Archive for March, 2012

Snapshots – Friends, food and others

March 31, 2012

March snapshots. Brisbane with magpies, friends visiting, Sunnybank, West End Market, a lot of good food, country music and a short visit to Sydney. And no politics…


Les images de mars. Brisbane avec les magpies, des visites d’amis, beaucoup de bonne bouffe, du country et une courte incursion à Sydney. Et pas de politique…


Short visit to Sydney

Enjoying lunch at Cowper Wharf, oysters and bubbly /huîtres et petite coupe

The Domain Park

Le  parc du Domaine est pour le plaisir de tous. Prière de marcher sur l’herbe. Nous vous invitons également à embrasser les arbres, à pique-niquer sur l’herbe et à parler aux oiseaux – mais s.v.p. ne pas les nourrir.

“Almost Once”, Brett Whiteley                     photo Wanda Michalak

getting slushed in the pub /on boit des verres au pub

Paddington, Oxford Street

Paddington, Oxford Street – photo pour Mado

in the ¨camera¨  


Opening exhibition Polish artists at Brisbane Griffith University 

Wanda with Polish Embassador to Australia

Vernissage d’une exposition d’artistes polonais

Marek, Chris, Paul and Gabriel


Gastronomic Dinner at Clovely 

With Renata and Marek and two friends of theirs

Renata, Marek and Matt, Renata’s son, in the background in the kitchen 

Celebrating Marek’s 50th birthday

Preparing ourselves for the wine tasting / On se prépare pour la dégustation du vin 

 l’équipe cuisine en pleine action /chief cook on the right

magret de canard – excellent

…et le fromage pour la fin

Matt l’apprenti cuistot, ¨well done Matt”

for more information see

Magpies visiting

Baby looking for food                               photo Wanda Michalak

Father birdie sunbathing on the balcony          photo Wanda Michalak

What do you want                                  photo Wanda Michalak


Graeme passing by

Graeme passing by – on a short business trip to Australia, coming from New Zealand


Iolanta and Tien visiting

Iola, friend of Wanda, visiting from Melbourne. They had not seen each other since more than 20 years. Brisbane in the back ground

Tien and Jolanta at the chinese restaurant

This was an excellent dinner. The restaurant was recommended by my colleague Jarod Lu. Tien selected the meal which included lobster and a wonderful tofu among other “delicatessen”.

Restaurant highly recommended if you are in Brisbane. The directions are as follow. Red Chilli Sichuan, 42/342 McCullough St., Sunnybank.


West End Market

Patricia making and selling paëlla on the West End Market. She stands there every Saturday. If you are hungry and you like Spanish food, that’s the place where to be



Dinner at the Santos family place

Charliany, Francisco, Basia, Wanda, Iola, Chris, Paul, Tien

Great dinner, congratulations Charliany…

…and we really enjoyed the Brazilian music


Tasmanian oysters, the best / huîtres de Tasmanie, les meilleures


Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in concert

They are from Texas. They are apparently the King and the Queen of country music. They performed three nights in a row in a sold out Brisbane Entertainment Center, which is a huge venue. Country music is very popular in Queensland.

   Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

We went there not knowing what to expect. The concert turned out to be fantastic. The public new all the songs by heart and we had never heard any of them. We felt like aliens.

Faith Hill

On top of it we were on the third row, in the middle of the action. I am not really a fan of country music but I must admit I really enjoyed. Great music, friendly and simple people.

Tim McGraw

Joyful dinner at Birkalla Street

March 25, 2012


Joyeux repas à Birkalla Street

Anna, Hanny, Pawel, Christine, Basia, Patricia, Wanda, Chris, Renata, Murka, Marek   

Same, with me instead of Chris

Renata, Anna, Wanda, Murka and Basia


Jean-Francois and Chris

Renata and Paul

Going home

Storm on Cooloola Coast

March 18, 2012


Stretching for 50km between Rainbow Beach and Noosa, the Cooloola Coast is a long, remote strip of sandy beach. We drove along the beach with our 4WD. The tide was coming up but we still had enough time to go.

