Day 8 of our Visit to Australia and New Zealand

December 17th, 2011

Arrive in Brisbane. Steph arrives today from Berkeley to join us.


At 2am, we were told that we would have to depart our train, board a bus, ride for an hour and board a different train. Yikes. This little adventure went on for a couple of hours and wrecked any sleep for the rest of the night. What we could piece together of the cause is that there was a power disruption along the tracks; fortunately there was a northbound train just like ours an hour away. This was an annoyance for us of course, but it was especially difficult for some of the older people with lots of luggage to wrangle and for parents with younger kids. When we were getting settled on our new train, I noticed the women who had been sitting in front of us stuggling to get on the train with her luggage and 4-5 bags of food and presents for her grandchildren. I helped her get in and get settled, regretting not seeing the problem earlier.
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Sunrise as viewed from the train.
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The train had a camera in front of it and the image from this camera was televised to our screens. Here Spencer has captured the sun coming up in front of the train.
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Here, where the growing season is behind that of what we had seen yesterday, is a younger crop of sugar cane.
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An odd rock formation. We saw this from miles away and it really stood out because the land had been pretty featureless.
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Looks like a river has flooded its banks here.
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We are in Brisbane! A block or so from the Roma Street train station, we watch a construction project as we wheel our bags down the sidewalk to our hotel.
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While Spencer, Peter and I are making our way to Brisbane by train, Stephanie has been on her way via New Zealand Airlines. Steph went through the Auckland airport early on the morning of the 17th and arrived in Brisbane around 10am. She had a few hours until we arrived and during this time, she left her bags at the apartment registration desk and went out exploring.
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Here is our apartment building. We are on the 10th floor and I think the arrow might be a bit higher than our actual rooms.
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Here is Steph exploring the Brisbane Botanic Garden.
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Bunya Pine pictures were of special interest to all of us as we see them around the Bay area. They are native to SE Queensland, not America. They look a bit prehistoric and fossils from the Jurassic period have been found in South America and Europe. They have huge pine cones that look like they could weigh 5-10 pounds (imagine having one of these fall from the tree and hit you on the head). The cones were used as food by Aboriginal peoples. See the Wiki to find out more about these amazing trees.
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A couple of shots of the marina which is near the Botanic Garden.
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A nice sculpture with Australian White Ibis on the lawn.
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A view from across the river from our apartment and the Botanic Garden.
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Peter, Spencer and I have finally arrived. We started our visit here with some coffee and hot chocolate.
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After the coffee shop, we walked up the street to a Subway to buy lunch. Here we are in the Brisbane Botanic Garden, which was just a block from our apartment.
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ibis
The local ibises like to keep people with food company. (Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) - wiki)
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mangroves
Pictures of the mangrove on the river's edge of the Botanic Garden.
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Here we are, the 4 weary travellers. We made a visit to the grocery store for provisions, ate a light dinner and turned in early. I think Peter skipped dinner and was sleeping by 5pm.
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