Sunday 2 May 2010

Brisbane: fourth time lucky

I've had issues with Brisbane in the past, but this visit, though fleeting, has gone far towards redressing the balance.

The Mantra's buffet breakfast got us off to a great start - the best I've had for ages with interesting juices, excellent Bircher muesli and well cooked hot stuff. I liked that there seemed to be a resident wagtail, neat in his black and white, bobbing about on the carpet, busily seeing to all the crumbs.

Then we used our Go cards to mosey down the river to the ferry's furthest stop, looking at the skyscrapers, stately old homes, sharply-designed new ones, the huge brick wool stores converted into interesting living spaces, the bridges and boats. The weather was perfect, gloriously hot and sunny and so different from what we'll be going home to in a few hours' time.

Back on South Bank, the Sunday craft markets were drawing a big crowd, and rightly so: the goods were original and striking and hard to resist. Then it was fascinating to sit at a tapas bar with a beer and cheese and just watch all the people parading, strutting, slouching and strolling past - all types, all ages, all ethnicities, dressed every which way, but all relaxed and cheerful.

Now I understand why Kiwis move here.

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