Yesterday we prepared end to go ashore in Brisbane. The temperature was in the low 90's but little humidity so it was a typical day in Florida. We slathered on the sunscreen, took our hats, and departed the vessel to wait for our Kookaburra River boat cruise on the Brisbane river that runs through the center of the city. Getting off the vessel ship security once again told Joe ( that's what he went by this trip) to get a new card because his only shows 1/3 of his face. This will be his third card.
We were to wait in air conditioned tents and hydrate there is always lots of water being handed out in plastic cups. Our tour was number nineteen the last to leave. It was surprising how many people on the ship were meeting their children, brothers, college friends who live in Brisbane . So it was kind of fun watching the reunions take place and the good-byes when we got back.
Our bus arrived and we piled in as only seniors with a junior high ,me first , mentality can accomplish with walkers and artificial hips and knees. It was told that the air conditioning was doing the best it could. We all agreed its best was pretty poor.
The bus toured the city through winding configuration of one way streets. The guide pointing out 5 star hotels and told of the famous people who stayed in them. Most names I didn't recognize.
As in Sydney most of the old wharfs have been made into apartments and there is a water taxi called City Cats that takes them to work along the river.
In 1825 the nearby penal settlement was abandoned. The colony moved closer to the water and Brisbane was born. Free settlers began to replace convicts and by 1859 burgeoning Brisbane was named capital of Queensland . The river is where most of the festivals, entertainment, and large businesses abide.
We boarded what I shall call the Kookaburra "showboat ,because they had a gentleman who sang , told jokes, lead a sing along, as is the custom asked everyone where they were from. " Joe " and I have debated just saying we are from Disneyworld because as soon as we say Florida they all say Disneyworld. The boat was a paddle wheeler and unair conditioned.. We had the windows open so some breeze came in. We sat with a couple from MIssouri and exchanged travel stories. He retired from Budweiser and they have been all over the world.
The meal was chicken or fish. You had to buy a drink package at $10 each for soda. Each person in each couple was to pay this amount. I am still unable to drink anything carbonated, acidic, or with alcohol. This totally threw off the balance of things because the waiter Igor could not have 1/2 of a couple not on the drink plan. Insinuating I might drink from his glass. It was determined that I was traveling alone and my husband was with the other couple to relieve Igor from the whole drink conundrum. Food delivery took about 45 minutes we had no idea where it was being prepared.
The entertainer kept us informed of sites along the river. There is a river side park with an Austrailian, American, British, and Queensland flag . (I may be wrong on one of the flags) It is to commemorate the 100,000 American troops that were in Australia during World War 2. We ere told that submarines went up the river. Troops were then sent to Darwin after the Japanese almost destroyed the city.
The meal was served and eaten then dessert came after in a much more timely manner. Our choices were pecan creme' brûlée or provalo. The pecan was flan, a bland pudding, and the provalo turned out to be Merainge baked in three circles filled with berries. When the drink bill came it was $24 for the three of them. $8 each. I will not bore you with the may lay that took place paying it. Joe finally gave John $8.00 in Australian currency. No tipping allowed.
We had no chance to shop. I want to find the Austrailian version of Stonesoup for my daughter. I have purchased one everyplace we have visited. Each local uses things in the soup that are familiar to the country they are in.
I do know the the bookstore chain here is called Folios. Maybe they have an Internet version.
The bus was working hard on the air conditioning with the same results. At the ship terminal we received water and my husband was once again told to get a new sea card.
A new sea card was gotten for Joe and we were off to general trivia before dinner. A couple from Britain sat with us and they were quite knowledgeable about many things but we all still lost by 2 questions. Once again I missed out on 2 Royal Carribean pens. There are still 12 days left to acquire the coveted pens. We could buy them in the gift shop but what would be the fun in that. The good news is I managed to sleep till 6 am. i am finally on Australian time.
I have filly managed to get two bad photographs attached. The bikes are in racks all over the city. You rent one and can leave them anywhere, in any rack. When they were first introduced no one could rent one unless they brought a helmet because it was against the law. Now helmets are also provided.