly drive around and find a dodgy pub. I have a lasagna and Dr T seafood basket. There is a Trivia quiz in the pub and Tony expects me to answer all the European questions. Which I cannot. A nice bottle of wine later, we return home, to have an early night. I want to do stuff the next day.

Dr T does get up early: at 6h!!! We got answers from the travel agencies which Hubby studies now, while I lay at the pool, writing this story. Life is so fare. I do lake something... . I know: a cold beer: have to do something about that! We go for lunch next door. Late afternoon we walk along the river of the South Bank and have a beer. The restaurants just do not impress me: they 'feel' like the tourist trap: a lot of money for little. We return to the Plough Inn, where we had a drink yesterday and have a meal: we are not THAT happy with it. So, unfortunately, not recommended:

Coming back home I try to negotiate with the receptionist about the high wireless price. I should know better by now. Her advice? Do not use the internet. Well, thank you very much.

We will go for the Gold Coast tomorrow. No bookings.
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