It was supposed to take 26 hours and 3 flights. However, one of our flights was delayed, and because of the long, long lines at immigration in Brisbane, Australia (over 1000 people!), we missed our connection to Perth. The next flight wasn’t until late in the day, so we ended up having an unexpected day in Brisbane.
So we took a shower in the airport, checked our bags, and took the train into Brisbane for the day. The weather was beautiful, and it turned out to be a great day.
|Brisbane from the Botanical Gardens|
We saw a girls choir singing Christmas carols (it’s strange for us Minnesotans to be celebrating Christmas in the summer!) and then walked around Brisbane's Botanical Gardens, which is a large, beautiful park right on the water. We saw some birds we had never seen before and some cool lizards.
|Girls choir singing Christmas carols|
|Australian White Ibis|
|Australian Water Dragon|
International Date LineHave you heard of the International Date Line? It is an imaginary line that runs in the middle of the Pacific Ocean from the North to the South Pole. The reason it exists is to make time zones work. Let’s go through an example.
|International Date Line|
Image from Universiteit Utrecht at this link
After we travel around the world, through the roughly 24 time zones, and eventually return to Minneapolis, we would have set our clocks back a full day. But that’s not right, because we wouldn’t arrive in Minneapolis a day earlier. Otherwise, we could continue traveling around the world and go back in time.
So, the International Date Line was created as the point where the date is reset. As we traveled across it (we flew across it) we had to move our watches forward one full day – essentially, we skipped a day. Then as we continue our travels westward, we gain back an hour for each time zone. Eventually, when we get back to Minneapolis, we will have gained back the full 24 hours that we skipped when we crossed the date line.
For us, crossing the date line meant that we left Seattle on December 2nd and arrived on December 4th. It was kind of fun to think that we just skipped December 3rd because of the date line.
Our next post will be a video post about Western Australia - watch for it in the next few days!