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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cruising up the river...

At the beginning of October, DH looked at our calendar with all its scribbled in notations, and commented that we were in for a very busy month! And so it was that the day after our Brewery Tour, we headed off to Brett's Wharf at Hamilton, to board the boat doing the Bremer River Cruise. As the name suggests, this cruise goes up the Brisbane River to where the Bremer River joins it. The city of Ipswich is located on the Bremer river and in the early days of the then colony, ships were able to navigate from the mouth of the Brisbane River, all the way to Ipswich...not any more. It's a cruise that I've wanted to do for a while but the number of trips available each year is very limited due to tide heights I believe, and often we were away on those dates or cruises were cancelled due to a low number of bookings.
So we had missed the April cruises but the 2 October ones were good for us.
We arrived quite early but a few people were even earlier...
 The Lady Brisbane was waiting at the wharf too...


It wasn't long before lots more people arrived and it was time to board. Because this time last year when the trip we were booked on was cancelled due to lack of numbers, we were thrilled to hear that just over a 100 people were booked on this cruise. During the day talking to our fellow travellers we found that one group were on a Cross Country Bus Tours excursion, another group were from a Probus Club and the third group were from the Men's Shed of Stafford and they all came and sat out on the front deck where we were sitting.
DH commented that the boat was full of old people...hmmm? Sayings like 'pot calling the kettle black' sprang to mind.

The Brisbane River meanders in deep loops, so our journey up the river was rather leisurely...and DH and I took lots of photos. I've decided to write more than one post, showcasing different aspects of the river in each. This post will just be like an overview...but other posts will cover bridges, large homes, historical buildings, especially those repurposed, and probably a post about other vessels and facilities of the river. 
We selected our 'spot' on the top deck, seated at a table. For a while, the blue chairs in the photo below, were empty, so a perfect spot for taking photos...for a while anyway :-)
Starting our cruise upstream...chugging past the hill at Hamilton...watch out DH...more 'old people'! lol

The next photo is still of the hill above Kingsford-Smith Drive...older unit blocks...some of which would have magnificent views...

Our beautiful wide river...

The river has a number of tributaries...here's where Norman Creek flows in...


On the northern banks of the river we go past the where Breakfast Creek flows into the Brisbane River...we see glimpses through the trees of the historic Newstead House there...but more in a future post.
We continue on our winding way and notice beautiful New Farm Park on the northern bank...

Here we are as the city buildings in the distance, seem to emerge from the water...old people again huh?

The cliffs of Kangaroo Point...

On the opposite bank to Kangaroo Point are the historic City Botanical Gardens...complete with boat moorings...hence the name 'The Garden's Reach'...


A bit farther on and the Gardens are just a glimpse here on the left hand side. Looking back now, because of those deep meanders, the buildings really do look like they are emerging from the water. 


The photo below...
Looking towards the Queensland Performing Arts Complex QPAC, and the Eye of Brisbane. On the left hand side of the photo is a small section of the Southbank Parklands...


Leaving the city reach of the river, we sail past the suburb of West End on one side and Milton on the north bank...
West End still has a percentage of industry, as well as parts that have been gentrified into quite elite residential...
Is DH being cheeky here? Did I mention his comment about 'old people' again at this point?

We meandered through the Toowong Reach, sailed past St Lucia (the last stop for the City Cat ferry) on one side and Brisbane Corso on the other. The scenery alternated between big homes and bushland...


From St Lucia we soon headed to Tennyson...this photo is of the new Tennis Centre...built on the site of the old Tennyson Power House.

We even spotted some kangaroos near the jail out Wolston Park way...

Readers with a knowledge of Brisbane will realise that I've omitted a lot of suburbs that we sailed past (such as Dutton Park, Yeronga, Yeerongpilly, Indooroopilly, Chelmer, Fig Tree Pocket, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Jindalee, Westlake, Pinjarra Hills, Bellbowrie to name some), but we don't want 'War and Peace' here now do we?
At Moggill we had a little stop...

 The Moggill Ferry is a vehicular ferry which is pulled across the river by strong cables just under the surface of the water...
Now that causes a bit of a problem for our river cruise boat...
But our captain has been in radio contact with the captain of the ferry (my people talking to your people type of situation), and when the load of cars/trucks had been taken across and unloaded, the ferry stayed put and the cables were lowered...it took a little while but soon we were continuing upstream.
But not much farther...suddenly we noticed a tributary to the left...look how smooth the surface is...


The Bremer River joining the Brisbane River...the scenery was so pretty...
The Brisbane river continues upstream for many many miles...but we had reached the point where we would not travel any farther upstream...
More photos of this beautiful country before our boat turned around...


