Brisbane - Stunning Urban Living

Brisbane - Stunning Urban Living

After sailing the small and quiet islands of the Pacific we are positively culture shocked here in downtown Brisbane. It's a top class city, with qualities from architecture to swimming and lattes etc. What a difference to the coconuts and sandy beaches out there in the blue - we are back into international wealthy life. But also back into a world of questionable sustainability with traffic jams etc. However, we recharge our energies and enjoy downtown living.

Walking the streets and parks we explore the art museums on the South Bank. Trying all the foods is expensive but a pleasure we missed for a while. Meat was not on our list of provisioning, hence we engulfed in Aussie meat treats. But foremost we love the international kitchen and the modern menus, combined with some Aussie regulars like pulled, slow cooked beef.

Urban planning is up to date, as is commercial real estate development. It's visible in the architecture, in the parks and open spaces, the qualities appreciated and frequented by the people but also in the news. What is slowly progressing in Switzerland is embraced here in a quick growing state - like modularCity the have their own geo-database with a variety of development relevant key figures. It's not by accident that this city attracts people from all over. While the natural setting is good, only clever development can make it excellent. One step missing is more public transport, though. We will miss that quality of Switzerland anywhere in the world, I guess!

Passage making has left it's mark on Jade Akka, so a little boatwork was to be done. With the phone-based help of Paul from Coursemaster Autopilots I managed to get the pump running again. The motor showed signs of age and, big surprise, went back to work after a thorough cleaning of the brushes and the brush mechanics. Fingers crossed it will last. At least it looked all great when I assembled it back into place with anything corrected that I noticed. Like close-to-short-circuiting wiring of the control wires. As John, the first owner put it: nobody cares as much for your boat as you - hence anything you do know how to do, you will probably do better than the time-is-cost-driven marine mechanic. So I ended up re-wiring the incoming control wires to make sure the do not short-circuit by accident.

Aside from that we had be told by friends that our AIS was weak and could not be picked up from a distance. We also had noticed we do not see vessels unless they were two to three miles away. Reason was a badly corroded and broken AIS antenna. A quick buy but a long fix, as the wiring for antennas needs to be done well and with the right instruments. Given that most space in our cable ducts are used, we spent some time getting the new antenna cable into the right location.

With our urban living desire satisfied we decided to move downriver with the outgoing tide. A last trendy place was to be visited, and an anchorage nearby would allow to spend the night nearby. Other cruiser had said it's a must and tourist guides highlighted it too: the Brisbane Powerhouse. So we landed in Newfarm, walked to the shops to get some more provisions and strolled through the beautiful park to the power house. It had served as the trams' power supply long ago and then fell derelict and graffiti sprayed. As so many old building it had been built with a nice brick front and a lot of concrete. Perfect for revamping into a modern art place.

The power house was turned into a theatre venue and photo exhibition with restaurants and rooftops overseeing the river and the CBD on the horizon. Over 700 guest may show up here. Of course we were strongly reminded of the Schiffbau, Eisenwerk and all these places back home. Most surprising: the public transport sign look like the ones in Zurich. Exactly the same. A coincidence, we guess. The Powerhouse is run by the Brisbane City Council. We noticed that quite many instituitons here are run by the council. Given the tax level not a surprise. And as it is all done very well, the tax dollars seem to be worth it. Again, a reminder we are back in a strong society where democracy seems to work.

The next anchorage down the river is the last in Brisbane area and the last to showcase urban living around here: the eat street market. Check it out yourself, it's another amazing place.

Here our impression from Brisbane and our entry via Moreton Bay.