Our friend Jean-Francois was with us. We met Hanny, Christine and Anna in Noosa.


La Côte de Cooloola s’étend sur 50 kilomètres entre Rainbow Beach et Noosa, environ 150 km au nord de Brisbane. C’est une longue langue de plage sablonneuse que nous avons parcourue avec notre 4×4. La marée montait mais nous avions encore juste le temps pour passer.

Notre ami Jean-Francois nous accompagnait.  Nous retrouvâmes Hanny, Christine et Anna  à Noosa.

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach, with Bruce

The drive along the coast from Rainbow Beach to Noosa takes approximately one hour

Le trajet de Rainbow Beach à Noosa par la côte prend environ une heure

Narrowest section, just on time before the tight – Partie la plus étroite, juste à temps avant la marée

40 Miles Beach, Double Island Point on the back 

Heavy clouds on the horizon – de lourds nuages se pointent à l’horizon

Storm front ahead of us – front d’orage devant nous

Impressive, looks like an atomic mushroom – Impressionant, on dirait un champignon atomique

behind us – derrière nous

We get closer… – On s’approche…

…and closer… – …toujours plus…

…and closer – …et encore plus

under the cloud, into the storm – sous le nuage, dans l’orage

almost no visiblity – pratiquement pas de visibilité

The temperature suddenly dropped and there was a lot of rain. Fortunately there was not too much wind and no big waves, what I was fearing. The storm came from the inland and was heading to the sea.

windscreen /parebrise

La température diminua soudainement et il y eut beaucoup de pluie. Heureusement le vent n’était pas très fort et il n’y eut pas de grosses vagues, ce que je craignais. La tempête venait de l’intérieur du pays et se dirigeait vers la mer.

storm aftermath – les effets de la tempête

retour à des eaux plus calmes /back to quite waters

 We made it safely to Noosa. We heard the following day that this had been the worst storm in the region since five years.

Nous sommes arrivés sains et sauf à Noosa. Nous apprîmes par la suite que ce fut la pire tempête dans la région depuis 5 ans

 All above photos are from Jean-Francois  – les photos ci-dessus sont toutes de Jean-Francois



Noosa – Hanny, Christine, Paul, Wanda, Jean-Francois, Anna

Christine, Paul, Hanny and Anna

Mouthing of the Noosa River and Cooloola Coast- embouchure de la rivière Noosa et côte Cooloola

Anna and her wounded leg – Anna et sa jambe blessée

Echidna signage

L’echidna est une sorte de porc-epic spécifique à l’Australie. On en Trouve également une variété en Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée

Nuit et brouillard – photo Wanda Michalak

Two divas and the Glasshouse Mountains

Town of 1770 and Lady Musgrave Island

March 4, 2012


A four day trip by car to Town of Seventeen Seventy together with friends. This small settlement is located on the Capricorn Coast, some 500 km North of Brisbane. Our objective was to sail from there to Lady Musgrave Island, the most southerly part of the Great Bareer Reef.

Friends included Anna from Begur (former Anna from Argentina) – and Jean-Francois (aka Jones) from Lausanne. Hanny, another old friend of ours, joined us by plane, coming from Gold Coast.

On the road – between Gimpy and Town of 1770 

typical Queensland coastal hinterland landscape 

Paul and “Bruce”, the Landrover

                                                                                                        photo JF

  Anna, Wanda and Jean-Francois                                                                   

Cooling down with water melon / une pastèque pour couper la soif

Biggenden roadhouse filling station / station service

hot foot – pied chaud

                                                                                                                                 photo Anna

two crazy ladies


City of 1770

the beach / la plage

amazing sky / ciel fascinant

JF, Wanda, Anna, Paul – photo Hanny

Paul and Hanny

Town of 1770, the bay / la baie

Paul, Hanny, Wanda, JF – in our favorite restaurant (the only one open) / dans notre restaurant favori (le seul ouvert)

le lieutenant James Cook jetta l’ancre en cet endroit le 24 mai 1770


Deepwater National Park

Flat Rock

Flat Rock


middle rock

Paul and Wanda

Attention, la police et les voleurs patrouillent dans cette zone. Ne laissez pas d’oblets de valeur dans votre vehicule


