Impressions of Brisbane, Wednesday

Wednesday, brief impressions of Brisbane.
We took the bus into the centre of Brisbane, the BCD. We take a coffee in Jimmy’s on the Mall where a black and white ibis is scavenging. ‘What is that bird called’ we ask a waiter, ‘A bloody nuisance’ he replies. Then to the botanical gardens. There are many large exotic trees including banyans. Large topical butterflies flutter around us as we walk. We come across the cafe which is, unfortunately closed but beside it sits a large iguana. At first we take it for a model, then it moves.
There is the sound of a party of children. A group of Aussie school kids in their broad-brimmed outdoor hats are being led around the gardens. We spot them as walk briskly past a genuine mangrove swamp at the edge of the river. Echoes of their pioneer forefathers.
We cross a bridge over the river Brisbane to Southbank. This is a relatively recent development, largely cultural but includes an urban beach, cafes and restaurants. We hop on a City Cat. This is a catamaran ferry and commuter service. It takes us up past he CBD which is impressive with its clean, tall modern lines in different shades of glass. There are several little ferry stations looking like colonial outposts against the tall palm trees. There are smart and no doubt expensive riverside residences and there is a very English church on a hill full of such residences which might have been transplanted from the south of France.
We go up and down the river then disembark on the city side and the ferryman takes no fee on the grounds that we’ve only effectively gone one stop!
Night falls rapidly in the warmth of the city streets as we make our way back to the bus stop. We eat at an expensive Italian restaurant where two smart and probably well off Aussie girls are fluttering at a darkly good looking waiter.