Living in India has many rewards and there is so much about it that I love- but I have to be honest- Leaving it from time to time is good too.Flying to Australia via Singapore gave me that escapist feeling of elation, comfort and eyes bigger than my stomach. So a couple of glasses of champagne and some wonderful antipasti of good olives, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes and smoked ham set the scene very well and that was followed by excellent Quantas service where I had a fish called Red Spot Garoupa, seared, with Peperonata, a potato tack and salsa verde.Delicious and different. Quantas even has an inflight wine guide and while this is not an advertisement for the airline I was seriously impressed.
We arrived in Brisbane where we are spending the week and for those of you who are not aware Brisbane lies on the west of Australia and is the third biggest city after Sydney and Melbourne. It is the capital of Queensland and is close to the Sunshine and Gold coasts.
It is a mark of a confident and positive people who can turn to you and acknowledge their humble roots as a penal colony. General Oxley discovered the river in 1823. It had been inhabited by aboriginal tribes prior to that. In 1825 it was said to have a population of 45 men and two women and had the reputation of one of the harshest penal establishements. Free settling did not happen until 1838 and it took many years for the city to develop and flourish. Brisbane hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the World Fair in 1988 and the influx of money and development in support of these two events helped to finally put the city on the map.
Today it is booming, a business district that boasts tall skyscrapers of glass and steel, sitting alongside the most beautiful old buildings with corrugated iron roofs and Fer forge balconies to die for. The state is rich in minerals, it attracts tourists from all over the world and has a very high quality of life with residential areas in the neighbouring hills which are reminiscent of San Francisco dotted with the famous "Queenslander" type houses.
View from our very central hotel.
Fresh fruit and veg
It was the selection of meats and fish that made my eyes pop out of my head.
A very succesful marriage of old and new architecture