G’Day! We are so happy to be back in Australia after 13 years. We have always said that we met some of the happiest and friendliest people in the world in Australia. In Brisbane (population 2.5 million!), we found a very busy downtown, with street sculptures everywhere and a downtown pedestrian street, Queen Street Mall, jammed with shoppers. You can see the kangaroo sculptures at the entrance to the shopping area, a reindeer sculpture, and metal butterflies making their way into the sky on the Zara building.
We liked the “Aussie” poster on the side of a building and were stunned by the sign, “Christmas in Brisbane, November 30-December 24″….in other words, Christmas here does NOT include Christmas Day! And since we did a post on Santa Monica just a month ago, we thought it was fun to return there, via a restaurant named Santa Monica in downtown Brisbane. Do you love the drink stand that will sell you a Milky, a Flavoured Milky, a Fruity, and a Guava Tealicious? Then we stumbled into an arcade, a long, narrow style of shopping building that we first encountered in Milan, Wales, and England. It was decorated so beautifully for Christmas that we have included two photos. This arcade sold many modern items, of course, but there was also a pen store, a store selling stones, and a store that advertised Engravings. So charming!
At the Queen Street Mall, we caught the photo of the ibis, just walking around and scavenging for food. It looks amazing and beautiful, and was unafraid to approach people. But a local told us they are the scourge of Brisbane…always looking for food, and tearing trash bags apart to do so. We also caught the photo of the two strollers with four babies in each! The woman looking toward us said, No Photos!…but it was too late, as it was already taken. How unusual, though. We have no idea if they are from a day care, and out for a walk, or are related. The last three photos are of St. John’s Anglican Cathedral. There was a wedding taking place! But there were only six people in attendance. But in there, we also got the last photo, of a fabulous male angel. When I collected angels, I would have done anything for a smaller version of this angel, as they are so rarely male, and so rarely serious. This one fulfills all my dreams! Oh, and the first photo is from our breakfast on Deck 9 of the ship…such a fabulous view, docked on the Brisbane River. We had to come down the river from the ocean, quite a marvelous journey for a cruise ship!