I stood at the top of Mt Coot-tha looking down its valley where Brisbane is. I could point out the places I visited the day before, the parts Brisbane river I crossed and the busiest parts of the city. What a spectacular view.
I started the morning by visiting the farmers’ market at West End. It only opens on weekends. They sell quite a lot of cool and rare stuff like handmade jewelry and bags. I saw organic produce and also pet food. But I was there for breakfast. I had the best rosti I’ve had and a refreshing lemonade. Everyone was casual and was enjoying their morning. It was the best way to start the day. Now, when I say casual, of course going to the market should be casual. But being asian, I imagine a market as a wet market. Anyway, wet market or not, the idea of it was very different in my head. I expected really crowded area with really small corridor to walk around. It turned out not so crowded and it was really comfortable to walk around. I didn’t rub shoulders with other visitors. Also, the booths were all so nicely decorated. I mean, I thought it would be just people selling food by the counter. Once you buy your food, you take it home. But there were seats there. I enjoyed my rosti while talking to my cousin and eavesdropping on people’s conversations. Then, I visited mount Coot-tha in the afternoon. It was a last-minute plan, suggested by the friends I met yesterday. I talked to them about how disappointed I was when my tour to Lamington got cancelled and there wasn’t enough time to plan and visit any nature reserve. Mount Coot-tha was the best option. Though, not really a nature reserve, it is away from the busy city. I spent quite sometime there walking around and reading the history of the place. And I got to witness a beautiful wedding at the cosy cafe which had Taylor Swift’s song playing as the bride walked in. I met family friends in Brisbane and they took us to mount Coot-tha. They were so nice to prepare food for a small picnic there too. In the late afternoon, my cousin and I went down the mountain and visited the Planetarium. Since the show was at 6pm, we had sometime to walk around the second Brisbane Botanical Garden. From the cycling tour the previous day, I learned that the government actually set up another Botanical Garden up at the mountain as a back up to the one by the Brisbane river. There was terrible flood in 2011 that destroyed almost half of the original botanical garden. I thought I was going to watch a show in the planetarium. But it turned out to be some kind of presentation. With the coolest presentation slide. The audiences were all seated on retractable sofas circling the dome room. The dome was the screen. The presentation started with “Let’s start with the sunset in Brisbane..” and the screen went from sky-blue to beautiful pitch-dark, starry sky. It was so real. And amazing. I finally understand the true meaning of Light Pollution. I didn’t want to go back to seeing skyscrapers. The presenters showed us the horoscope formations and took us to the planets in our solar system as well as the neighbouring galaxies. It was the best 45-minutes journey. I took the last bus back from the planetarium to the house, in denial that today has been the last day of my solo trip to Australia. But I’m also excited to go home and start the new semester in university with new hopes and fresh mind. I’ve learned quite a number of things traveling solo and whether I liked it or not. That would be a trip reflection in the next entry. It’s been a wonderful trip. It’s time for me to take a short rest before waking up early to catch the morning bus to Gold Coast airport.
10 January 2015