Monday, November 26, 2007

The Gold Coast....Brisbane, Australia

This was the trip that we were offered as " compensation" of or in lieu of our pre-booked China tour that turned into a complete fiasco. We could have turned down the offer but then our intention of taking a much needed break from our exhausting work regime would have slipped away into oblivion. It was our decisive ok that landed us Gold Coast, Brisbane.

The airport is about 20 km to the CBD. And we had a 70 km stretch of the Gold Coast to explore before us either from our nearby Chevron Hotel or in our chauffeured limosine. We visited several beaches including Surfers Paradise about 45 minutes south of Brisbane. After dinner, we took a relaxing stroll along the beach filled with people out to enjoy the sea breeze, the sounds and happenings at the sea front. We came upon this young man strumming his guitar and singing some familiar Peter,Paul and Mary folk songs. We stopped and listened to him. Soon, hearing the familiar tunes we joined him in singing and clapping. He was most happy, surprised and encouraged that we knew the songs. Then he asked me, " Do you play the guitar too? " When I said I certainly do, he handed me his guitar and requested me to play anything.
I gave him my rendition of the ever popular" House Of The Rising Sun ". He asked for more as he was much impressed. Soon, a few other beachcombers came by too. And I obliged them with a couple more songs....all of us strangers in the night....joined by the sweet sounds of music!
Memories are made of these!
During our stay there we visited quite a few not to be missed highlights.
The GINGER FACTORY...was one.
Located at 50, Pioneer Road, has a 60 year history. Set amidst beautiful gardens full of exotic gingers and heliconias, ponds, lush forests, train rides, walkways, the entry is free.
We went into Gingertown and was blown away by the huge varieties of ginger products available. We tasted many....that were so, so good. But the most tasty of all were those tangy cubes and pieces of the rhizomes that fascinated even Confucius in the ancient past. It looked a little light brownish and a little translucent, coated with sugar. We had never tasted anything like that before or since. No choice...this was a must buy item. We bought a prodigious amount.
We also visited the Big Pineapple located at Nambour, Connection Road, Woombye.
It was a fascinating factory tour too. We did not realise how important the fruit was to the Sunshine Coast.

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