Saturday, July 9, 2016


We're seeing Brisbane at its absolute best. Every day we've had big blue cloudless skies and winter maximums of 22 - 23oC. Our hotel is in Fortitude Valley, a few minutes walk from the James Street Precinct and the well manicured suburban streets of New Farm, a very pleasant space to be in.....

We think this part of town is a bit like Sydney's Paddington but without the grime and the gays (and therefore none of the character) but very pleasant all the same. We liked this little corner bar with its pints of White Rabbit beer.

Further down James Street, into suburban New Farm, I am immediately charmed by the older style Queenslanders....

I was struck by the similarity of this one to the house in which Rob's grandmother was born in Kerr Street Toowong (Mignonette), a few suburbs distance from New Farm......
Rob's grandmother was born in 1891 so this house would be at least 125 years old - but most likely a fair bit older than that!
We headed up to Mt Cootha lookout yesterday for a clear view of the city, looking out to Moreton Bay in the far distance.
....... Then down to Lota on the Bay because Rob and his Mum both love eating fish and chips by the sea. Bart's Place is one of the top ten fish and chip joints in Brisbane (according to the Courier Mail) - and we can also vouch for its excellence now!
With Bobbie safely ensconced in a wheelchair we were able to walk around this part of the Bay, all the way to the Manly Yacht Club, and past some very healthy mangroves on the edge of the promenade.

Back in this part of the city it's great for walking and cycling (being very flat around the Brisbane River). We did a long walk this morning along the river as far as the Botanic Gardens.  We walked up a sweat doing this on a perfect "Winter" morning.

I felt quite nostalgic seeing the old McWhirter's building on the corner of Brunswick and Wickham Street (also not too far from where we're staying). In the sixties I remember getting off the tram here anticipating the  superior shopping awaiting me in this grand old department store. It's not like that any more though. There's no department store; it's just wall to wall dollar shops and low end food outlets. The Mall outside stinks of fried chips, tomato sauce and old beer. Not so nice!

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