Once a month I like to escape the winding staircases of QUT, the sounds of pounding feet on concrete and head into sheer silence.
My journey begins when I step onto the QUT express bus, running between both campuses in Brisbane City. Once getting to my secret destination I simply hop off the bus, walk a couple of meters and am greeted with a pair of gates.Often resisting and yet never quite being able to pull it off completely; I wrap my hands around the cool iron wrought and stare into the surrounding areas that roll, spin and collide for as far as the eye can see.
After nearly pressing my face against the iron to see better, I resort to releasing it. Ignoring the person who has been watching me from a distance, I pull out my camera and start blogging My Little Brisbane Getaway.Knowing my little getaway couldn’t officially start without a snap of me walking into the garden, I can’t find a poor soul whose willing to take a few minutes for a quick snap. Reluctantly after finding no one, I head on between those towering pillars and find myself surrounded by the tranquility, peacefulness and the wonders of what I’ll discover.
Strolling for 10 or so minutes while pausing here and there to breathe in the scent of flowers and watch ducks floating along to their own beat; I come across a lady calmly sitting amongst the long blades of green grass.There is something about her that screams ‘cool, calm and very collected’ with a bit of a city chic twist. But like most of the people I watch, there is something else.
This particular lady has an air about her that makes you want to sit down next to her (if you aren’t allergic to grass like yours truly) and simply sit there in silence.
Just taking in the views of people strolling, the gym junkies doing their 10K marathon during their lunch break and the sound of children playing in the distant.
In other words, she is simply majestic.Having left the lady to her calm silence, I make my way along the hexagon pathway that very much reminds me of the inner workings of a bee hive.
Before coming to a complete stop, I watch in fascination as a council man works away. Tendering to the young saplings that are being nurtured as fall makes its way known.
Who in return, equally watches me in fascination as I stop every now and then to take multiples of photos, stroke leaves on trees (those photographed) or simply look at how incredibly tall these trees were.With curiosity getting the better hold of me, I step further into the over-leaning branches that are encased in tumbling vines, green leaves and birds chirping away.
It’s in this moment, I feel like I’ve gone from scrambling workings of the city to a hidden oasis that houses, breathes and lives as a rainforest.
All the while being located within the heart of Brisbane City.The only thing that brings me back to reality for a couple of seconds is seeing an Ibis (bird pictured) greedily staring at what’s in my hands.
Or it may have possibly been the pile of bird poo lying scattered amongst fallen leaves at the bottom of the tree. But by this time, I’ve grown suspicious of the Ibis, who is now making its way slowly over to me under the disguise of ‘looking for food’.
Leaving said Ibis to tend to its own, I set off toward the entrance of the Botanical Gardens before making my way alongside the Brisbane River.Having grown tired of muddy brown water, boats bobbing up and down in the water and being knocked by marathon joggers; I decide to head further into the garden.
With a history stemming back to 1825, the Botanic Gardens was originally planted by convicts for food crops in which was used to feed the prison colony. However for the days of the 21st century, the gardens includes a multitude of ancient trees and many exotic species.
Like any true botanist at heart, it’s not just the history that has me returning each month. Instead, the seasonal flowers are one of the many reasons as to why I escape.Although a little wilted due to it being the hottest part of the day, I snap a couple of more shots before making my way over to the large pond.
Not seeing any ducks wadding their way through the water and dodging another Ibis attack on the front, I discover where the ducks have gone.
And it wasn’t certainly North for winter.Sitting on the other side of the pond was a man, who’d spread his business jacket out across the back of the bench and was feeding the ducks a part of his sandwhich.
I stand there completely engrossed in the image before noticing what the women in the background is doing. Always being one to take a moment or two to people watch, I watch as she picks up her speed before launching herself into the arms of a nicely dressed business man (not pictured).
Having grown uncomfortable for it felt like I was peering at them under a microscope, I left the duck man feeding the ducks his crumbs and the romantic couple to their planned picnic.
Strolling around the park once again, I pause to sit on a bench under a swaying brunch of leaves and proceed to call Lois.
Shortly after telling Lois about the chicken eating woman on the train, curiosity once again gets the hold of me and I follow yet again another hexagon pathway. It was in this moment, a random movement catches my attention and when investigating from a far off distance, I spot a couple (not pictured for obvious reasons) getting frisky in the garden bushes.
Applauding them secretly in my head for being brave or stupid, my attention and camera lens capture the moment a couple stroll through the line of trees. Only to discover when looking at the photo, the Ibis had photobombed the picture.With curiousity on my side, I follow the couple’s footsteps and see where the bark pathway between the tall and silent trees take me. All the while praying that my lace shoes won’t get stained from the mud lurking under the mulch.
After a quick detour and getting back on the pathway, I soon discover what lays beyond the end of the bark and concreted pathway.
A rather weird and slightly grotesque piece of art.This piece of art saw me standing there and tilt my head from left to right, right to left and back to front. All before throwing my hands up in the air and exclaiming, ‘what is art is art’.
Without a backward glance or any other given thought about what I’ve seen, I continue walking the hexagon pathway before coming across sandstone stairs.Walking up these stairs and taking in the rough edges from having seen, felt and experienced years of weather and walking feet, I’ve reached foreign grounds.
Foreign grounds that no longer reside within the wrought iron fence and in amongst the twinning rainforest leaves and quacking of ducks. Instead, my short lived Little Brisbane Getaway to the center of Brisbane and The Botanical Gardens comes to an end.
With a quick glance down at the time and lingering picture of The Botanical Gardens, I make a mad dash but to the QUT bus so I can attend my hour long tutorial. As the bus pulls away from the curb, I glance out the window and ponder as to when our next visit shall be.
I just hope that our adventures won’t be spaced out too far and between one another.
Until next time,