The plan was to meet in King George Square, outside the entrance to Brisbane's tall and proud City Hall, at 8 am.
To avoid the traffic jams of this hour, we all elected to make our way by train. Laurel and I were to travel together. In fact, we arrived at the station together 10 minutes before our train was due. Just as we stepped onto the platform, an unexpected train pulled in. I quickly asked the lady near me if it was the 'all stops' or the 'express'. Her reply was,"I was just going to ask you." A belated announcement was made and yes it was the 'express'. About to step aboard, I suddenly realised I hadn't activated my Gocard. I dashed over to the machine and it wouldn't accept it. Meanwhile the doors were closing and I waved Laurel on her way! Much laughter when we all finally met. The fault was mine. I had been quite organised and taken the card out in the car, but sadly I hadn't looked carefully enough at which card I had taken out.
On my arrival at City Hall, I spotted Joc and Laurel walking across the Square with a fresh coffee in their hands. I proceeded to give them a hard time about not waiting for Jenny and I, only to be told that the van across the way, was giving out freebies. It was a radio promotion for the new Star Wars movie and if we had our photo taken in a frame and then added it to Instagram etc, we would be in the running for $2500 value of home entertainment.
More fun and laughter in the lovely sunshine.
It was a long wait for the 471 bus to Birdwood Terrace, at the back of the Toowong Cemetery, arriving at 9.30. This was a return visit, but today we were searching for the resting place of several of Laurel's ancestors.
The day did include some mountaineering. We obviously weren't at the regular entrance.
This heritage listed cemetery was established in 1886 and covers 100 acres. It's maintenance must be an overwhelming job for the council. So many worn, forgotten headstones and crumbling tombs, being overrun by summer grasses and the roots of invasive trees.
The melodious sounds of many birds, added to this peaceful view.
Laurel had done her her homework and was armed with location notes and the cemetery map. In fact our entrance was beside the row, where she thought we should find her Great, Great Grandmother, Mary Jane Poacher who died in 1932.
There was a lot of huffing and puffing up and down the rows and consulting of the map, but to no avail.
Next we looked for a great Uncle, but it was the same story. We eventually made our way to the main entrance and found a small office. The assistance given here proved invaluable. Small leathered bound volumes were produced. Using the data Laurel had found, our helper was able to find the hand written entry for her Great, Great Grandmother and the other relatives she was trying to locate.
When Laurel returns on another occasion, she will be able to go to the row on the map and not only look for her G G Grandmother, but also for all people on the list, that are also buried in that row. If she finds at least one of the names, she will know for sure, that she is in the correct place, even if she cannot locate this wonderful woman.
Laurel's notes are the bottom papers.
R H side sheets are the copied entires from the leather bound books. The highlighted name is a relative.
Now it was time for some meandering to the higher points of the cemetery.
Exiting a couple of hours later, we were pleased to find a welcoming main entrance.
We followed Sylvan Street to the footpath along the bank of the Brisbane River and made our way back to the city centre. The heritage listed, grand Victorian Regatta Hotel is an impressive landmark, where Sylvan St meets the river and Coronation Drive. We were stunned when we spotted the flood levels recorded on its balustrading. The sea of floodwater in 1841, is inconceivable to me.
Top to bottom:- 1841
and hidden, the flood that wasn't to happen again, 2011.
Southbank was our destination for lunch, sitting under the grassy shade of one of its many trees. Lanterns hung in readiness for Buddha's birthday at the end of the month, bring delight to all that pass beneath them.
15 kms of mixed adventure 'down under' today, but full of sunshine and laughter with this wonderful group of friends.
I would love to read your comment.