Lets take this gig global!!
well, I know its only been a day or two since my last update but I have been so busy I thought i'd slap an update on before I forget most of it. So I arrived Friday lunch time and after an internet session I kinda just wanted to chill and sleep but didnt want to waste an arvo so instead took a stroll into town and to the Queen St Mall which is in the centre of the CBD and the heart of the shopping here in Brissie. Had a lengthy look around (mostly in HMV!) but resisted any purchases and just took it all in really. Its good to try and get your bearings on your first day. In a strange way it was nice to be back in a city with lots of stuff going on and my first impressions were pretty good. I then popped to the supermarket to stock up on supplies for the next few days then finally chilled at the hostel, checked out some live music in the (awesome) bar downstairs and then hit the sack. An early one at 9:30pm!!! After a stonking sleep I woke up to clear blue skies so was up and out asap. First stop was the Brisbane City Hall, an impressive classical style building. Strolling back through the CBD area I reached the Former Treasury Building which is now a casino! then passed by the Land Admin. building right next door, both old renaissance style affairs and equally impressive in statuer. Next I headed south over the Victoria Bridge to the beautiful south Parklands. I was gonna hit the museum and Art gallery but decided it was too nicer a day to be stuck inside so cruised the parks instead. Whilst wakling around I noticed that the Performing Arts centre was jammed so went to see what the crack was. Turns out it was the Brisbane round of auditions for the next Australian Idol (pop idol type thing) so was full of nervous teens and wannabe stars. Had a little chuckle at their expense then moved on to the ornate Nepalese pagoda hidden away amongst a small bamboo forest and pond. Next up was the bizarre Pauls Breaka beach, a man made lagoon and beach named after a Queensland milkshake apparently! The locals call it the 'street beach' and I thought it was quality. Really well made and it strangely blended in nicely with the river and shops beyond. So much so that I treated myself to an ice-cream and whipped the top off to catch some rays for 45. After that I strolled through the Stanley St plaza and perused the weekend market before heading back to the city via the new Goodwill bridge with wonderful views of the river and city skyline. That leads into the Botanical gardens which (just like Sydney and Melbourne) is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Saw tonnes of crazy fauna and flora and relaxed to the weird calls of the birds. Its a bit different to our common pidgeon, some sound more like monkeys than bloody birds!! So after some Attenborough action I wondered passed the old copper-topped Parliament house and then the Mansions, a terrace built in 1890 which still looks as good today as Im sure it did when it was first erected. Winding down cafe alley (Elizabeth st.) I finished up at St. Stephens Cathedral and its little brother, the chapel next door (the oldest church in Brisbane built in 1850!). I took a breather at the ANZAC memorial and watched the wild Ibis go about their business before heading back for lunch. After a quick sanger I caught the bus upto the Mt Coot-Tha reserve and its famous look out point. Like our road trips in Melbourne, it was great to drive through the Ozzie suburbia and escape the city. You get a real taste of the real Australia and the houses and streets are so sporadic from one wooden shack to a manor house stylee fabrication of wood next door! Quality! Once up at the look out I was totally taken away with the view. Trust me, I've seen some pretty immense views on this trip so far but this one takes the biscuit anyday of the week. Completely spectacular! On a clear day such as ours you can clearly see the whole city skyline, the surrounding plains, the meandering Brisbane river and all the way over to Moreton Bay a full 45 km away!! How sweet is that hey! A definate 'must do' for anyone heading here. Once I finally caught my breath back I decided to take the 2km bush walk upto the JC Slaughter Falls and check out the authentic Aboriginal art. After a pretty sweaty walk, I was a little disappointed to see that the falls had dried up so it was just a pile of rocks!!! oh well you cant win 'em all I guess! The Aboriginal Art trail was ok tho and it was fun to be out in the outback all by myself on little trails and that. Hiked back to the lookout to take in THAT view one last time then got teh bus back down to the city. Apres dinner I took the night City Cat along the river to check out the city at dusk and then wandered out to the Greek Piriyini festival and got there just as it seemed to be finishing so caught the gigantic fireworks display which was cool. Took a little stroll along the riverbank back towards the hostel before indulging in a few beers at the bar which I think I fully deserved after walking about 15km that day!!! Met a few friendly faces from Surfers so got chagtting to them and eventually hit the sack completey shattered after a pretty busy day! So yeah, Im not sure if it cos the weather is so nice but I'm really liking Brissie so far. The one thing that stands out is its Culture. Sure in some parts you may have to look a little closer to see it but generally it oozes out of every corner. From the Italian renaissance Land building to colonial Parliament house to classical City Hall to the Art deco cinema and the ultra modern skyscrapers of today. Its a great place to stroll around and just look up taking all the little details in. Also, sydneys got its harbour and Melbourne its rugged coast but Brisbanes got its river. It meanders right through its heart and adds another dimension to the landscape. So as you can probs tell, Im having a great time here. The hostel is pretty cool and my roommates are hilariuos and the city is, well, immense!! Apologise if this is a long one but Ive ben busy busy busy!!! I'll keep you posted on my next few days. Laters, dan