We planned a day in the city today to do some sightseeing and then later in day meet our daughter for an early dinner.

We decided on a Brisbane City Hall visit and perhaps a trip up the clock tower.
Tours do not start until mid-morning, so we had a relaxed start to the day.

We arrived in town just before 10:00 hoping to do a clock tower tour, but sadly they were full until much later in the day. We may try another day if we have time. We did have a walk through the Museum of Brisbane on the third floor. When we had finished browsing the exhibits at the museum, we went downstairs again and saw a group who were just starting a tour, we asked if we could tag along.

The tour was very interesting and there were a couple of funny stories along the way.
We all laughed about how politics has not changed much when we were told that the building took 40 years for council to make up its mind to actually build the thing. Then, because it took so long, they just wanted it done and of course, the budget blew out dramatically. What was supposed to be a 250,000-pound project ( when the average house cost 300 pounds to build) ended up costing just shy of 1 MILLION pounds !!

Another story was of the metal sculpture on the top of the clock tower.
In the original plans of the City Hall, there were a few sculptures planned than were not included as they just did not have the money for them. To this day there are sculptures missing from above the side entrance doors.

A planned sculpture for the top of the clocktower was also out of the budget, but the council really wanted “something” there to finish the tower.

They decided, that instead of commissioning an outside artist, they would look within and find someone who was employed by council already. This meant they did not have to pay anymore than materials.

They settled on “Fred – the plumber” to create something (because plumbers are great artists 🙂 ) Fred was given 5 Pounds to complete the work. This was about the equivalent of one week’s salary for him at the time.

Fred thought he would keep the 5 pounds and set off to see what he had lying around. He found two large basket frames which we welded together to create a sphere. He found an old lamp post which he placed within the sphere. Visiting a scrap metal yard he found a slightly bent bedframe that he could use and finally the small sphere at the top of the piece is the ball from a toilet cistern!! And that is the story of the “Metal Lattice Work” that finishes the clock tower.

After the tour, we had a look into the Shingle Inn that has been rebuilt on the ground floor. We have both been to both the original cafe in Edward St and the re-creation in City Hall, but is always nice to have a look.

I decided that in keeping with the theme of “historic Brisbane” we would take a short walk to MacArthur Chambers to see the Douglas MacArthur Museum. We have not been there, so I thought it would be interesting. When we go there, there was a sign announcing that it was closed until the end of January 🙁

It was getting close to lunchtime, so I had a look at the Entertainment Book app on my phone to see what was nearby. We discovered that we were just a few doors away from Jamie Oliver’s restaurant “Jamie’s Italian”.

We had a delicious meal of fresh pasta before making our way back to the Mantra for a quiet afternoon.

We had a relaxing afternoon before heading to the river to catch the City Cat up to RiverSide where we were meeting our daughter for dinner at The Riverbar.

After a big lunch, we chose a lighter dinner and had a nice time chatting.
Before long it was time to board the City Cat back to Southbank and fall into bed.

Waiting for the ferry, we took in the views of Brisbane’s Storey Bridge lit up in blue. Further up the river, we noticed that even the cranes on the new constructions sites were also lit up to make an almost pretty display.