Horizon at Sandy Point

Friday, February 3, 2012

First take in Australia

Australia,  we have been warned, has "no tolerance" for any introduced/imported product that might affect its "island" ecosystem. Hard to believe, but yes, this is a very large island. Signs in the airport confirm "no luwak" (the coffee bean polished in the gut of the civet cat), no wooden artifacts, no food. All uneaten snacks were left on the plane. So, America is concerned about bombs and explosive devices; Australia makes sure that you bring nothing in that might become a pest if let loose.
Sunny convenience apartment on the 22nd floor in the heart of Brisbane

View from 22: Old church dwarfed by skyscrapers

View from the 22nd floor

We arrive in Brisbane with the sun. No one to greet us, but we have reservations in two places, the city and the beach. Shuttles from the airport take you in any direction. We meander into a city of bridges and modern high rises on the banks of a looping river. Our convenience apartment is in the heart of this, with shops and malls all around. Because it is Wednesday, the farmers market is open at the end of the Queen Street mall. Nothing like fresh food to focus the identity of a new city.
Wednesday market Queen Street Mall

Summer music on street corners around the mall and market

Mangoes are the main attraction here

What we took home: mango, pink grapefruit, plums, tomatoes, apples, peaches

Fresh Brisbane produce include peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, vegetables and green stuff, and mangoes as large as the Grahams we enjoy in Trinidad. We have arrived in high summer in the southern hemisphere. It's good to be out with the sun's warmth on your back. Stay awake in the day and let the light reset the biological clock. We acclimatize to day-night, never mind that we left California on January 30 and arrived in Australia on February 1, losing a day. Good thing 2012 is a leap year.

At first glance, Brisbane is a young city. Customer service in reception areas, shops and restaurants are young. A Master's student from Michigan serves us in an outdoor pub called The Pig and Whistle. Further explorations will certainly deepen our appreciation for this city on Australia's east coast.
On the streets of Brisbane

You'll find public art all around

Centre of the Queen Street mall 

High overhead features provide shade on walking streets

Queen Street Mall

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