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    • Day 28

      A day in Brisbane

      August 3, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

      Our first day in Brisbane was rather frenetic and the day got away from us! After breakfast at the Beach House, we visited the Museum of Brisbane on the 'roof" of City Hall and saw exhibits about Brisbane as a penal colony and the 'DNA' of Brisbane. It was quite a small museum and we would have liked more information about the role as a penal colony but what they did have was interesting.

      We had a quick coffee in the Square in the shadow of the City Hall tower (inspired, apparently, by St. Mark's tower in Venice) before venturing back into City Hall for a tour of the whole building. Newly renovated after being finished in the 1930s it has some beautiful marble work and mosaic floors. The inside courtyards put me in mind of the Pentagon in Washington DC. In the basement, a preserved graffiti wall showed the signatures of WW2 soldiers who had come through on rest leave.

      After that tour, we visited the clock tower itself. Not only were the views spectacular, the bells in the tower were from the Taylor's Hall Foundry in Loughborough. Equally, the lift was the original out in the building (albeit with updated mechanics surrounding it).

      Having spent most of the morning out of the hot Brisbane (winter!) sunshine, we took a stroll through the botantic gardens and for a brief stop at the Old Government House. We would have stopped here longer but were aiming for the 2pm tour of Queensland Parliament so ran short of time.

      At the Queensland Parliament, we went through the most extensive security checks since we'd been here, including at Canberra. Our elite your group of five was shown into the now defunct upper chamber (now effectively a glorified conference/function room), the working chamber and to the reasonably unimpressive entry staircase, notable only for being the only place we could take photos!

      Feeling a bit toured out, we went up 30 floors and had drinks and wings at Sazerac Bar, taking in both views of the city and happy hour.

      We planned to meet an old friend from travelling in the evening, so we walked from the CBD through Fortitude Valley and to Teneriffe (after some Sushi en route). At the Newstead Brewery we met up with D and tried some of the beers brewed on site before popping around the corner to the Green Beacon for more of the same and to try a Moreton Bay Bug burger (a bit like a lobster) and meet D's friend Leila.

      A spiffing night of local craft beer and good was topped up by food and wine in local Italian Beccafino before an atmospheric ferry journey home on the city cat.
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