Second Stop: Brisbane

Next stop is Brisbane, capital of Queensland.

My favourite spot in Brisbane is South Bank.  There are lots of places to eat and drink.  There is also the South Bank markets which are full of crafty things, jewelry, clothes and interesting things.

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There is also a city beach with swimming facilities which is fab.  If you follow the paths  from the river front, you can walk through some nice nature areas and reach the Pavilion which is very pretty and tranquil.

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We stayed in Kangaroo Point and the City Hopper ferry stops near here which makes it a great spot to stay if you are looking for somewhere convenient.  The City Hopper ferry is the little red ferry, it is slower that the city cats, but it is free!

If you are looking for activities I would recommend the GOMA but remember nothing is open on Good Friday or the Easter weekend.  My favourite, however, is The Brisbane Museum especially the dinosaur and nature sections.

A special treat for Mr Elf, we go to The Gabba to is the Brisbane Lions play.  Its a great atmosphere and even if you only have a limited grasp on the rules, or no idea what is happening, I would still recommend going to see a match if you get the chance.  There are food trucks, drinks and everyone is having a good time…even the Lions’ supporters!

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Venommmm….

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Venom

We’re off to one of my favorite places, The Natural History Museum!  This time we are going to see the new Venom exhibition.

First of all, book tickets, the queue is something else entirely.  The size of it would strike fear in to the heart of even the most dedicated museum lover.  Luckily we have booked tickets, so with rather smug smiles we sidle past the massive line and straight in.

The exhibition, is beautifully put together, with lots of information and specimens as well as real life survival stories.  We spend a wonderfully morbid hour and a half perusing the fangs and barbs of snakes, jellyfish, spiders and all sorts of insects.

Get in before it closes, if you are a member it is free!

click here

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Elf in Greenwich

Greenwich has a lot to offer for a day out and is a great option any time of the year.

Head out of the tube and head towards to Cutty Sark… the boat you can see to your leftimag2264.  You can go in to this exhibition and learn all about the history of the tea clippers which were to fastest boats of their time.   You can also walk underneath the ship and fully appreciate its engineering.

Next head through the gates and out into the park that sits behind the Cutty Sark.  If you follow the paths you will end up amongst the buildings of the University of Greenwich.  These are some of the most beautiful buildings in London.  Really wonderful.

Head along The Avenue which will lead you up to the Observatory.  There are usually different exhibitions at the Observatory and of course the chance to stand on the Meridian line.  The view from here is beautiful and even on a cloudy day, worth the steep climb to the top.

imag2278My next favourite thing to do in Greenwich is the Maritime Museum.  Its free to go in to the main exhibitions and wander through the history of the maritime industry of London and the UK.  It’s a lovely labyrinth of galleries and exhibitions.

The café in the museum does some yummy cakes and pastries as well, just to round of the trip.

If you fancy something more substantial walk back into Greenwich towards the tube station and you will come across the food markets.  Lots of different things to eat and enjoy.

Singing…ish Elf

Ooo!  We’ve reached a milestone here at Elves About.  This is our 100th blog.  To celebrate here is something just for fun.

Here is a little film of the wonderful singing of the Natural History Museum lates team! Forgive the terrible camera work, I was laughing and trying to sing, multitasking…

Hope you enjoy!

 

Natural History Museum – Elf out late!

London is lucky to have some of the best museums and art galleries in the world.  One of my particular favourites is the Natural History Museum.  A new series of Museum lates has started, these happen at lots of the London Museums and there are different themes and exhibitions to attend.  This series at the Natural History Museum is “Dino Snores”.  we book ourselves in and head off to the museum after dark.

As we arrive we are assigned houses (I end up in Dino House) and head into the museum.  There is music playing, food and drink available, activities…and no children.  Now I’m very much aware that I will sound a grumpy miser for saying this, but, it’s absolutely brilliant without the kids!  I mean there are no tantrums, no trying to look sensible, no lines of people, no school groups taking up whole galleries… Nothing to stop us adults from being kids!

We take full advantage of the big kid atmosphere and we throw ourselves 100% into the face painting and mask making. imag2462

We start by watching the “Rocks The House” show with the messy experiments and fun camera work.  Next up is a stroll through the dinosaur exhibitions.  imag2464We make dinosaur themed t-shirts.

