I wanted a new place to wander around so I headed for South Bank. Have to give the place-namerer of Brisbane credit, this one is accurate:
My hotel is in the upper right. The Domain is where we met for skating, and at The Domain is a foot bridge that crosses the river.
Big change of pace from the area of the city I am in. Where I am is definitely the business center – skyscrapers, malls hidden inside gigantic buildings, people and traffic everywhere. It is interesting, but it is also very crowded.
Across the river the pace is a bit more relaxed. There are still a lot of people, but most people are strolling, taking in the sights.
My goal with going over there was to go find the Wheel of Brisbane (big ferris wheel) and be wowed beyond belief by it. Given the $21 ticket price, it must be made from gold or some other exotic construction material.
The Botanical Gardens are pretty nice. Lot of open space, nice paths, some wildlife. I am a personal fan of the big lizards which I keep forgetting to take pictures of. I have seen them in a few places, so I doubt they are rare here, but we do not have any big lizards like this back home, so I find them interesting. My ignorant guess from looking at the web is that they are Water Dragons.
From the Gardens to the Goodwill Bridge. Here is a view from the middle of the bridge. You can see the wheel off in the distance. The wheel is 60 meters high.
I found a fake beach. I have never seen a fake beach before. There are lifeguards, a lot of sand, sunbathers, kids.
There is quite a bit more to the beach, but I felt like a creeper taking snaps of all the sunbathers, so I limited myself to this one photo.
The walk all along this side of the river is really nice. There is a lot of greenery, lots of places to eat, views of the river.
And the wheel!
The line for tickets is behind the pole with the red mark on top. You cannot see the line? Yeah, I did not see one either. That probably should have been the point where I started to rethink the value of a $21 ticket. After buying my ticket I was directed to a winding path, like those at the airport, to let people queue up densely. It felt pretty stupid to wind my way up to the wheel when I was the only one there.
I was directed to put my backpack on a rack. There were already two or three bags there, so somewhere on that wheel were two or three other suckers. I did get a special… cabin? Cargo pod? Mine was decorated for Christmas. She pointed out that was the only one.
85F (29.5C) outside and humid. Feels so weird for Christmas time. The cargo pods are air conditioned though. Oh and the first rotation or two has an aural guide for things to look for.
The view was OK I suppose. There are only so many times you can go around that circle before you have seen pretty much all there is to see. I think the ride said you got four rotations, but I did not count. By my estimation, I had more rotations than necessary. I would rather pay $10 for two rotations. If at that point I am dying for more I can get back in line, which does not exist, and buy another ticket.
Kids would probably find it a lot more interesting. It definitely is high, which is kind of neat, but that does not really get you much. The city is full of skyscrapers; you can see them from the ground. Taking pictures is a problem with the cargo pod windows showing reflections of the interior, or being dirty.
Possibly at night the ride would be more interesting with all the city lights? I suspect that might not be the case either though, at least not judging by popularity. I ended up here again later that night (another story I will post), and there was still no line.
After being taken for a ride on the wheel I went to find some food. It was called a slice of pepperoni pizza, but was rather bland and greasy with two super thick chunks of what I guess was pepperoni. That is the only pizza I have tried here, so I do not know if that was Australian pizza, or just the fact that I ate at a mall-food type place.
I ate my lunch with my new bird friend.
I do not know what those are, but they are all over the place and do not have any particular fear of people. I am sitting maybe four feet away from it and it just does not give a fuck. It does not appear to be a scavenger and did not show any interest in what I was eating. Or maybe it has tried the pizza before.
Hot and tired, I walked back to my hotel room after lunch. Oh and my ankle hurt again from all the walking. I did not turn on the route tracker, but the phone pedometer thinks I walked around four miles. I figured I should rest up for my lessons with Asha tomorrow.
Luckily no plans for the evening, can just sit back and relax…