Sunday, September 03, 2006

River on Fire at Riverfest

Another major festival in Brisbane after the Ekka is Riverfestival. I heard that this festival is to celebrate the Brisbane River. There is long (by Singapore standards) river, which begins in the Bunya Mountains in Moreton Bay and joins the Pacific Ocean, running through Brisbane. My house is situated right along the river and we have enjoyed many a gossipy walk along the river.

The stream of life, Brisbane River.

We're alive!!! ALIVE!!!

Although the Riverfest takes place over a period of time, Riverfire happens only once. (After some time in Australia, you will realise that they like to abbreviate words. So Riverfestival becomes Riverfest, breakfast becomes brekky etc. Maybe someday, Riverfest will become Rivy? :D) Riverfire is the display of fireworks that makes you feel oh so alive and brings the sparklies to the river.

If you want a spectacular view of the brilliance, you have to be early. At 4.45pm, we reached one of the most popular spots along the river, Southbank. Although it was about 2 hours prior to the event, the prime spots right in front of the river were already filled with people in their foldable chairs, having picnics, eating the dogs and drinking the nth cup of coffee, children lying on the ground covered with blankets, giggling and tickling. Dogs, glass, and alcohol are not allowed and a baggage search is conducted at the entrance.

On the outside looking in. :(

I have never been the the Riverfest before and did not know what to expect. I knew there would be fireworks in the evening, but I thought we could walk along and see some exhibits of the river in the earlier days. We didn't catch any. As with the Ekka website, there was also not much mention of the history of the festival. Haiz... I could not impress my friends with my pseudo e-knowledge. :(

Anywho, as we were walking along, 5 jets zoomed past. Woooooooo!!!

These are jets, not birds. Although later, we saw a group of 5-7 birds mimicking the jets. Or is it the other way round? Hmm...

I think this kind of manoeuvres require absolute precision and advanced skills. Imagine one of the jets taking the wrong turn. The crowd have to start running.

We walked along the river and saw some military displays. As I was helping D and P take photos in front of a military vehicle, a soldier (sorry, cannot tell your rank) came over and told us we could get into the vehicle. Stupidly, I handed him our camera and asked him whether he could help us take a photo. He seemed surprised by the request. DUMB DUMB DUMB!!! Because he was goooooooooooood-looking and I think it would be better for him to take photo with us. Zzzzz... Idiot!

I think on the battlefield, I would be the first one to be killed because of my bright red top. Oh well. At least red goes with blood. :P

Shuffling along, we observed long queues for toilets and food. Many families gathered along the river, chilling out. The weather was beautiful, sunny yet cooling, a welcomed break from the rainy days we have been having. I think it drizzled last year during the fireworks display. 1st time lucky for me!

Since there were no spaces nearer to where the fireworks would be lit, we went back to the entrance/exit. The big carton of soy milk looked delicious! We were taking photo with it when out popped R.

R: Wah! You girls go where also take photos!

So we dragged her in to take one with us.

They should have synchronised their actions to fit mine. Bah!

Although there are some stalls set up with food and beverages, I think it's still a good idea to bring your own food. The snaking queues are quite scary.

See the evil Pods? Hot beverages made us feel so loved and lucky when the temperature dropped in the evening.

Our little turf of grass.

Take photo also should sit down. Not in us to parade our butts in front of people sitting behind us. Hahahaha...

The view we got before the works started. The purplish lights are from the Casino.

Too bad I forgot to bring my playing cards along. Never mind! We are three girl guides; we can come up with games! Yes! The best game we played was singing "Edelweiss" and doing the actions that go along with the song. However, there's a twist! At a command of "Switch" or "Alternate", we had to switch or alternate the direction of our actions. Very hard to explain... Hmmm... Maybe someday we can make a video to show you. Maybe...

After terrifying the children sitting on the same tuff of grass with us, taking lots of self-pics, eating the tuna sandwiches made by P, and enjoying our morbid fasination at somebody's hair, we noticed everyone around us starting to stand up. Except for us. D tried very hard to remember the economic term that can explain something like "if everyone stands up, no one would get any benefit; but if everyone sits, we would at least be able to get some view". If you know what I'm talking about, kindly leave a comment and put D out of her misery.

Our "sit down" view.

Cannot get anything sitting down right? So we moved our lazy asses and stood up. With our cameras being more than 2 years old, we couldn't get much too.

Is this good?

Is this better?

How about this?

You can sponsor me a new camera complete with tripod if you want. :D I think videos are the way to go if you want to capture fireworks.

P and D were debating whether they saw hearts or cars. I saw fireworks. +_+

Circles! But still fireworks.

I still think fireworks are better if you see them as a couple. Romantic ah!!! Looking at fireworks is like looking at clouds. You try to see things that aren't really there. "Is that a dog?" "Or an elephant?" Hmmm... I'm still not very fascinated by fireworks. I did wonder how the firework manufacturing companies make money because it is banned in most countries and it is only used during the occasional festival. I guess it must be really, really, really expensive.

The big crowd squeezed onto Victoria Bridge to take public transport in the City that is across the river from Southbank. Our bus-stop is conveniently located just outside the casino and we were just conveniently standing where the door opened when the bus came. Got seats for the long, traffic-jammy ride. Lucky 1st time!

Dinner came to us at The Coffee Club.

Food, food, food!!!

With three girls together, conversation did not halt. We continued into the wee hours of the morning, reminiscing about the bad old days. But that's for another day.

That's Riverfire at the Riverfest for you! Many more events happening along the river over the next one week. Hop over to the website to get more information.

Next time you walk along any river, look into the sky and try to see what shapes the clouds are in. Heart or car? :P