Lady Musgrave Island

Lady Musgrave is a tiny 15-hectare island approx 50 km Noth-East of Town of 10 and sits on the western rim of a stunning turquoise blue reef lagoon. A squeaky, white-sand beach fringes a dense canopy of pisonia forest which brims with roosting bird life. Birds nest from October to April while green turtles nest from November to February. The entire island is an uninhabited national park.

Lady Musgrave Island

the lagoon / la lagune  


Hanny,Wanda, Anna, JF

Paul, Wanda, Anna, JF

Lady Musgrave Island and lagoon

bleu turquoise

turtle, taking a breath of air / tortue de mer, prenant une bouffee d’airwhite sand /sable blanc


                                            sea cucumber / concombre de mer

departing / le depart

Anna unfortunately wounded her leg by slipping on the coral rock on the beach and we had to shorten the excursion. Luckily the wound appeared to be only superficial, although it stll required 13 stitches.

This incident made us miss the snorkling. We will have to come back..


Anna s’est malencontreusement blessee a la jambe en glissant sur le corail sur la plage. Cela nous a oblige a racourcir la sortie. Heureusement la blessure s’est averee etre superficielle, mais cela lui a quand meme valu 13 points de suture. 

Cet incident nous a fait manquer la plongee. Il nous faudra revenir…

North Stradbroke Island revisited

March 3, 2012


A week end on North Strabroke Island together with our friend Anna from Begur

Un week sur l’île de North Stradbroke avec notre amie Anna de Begur

Wanda and Anna

North Stradbroke Island is one of the four islands which separate Moreton Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It is a subtropical sand island close to Brisbane that feels a world away from the mainland.

Affectionately referred to as Straddie by the locals, the island is mostly undeveloped but has a few small settlements popular with southeast Queenslanders seeking a weekend getaway.

The island is approximately 35 km long and 10 km wide, which makes it the second largest sand island in the world, after Fraser Island.

There is a significant sand mining activity going on in a large part of the island and there is a concern that, if not controlled, the sand winning activity might affect the future of the island in it’s whole. There are currently discussions underway between the Queensland government and the mining industry regarding the extension of the sand winning concessions. Hopefully a compromise agreable to all parties will be met.

Frenchman Beach

North Stradbroke est une des quatre îles qui sèparent Moreton Bay de l’Océan Pacifique.C’est une île subtropicale proche de Brisbane mais qui donne l’impression d’être très éloignée, tellement elle est différente. L’accès se fait par ferry.

Les locaux nomment l’île affectueusement Straddie. L’île n’est pas très développée toursitiquement, mais il y a quelques restaurants ainsi que des maisons de vacances  qui sont assez populaires le week end.

L’île fait approximativement  35 km de long et 10 de large, ce qui en fait la seconde plus grande île de sable au monde, après Fraser Island.

L’extraction de sable est une activité minière importante dans une grand partie de l’île. Les indigènes sont inquiétés par ces activités qui risquent d’affecter à terme le future de l’île. Des négotiations sont actuellement en cours entre le gouvernement et l’industrie minière et relatives à l’extension des concessions minières. Dévelopment à suivre avec vigilance en espérant qu’un compromis agréable à toute les parties pourra être trouvé.

North Gorge Headlands, Wanda and Paul

Wanda la guapa

Frenchman Beach – Anna

Anna having a smoke

Frenchman Beach, Wanda and Paul

 Kaboora (Blue Lake / Lac Bleu) 


Main Beach 


Jumping on the Beach

jumping #1

jumping #2

jumping #3  (half jump really)

jumping #4 – Anna taking off