Our group takes part in the egg and spoon race with a little too much competitive spirit we skate down the hall, egg and spoon in hand and big fluffy dino slippers on.  It’s a photo finish and our friends in Panda House win the house points.

Next, we head into the observatory which has been blown up in the corals exhibition room.  It is magical, we sit on the floor and watch the milky way move across the ceiling above us.  The presenter is fantastic.  This is a definite highlight.imag2473

We assemble at the exit and sing a roaring chorus of “Circle of Life”.  This is joy affirming!

We also have tickets to the silent disco and spend the rest of the night dancing away in the museum to three great DJs.

Get yourself tickets to the next one.  One of my favourite nights out in a long time and a great opportunity to be a big kid.

More information here Dino Snores

Elf’s tip – cheaper tickets are available on some of the voucher sites. 

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More Munich

Munich has lots to offer for all sorts of travellers, you can make a trip whatever you want.  There are also plenty of options for accommodation, hostels, luxury hotels, mid-range hotels and pensions.  What we weren’t able to find were any Airbnb options that we liked although they might be fine depending on the number of your group.  Below we have chosen some of the things we enjoyed the most during our time in Munich.

For the outdoor person

Munich has a lot to offer and if you are an active and outdoor sort of person I recommend joining a free walking tour.  Most of the hostels are affiliated with a tour which will pick you up from the front door.  We walked with Sandeman’s free walking tour which started at Marienplatz, we walked for a good 2 hours though the different areas of central Munich, history, tales, culture and language all featured on the tour.  We do love a free walking tour (the concept, in case you aren’t familiar is that you tip what you think its worth at the end of the tour, this is how the guide is paid) and this was no exception.  Our guide was brilliant and pointed out lots of good places to eat as well as a few sites to see as well.

Sandeman’s tour information:

http://www.neweuropetours.eu/Munich/en/home?date=14/01/2017&tour=552

For the history person

Munich has looaaaaddddsss of museums.  There is a museum of hunting and fishing! We recommend the Municipal Museum of Munich (Muenchner Stadtmuseum).  The museum has changing guest exhibitions we chose to just see the permanent exhibitions the ticket cost 4 euros (2 euros if you have a student card – well worth taking around with you!) the ticket entities you entrance to ‘Typically Munich’ and an exhibition about the history of Munich as the capital of the Nazi movement.

The ‘Typically Munich’ exhibition stretches over several floors and explains how Munich was settled and grew as well as the culture of Bavaria.  It’s a wonderful exhibition and lots of information about the city and its people.

The exhibition about Munich’s darker past is also worth seeing.  Its illuminating and informative with lots of information available.  It is, in our current political climate in the western world especially worth viewing.

Elf’s tip – hold on to your ticket it gives you 50% of entrance to some of the other museums.

More information on Munich’s museums here:

http://museen-in-muenchen.de/en/home/visitorservices/info-neu-2014/combination-tickets/

For the arty person

There are three main art galleries in Munich all situated close to each other, the Neue Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne and Alte Pinakothek.  You can get a combination ticket to all three which is the cheapest way to see them all.

We head in to the New Pinakothek, the gallery is beautifully laid out, we pass though rooms of wonderful paintings.  I linger in the rooms filled with Van Gogh, Monet and Manet.  There is even a beautiful and unusual Degas that does not feature a ballet dancer.  We spend several hours lingering in front bits of history and I thoroughly enjoy the relaxed and mostly empty gallery.

On this same link is information about the combination tickets:

http://museen-in-muenchen.de/en/home/visitorservices/info-neu-2014/combination-tickets/


Elf’s tip:  the audio guides in all the museums and galleries that we visited are free.

Something completely different

If you want to see something crazy, head over to the English Garden and follow the Eisbach which is a small river channel hat runs though the gardens.  Although you are not allowed to swim in the Eisbach you can…. surf!  A manmade wave has been created and we are told that whatever the weather you will find surfers here.  We head in that direction and to be honest given the -2 temperature and snow everywhere, we did not have much hope.  But, fear not the surfers are there is full wetsuits and boots, bright red faces, and amazing skills.  definitely very cool!

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