Making ourselves at home. Brisbane, Australia

May 12, 2010 at 7:18 am 3 comments

Brisbane is a really nice city. It’s clean, friendly, interesting, well-planned and just about the perfect size – big enough to keep you on your toes but not so big that it loses that familiar, smiley Aussie charm. Simply put, it’s the kind of place where you could easily imagine yourself finding a good job and settling down for a few years. It was in the spirit of giving the city a fair hearing then (and absolutely not because we were lazy, tight-fisted and tired) that we decided to bed down and make ourselves at home rather than rush around between galleries and zoos.

That said, I admit that a big part of our new slow-paced style had to do with our fantastic hosts Marie and Paul. As old friends of Gary’s they had offered to put us up and supply us with comfy sleeping arrangements, food, laundry, conversation and as much television as we could handle free of charge (Aussie TV is horribly American by the way – all informercials, constant ad breaks and vaguely embarrassing pharmaceutical ads, although Masterchef is pretty awesome). With a welcome as sincere and warm as theirs, it would have been rude not to just nestle in and pretend we were back in Dublin for a few duvet days.

We did manage to break out of our toasty nest every now and then though and what we found outside the apartment was just as pleasing. Across the city Brisbane has that lovely mix of shiny new architecture and grand old colonial buildings that make Australian cities so appealing. The highlight however is undoubtedly South Bank. Tucked into a curve in the river, South Bank is where Brisbanites come to play, be it an afternoon spent sunbathing by the sandy freshwater lagoon or a sneaky glass of wine over lunch in an outdoor cafe. Here museums cut dramatic shapes, the ferris wheel sparkles in the sun and the walkways are lined with scented purple flowers weaving their way across metal arches. An exhibition beside the university invites people to leave CDs that they no longer want and browse existing offerings for anything that tickles their fancy while across the river, a farmer’s market is thronged with office workers sampling local cheeses, home-cooked brownies and fresh fruit.

The real highlight of Brisbane was meeting up with old friends. Marie and Paul of course but also Christian, Kelly and Tanya (we missed Cameron) the fantastic bunch of Aussies we met all the way back in Beijing. You may remember the Aussies from such popular Finnish radio stations as K2lka6mtta Sjskb8unat (or something like that) where we co-broadcasted although they are better known for the destruction of property in Wanfujing Youth Hostel where every doodle on the wall – man, woman or child – and every foozball player on the table was far better endowed after Kelly and her magic marker had finished their work. Christian is solely responsible for 90% of our blog views although that map he has on the wall with our faces on it is just plain creepy and those tshirts he had printed. Well….

Anyway strange tendencies aside, Kelly and Christian had generously offered us a barbeque and a bed during our stay in Brisbane so naturally we leaped on it with foaming mouths and had a lovely night downing beers, trading stories, reminiscing and giggling as their dog Doug the pug panted like Gary Glitter at a Christening. Looking forward to seeing them and Tanya when they finally make their way to Ireland.

Before that though, we and our well-fed bellies would have to bid Brisbane a fond farewell and trade in our air conditioned, duvet-wrapped beds for a freezing cold tent in Byron Bay where we would have to turkey-proof our food. Oh goody!

There are more pictures from Brisbane available in the gallery

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Entry filed under: Travel. Tags: , , , , .

There’s sand in my bellybutton. Fraser Island, Australia Sand, Sea and Spliffs. Byron Bay, Australia

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. unstranger  |  May 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I’ve a son emigrating to Brisbane in Oz. He’s leaving here today.

    Reply
    • 2. yearlongbreakup  |  May 14, 2010 at 12:16 am

      He’ll love it! My friends emigrated from Ireland to Brisbane a couple of years ago and the said it’s a REALLY nice place to live. That was the impression we got in our short time there too!

      Reply
  • 3. unstranger  |  May 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I can just about see that fecker Glitter at the christening!

    Reply

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