March 22, 2005

It was a little sad this morning to leave Brisbane. But, before we did, we did a couple more things. I took a couple more pictures of the temple in the daylight. Then, we went downtown. We gave Vienna an hour at an internet cafe while Andy and I went and explored the Brisbane city hall. Built in 1930, it was one of the most expensive structures in Australia. It cost the current equivalent of $5 million. It really is a beautiful building with a tall clock tower. Andy and I went up to the top to get a good view of the city and then went through the museum downstairs.

After a last look at the city and the river from the riverfront expressway, we headed out. We spent the afternoon driving and seeing the sites along the way. Not too far past the gold coast, we detoured to see Byron Bay. As luck would have it, just as we pulled into the town, a storm rolled in. We didn't get a chance to stop but the town looked very nice from the car.

Shortly thereafter, and depressed because we didn't get to stop for refreshment, we came upon the Macadamia Castle. It was actually a castle-shaped storefront with a small cafe, roasted nut store and of course, a gift shop. They also had a little park with some animals and a small lake but because of the rain and the fact that we couldn't pet any of the animals, we stuck with nuts and drinks. We got three flavors of macadamias and they were yummy!

Back on the road and a bit farther down, we found another giant thing. This time it was a giant prawn. They love their giant shellfish and fruit here. The giant prawn marked a restaurant and, of course, another gift shop. The storms created a lovely backdrop for our drive. We saw a beautiful rainbow and awesome light plays as we went south on the Pacific Highway. The sunset was simply spectacular with the sun bursting from behind lumpy clouds.

We pulled into Coffs Harbour for the night, and we are now staying at the Bells Motel. Coffs Harbour is home to a giant banana on one end and a giant bunch of bananas on the other. We enjoyed another Eagle Boys Pizza (this time without the capsicum, thank you) and are settling in for a relaxing evening. We should be getting into the Sydney area mid-day Thursday. Tomorrow is another day in the beautiful New South Wales countryside.