On Friday, my last full day in Brisbane, I took it rather easy. No day-long tours. No long hikes in the blazing heat. I did, however still wake in time to catch the early sun as seen from my hotel window on the 26th floor.
After indulging in a couple of donuts from the nearby Krispy Kreme shop, I headed to the Brisbane City Hall, a large Neo-classical building completed in 1930. It is quite impressive with a tall clock tower that rings out the time every quarter hour. Though guarded by a pair of impressive lions, entry is encouraged and even free. So I did, joining first a quick tower tour in which up to seven guests are taken up the original elevator (still operated manually!) to see the great vistas. I got a great view of my hotel and a nearby church, among other sites. Later I joined a tour of much of the rest of City Hall learning about its extraordinary history. And both of these great tours were free!
Later in the day, after a bit of a nap, I went out in search of (almost) last-minute souvenirs. After all, I probably shouldn’t return empty-handed, should I? At Myers, a department store across the street from my hotel, I found a couple of interesting t-shirts — with New Mexico destinations! Not quite what I would have expected to find in a Aussie store.
Finally, I headed out for a dinner of fish and chips near the Treasury, an old building now used as a casino. Then across the Victoria Bridge and the Playhouse in the Cultural Centre for a very creative, entertaining, and ultimately moving presentation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. As I neared my hotel, which is located on an outdoor mall, a local group of musicians were just wrapping up a free concert. A great end to a beautiful day!