It was only about 15-20 minutes since we had gone over the lowered cables at the ferry...and we were back again...and the whole procedure was repeated. Bet the ferry operator is glad only a few of these cruises operate per year! lol
Our trip back was just a little faster and as we neared the vicinity of Brett's Wharf, it became obvious that we weren't stopping there...the boat cruised downstream to the Gateway Bridge, past lots of redeveloped wharves and docks...then it turned around and headed back to Brett's Wharf.
It had been a great day, so stayed tuned for some more posts about what we saw. You get a different perspective from the river, especially looking at some of those palatial homes...I thought I was cruising Sydney Harbour when I saw some of them! :-)


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Demolition Day...

When the block next door was being redeveloped last year, the demolition took place while DH and I were away in NZ. But before I left, I gave my neighbour Judy, a small camera and the instructions to take photos on the demolition day...which she duly did :-).
It looked as though the demolition of the 2 houses across the road would also take place while DH and I had our recent overnight stay on the Gold Coast. But as things turned out, because we weren't leaving until late morning that day, I was able to document quite a bit of the demolition process of one of the houses.
The equipment arrived the afternoon before...

And was parked in the yard ready to get to work demolishing, first thing next morning...
The owner of the 2 properties, also owns the house next door which is tenanted. I wonder what those tenants thought when they looked out the window at 7.30 am???? arrrggh! lol
The attachment to the machinery was like a curved bird beak...it took off the guttering first...
Then the tiles were peeled off a section...this guy was really deft with handling his machine...


The tiles in the front part of the house are ripped off and the fascia boards are taken off...
Then that 'beak' starts working on the front wall...a lever action soon moves the wall...and it crashes to the ground!

The workers seen in the previous photos moved in when that front wall was felled and moved the wall to one side and they carefully took it apart. Other houses around here that have been demolished, have literally been smashed into little pieces and then the rubble is taken away in several truckloads to be dumped. At this site, the timber, windows and doors were all carefully stacked and obviously were taken away for resale/reuse. Only the roof tiles and the concrete and brick patio of the house on the left were smashed and taken away to be dumped.

The timber all stack neatly in contraptions that looked like upturned metal tables...
 The windows and doors stacked outside the second house...


 Now the machine and its operator turn their attention to the side wall...

 Going...
 Going...

Gone!


I then left them to the demolition while I did small bit of  the packing for our night away...just before we left for the coast, I took some more photos...



And then when we came back in the afternoon of the next day, another photo or two...
So both houses have gone by then; just the front patio of the house on the left...


Next day the machine worked on that patio...

And the truck was ready to take the rubble...

And then the truck driver operated the cover for the load...


And then the driver headed off to where the load was being dumped...


And that was the end of that!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fathers' Day...

In Australia, the first Sunday in September is Fathers' Day. And so it was that DsD1 and her partner gave DH 2 tickets for a tour of micro brewery, 'Brews Brothers' at East Brisbane. There are a number of these small boutique breweries spread throughout Brisbane, where small batches of some quite 'adventurous' beers and ciders are brewed. Customers range from private bars, restaurants and individuals. We travelled on public transport which is encouraged by the owners of Brews Brothers, as they are very generous with the sampling throughout the 2 hour tour. When we arrived there were quite a few other people there, also doing the evening's tour.
Many years ago I toured the Castlemaine Perkins Brewery in Milton with my first husband, who worked for the company that printed all the labels for that very large brewery. So this micro brewery was going to be a lot different from that experience. It was like visiting old friends who did some home brewing in their garage/shed; it was very relaxed and the staff very welcoming. :-)
But no prizes for interior decorating! lol
This lady preferred to sit quietly with her mobile phone...
  DH enjoying his first sample...



I tentatively chose a Pear and Strawberry cider...it was a really nice drink...not too sweet and not too gassy.
And pretty soon, the cider was all gone!
This young man worked so hard during the evening...he spent the time running between all these steel 'cookers'. All the ingredients were  already measured and set out ready to be added at the appropriate time. he was doing some orders for people who wanted particular beers brewed for them...



The man in the checked shirt was a customer who had ordered a special brew with honey...he kept a close eye on the brewer...


This was the 'boss' and our tour guide for the night...
Here he is demonstrating adding the yeast mixture...


Looking the length of the room from the other side of those steel cookers...

In the fermenting room...


In the cold room, where the beer goes after fermentation is finished and before bottling...


Looking up, you can see the Blues/Brews Brothers...



Lots of 'kitsch' and beer memorabilia decorated the rooms...coasters, cans and mugs..
 Beer glasses etc....

The tour also included a 'Sausage Sizzle', which featured delicious sausages. My sweet husband took me along with him that night (instead of taking a male friend as suggested by DsD1) but I didn't do justice to the beer tasting opportunities that were offered, preferring to just have a sip of DH's...but it was still an enjoyable, and different evening...a great Fathers' Day gift!