Friday, September 02, 2005

Fuzzy Animals

Saturday September 3, 2005 11:17 am

As promised we made it through the botanical gardens in Brisbane. It was more like a big park than what I think of as a botanical garden, but still really nice and beautiful to walk through. The gardens encompass a corner of the city that forms a bend in the Brisbane River. They had built a bridge/pier type thing that started at one side of the coast walkway and curved through the water and up to another point on the walkway. This was an especially stunning walk because the tide was low and you could see the air roots of the mangrove trees that lived at the water’s edge – so basically we were walking out over the sand banks rather than the lake. It was very pretty and a little spooky, too. Afterward, we walked through the campus of the Queensland University of Technology, which flanked the park on one side. One of the other art galleries in the city is housed here and we happened to walk past on the one evening of the week that it is open late. It was a small gallery, but featured a really cool exhibit by Stephen Hart who’s work is mostly comprised of wood sculptures, several of which featured a very stylized and surreal bunny rabbit. We ended up back at a little cafĂ© where we were planning on hanging out until after 7:00 pm when we could head back on the Ferry with our off-peak passes. However, a girl came up and asked if we were interested in using her extra free passes to see the Australian preview of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A free movie? No problem. The movie was not as annoying I thought it would be (given the fact that neither of us feel that it was necessary to remake the last version of the movie), but it was done well and it was fun – but I think a lot of the humor went over the heads of most of the kids in the audience. We rounded out our evening with our first ride home at dark in the ferry. The lights from the buildings along the river were so pretty – we sat outside despite being a little chilly.

Our friend was also able to take the day off mid-week so we had a day off from public transportation. After getting delicious handmade sandwiches (there was a kind of feta on mine that was the ruler of all fetas - and juice from the local juice shop, Juicy Gossip, she took us to the real Brisbane Botanical Gardens. This place was amazing. There were plants from all over the world and also featured a fern garden, Japanese garden, various rainforests and a pond area. The gardens were also full of the local wildlife. I still can’t get over the “common” lizards that run around. They are the size of the lizards we usually see in zoos in the States. You will hear the bush next to you shake as if a small child had crawled beneath it then all of a sudden this foot and a half long meaty lizard comes running our doing its little shuffle run across the path. Needless to say we have lots of pictures of the lizards. She also took us up Mount Coot-tha to see the beautiful panoramic view of all of Brisbane. All I can say is – wow. I especially liked seeing how the river twisted through the city. Finally we rounded out the day at some of the fun shops around the city. There seems to be literally one LYS in all of Brisbane – crazy! But we found it and we went there. But because it seems to be the only one, they have a ton of stuff and offer a ton of classes. Yes, I got some goodies, too. We also went to an area called the Village, which housed a gourmet grocery store – kind of like if Whole Foods was split up into different smaller shops, but still under one roof. We also had some ice cream from the local shop in West End. That night she had a friend over from San Diego who had just moved here and was getting to know the area. It was really fun to sit in Australia and talk about the places we liked to go to back home.

<>On Friday, we decided to go out to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. They had more than 130 Koalas that the staff all knew by name. So cute! There were even two babies (obviously old enough to start venturing away from mom) who were down on the floor of the enclosure wrestling. Ok, think of the cutest thing you have ever seen. Got it? Then times that by 100 and you will have two baby koalas wrestling. Eventually, the mom’s decided it was time for a rest and they both made their way down to collect their respective kids. The younger one started to fall asleep after being back on mom’s back for less than 5 minutes – there’s a mother’s instinct for you. We were also mesmerized by the bats they had there. They were bigger than anything either of us had seen before and so cool to watch. I had no idea that their front hands on the end of their wings were really just a hook!

B’s Cappuccino count: 4

Things we realized about Australia:

Liquor Store = Bottle Shop

2 comments:

Nasus said...

I wish I could've seen the wrestling baby koalas! The lizards, on the other hand...

Nonnahs said...

The botanical garden sounds amazing, as does the koala sanctuary! Bats...absolutely not! Flying rats, that's what I call them. Eeek! Look at B, making up for lost time with the capps! Looks like you've created a monster! ;)