28 June 2009

Brisbane Cycle

When we packed up in Cape Town, Scott spent ages cleaning our bikes with engine cleaner & a toothbrush! We packed in the bike rack that fits onto the towbar so we could take our bikes all over the place & ride. Well, unfortunately the bike rack doesn't fit our towbar. We've been meaning to get one but they're pretty pricey at nothing less than $150. Until the End Of Financial Year Sales!!!!! Scott picked one up on Friday at a bike shop down the road for just $100 which wasn't bad.

So Sunday seemed like the perfect time to try it out! We drove through to South Bank again to try out one of the many cycle ways around the river. The only thing we need now on our bikes are bells. Yes, bells! We ended up having to shout "Tring! Tring!" to alert walkers to our approach. LOL! Scott wants to get one of those air horns so he can watch people jump out of his way - such a boy!

Just a head's up here - this isn't a massive blog with loads of photos. Taking photos while riding & navigating through pedestrian traffic isn't the easiest so we left the camera in the backpack for most of the day.

Me on my bike - this is right at the end of the path we were on so it was totally deserted. This is one of the few marinas we've seen along the river and the apartments and houses along here extremely swanky! I think it was around here where there was a guy singing opera from one of the apartments - not my kinda thing, but he had a beautiful voice!

On a little grassy area next to the path we found a whole bunch of vintage cars on display. It looked like they had had a bit of run and were all having picnics behind their cars while passersby asked questions & oggled the machines. Some of the cars seemed to be a work in progress & they arrived on the back of flatbeds. There was also a table set up with a whole lot of trophies. We reckon it was a vintage car club having their annual awards run or something like that. Some of these cars we'd never heard of before!

A Riley

A work in progress - Tercat-Mery. Yes, that's me in my bike helmet - couldn't take it off because of the horendous helmet hair!

Scott with a Minerva. Some of the cars had beautiful radiator caps. This one of Minerva, the virgin Roman Goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts and the inventor of music - a large portfolio even for a goddess!

Scott clearly doesn't have the same problem with helmet hair!

This Alvis was absolutely stunning! Looked like something you drive to the country for a picnic (packed in a wicker basket of course) wearing a straw boater.

Not sure what this one was - also a work in progress. It had a Scottish thistle as it's radiator cap.

Another Alvis with what looks like the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland as the radiator cap.

Scott inspecting a Talbot

The Talbot radiator cap - a rearing full maned lion

What an awesome looking 12 cyclinder engine! Brass & copper everywhere!

I had to get Scott to stand next to this little Austin so you can see just how small it actually is - very cute!

I think this is another Alvis - totally made of alluminium

Lunch time!!! We built up quite an appetite after the 14km or so ride and stopped at Mado - a Turkish restuarant.

Peak-a-boo! The beers were ice cold and the food was excellent - Anatolian chicken & the most delicious falafel I've ever tasted!

Back to the parking lot - Scott putting the bikes back onto the new rack.

Another fabulous day out!

27 June 2009

Queensland Museum

Our next outing was to the Queensland Museum at the Cultural Centre. This Cultural Centre incorporates the Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Queensland, Queensland Museum, QPAC (Qld Performing Arts Centre where we saw Chicago) and the State Library. All situated on South Bank where there are markets, buskers, festivals, cafes, restaurants, a man-made beach, parklands, picnic areas and walkways all along the river.

A aeroplane hanging in the Whale Mall on the way to the Museum

Now you know why it's called Whale Mall....

Ready to go in

A Volunteer Fire Brigade quadricycle built in 1912 for the New Farm brigade

Scott hanging out at some of the exhibits

2 Indian Scouts which, before 1030, were all painted red. Indian only brought out 2 models between 1901 & 1953 - the 'Scout' and the 'Big Chief'. American made, it's main rival was the Harley which had an equally devoted fan base. I loved this quote... "You can't wear out the Indian Scout Or its brother the Indian Chief. They're built like rocks To take hard knocks. It's the Harleys that cause the grief."

The Acrohc Australis holds the record for the smallest boat (11 feet, 10 inches!) to sail around the world. In June 1984 Serge Testa sailed it from Brisbane via the Qld coast to Darwin, Maritius, Cape Town, St Helena, Natal, Tobago, The Panama Canal, the Galapagos, the Marquesas & the Cook Islands, Tonga and Lord Howe Island, 80,000km later he returned to Brisbane in May 1987.

Crash! This is what Scott does to planes in his computer games! Unfortunately the real life ones don't have 'restart' buttons. LOL!

Who's the animal?

I thought this was a funky shot - taken in the mirror

Oh good - I'm bigger than most of them!

But some of them have much bigger teeth

Love this one - looks like the polar bear has wings!

This Beech Duke broke the round-the-world speed record for piston-engined aeroplanes in 1975 - it took just 122 hours, 19 minutes and 57 seconds.

Scott really fancied this Beech Duke

One of the water features around the Cultural Centre

Another water feature with pelican sculptures

Scott on the other side ready to dive in!

Lovely shot of Scott between the fountain & another sculpture.

And a late lunch at Kapsali's - a wonderful Greek restaurant overlooking part of the Streets Beach. Then it was off home to wish Cavell (aka Hermit) happy birthday on Skype!

21 June 2009

Fête de la Musique Brisbane

Okay, go grab a cuppa & put your feet while you catch up on our latest adventure...

I recently found a great website, Brisbane in Winter. While browsing around, I came across an event called Fête de la Musique which is a music festival which takes place in about 350 countries around the world on the same day. There are no tickets, no A-Reserve seating, no headlining musos, no critics. Jazz, rock, rap, umpa bands and gospel singers could be on the same bill. All performed in non-music venues.

So armed with our waterproof jackets & a great big umbrella, we braved the rain & headed off to the city. We parked the car at Scott's office and walked down to the Queen Street Mall where there was a big concentration of acts all along the mall. Brisbane isn't as vibey as Sydney but it's certainly got a helluva lot going on in the arts & culture department! Just walking through town, you get to see some pretty cool architecture & there are also sculptures all over the place.

Something else I picked up while browsing the Brisbane in Winter site, was that the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace was on display at Brisbane square - at the river end of Queen Street Mall. This buddha was carved from a rare find - an 18 ton boulder of gem-quality Polar jade discovered in 2000 in Canada and called Polar Pride.

Cathedral Square - Just across the road from Scott's office

I absolutely love this sculpture! I can't find what it's called or who the artist is so it's all very mysterious. I guess that adds to the attraction.

Wanting coffee..... ah great a big NOW OPEN sign at Gloria Jean's..... oh wait, it's closed. Damn!

Funky new building

"The Overseer"

Sculpture on the side of a building

"Dialogue" on Queen Street

It begins.... Our first glimpse of live music in the Queen Street Mall

The Pig & Whistle with Tattersalls Club in the background.

Sahaj Sangeet - An ensemble playing Indian music. They were great - very rhythmic & you could see they were thoroughly enjoying what they were doing.

The Jade Buddha

The Dreadlock Cowboy
(Just to let you know that some of the captions are actually links to the artists' websites - so go, have a look & listen! If it's underlined, it's a link, so get clicking!)

A whole bunch of teenage girls & one guy - can't remember what they were called - something Collective. They didn't really appeal to us.

Scott with a couple of the balls in Brisbane Square

Joseph's Caravan - the St Joseph's Bardon Gypsy Band. A whole bunch of school kids - only their parents were really enjoying their perfomance. But good on them for giving it a go!

Including me!

It was a total blast!

And this lonesome fellow with his accordian playing for about 3 people

Next we found the Cook Islands Cultural Dance Group. Check out this woman's "bum dance"

Then each of the dancers grabbed someone from the audience. I tried to hide behind Scott but was dragged up anyway!

A very bad impersonation of a hula girl! LOL!

But I think I did better than this guy who looked like he needed a shot of vodka & a furry hat!

They ended off with this dance

And then we found Martin Rappeneau - he normally plays Fête de la Musique Paris but came over to Brissie this year. WOW!!! What a beautiful voice!!! And a real character on stage. It was well and truly worth standing in the rain to watch his performance.

Martin Rappeneau with the Brisbane String Quartet whom he had only met & rehearsed with 2 hours previously. Brilliant!

I'm pretty sure if you click on this picture & look at the enlarged version, you'll see the rain falling.

Here's one of Martin Rappeneau's music videos so you can hear what he sounds like - it also gives you an idea of his sense of humour.

The last perfomance we took in was Muziz. Scott had spent the day wondering if he'd see his work mate, Michael performing. Well, here he is, 3rd from the right. They play Egyptian music while Mike's wife, Tamara (on the far right) does a bit of belly dancing.

Heading back to the car.... "Echoes From The North"

Through Anzac Square

A Queensland Bottle Tree

The Anzac Memorial with Central Station & the Sofitel Hotel in the background.

Scott at the fountain in Anzac square

Scott on the steps of the Memorial

We were very surprised to see the flame out. I'm pretty sure the Memorial in Sydney burns constantly.

All very symbolic - the number of columns, steps leading up to the memorial, all have meaning which I won't bore you with. ;)

The Masonic Memorial Temple. Opened in 1930, this is an incredibly imposing building. Wish we could get a glimpse inside.

And that's all for this time folks!

Bye for now.