Brisbane!

Brisbane Travel Blog

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Out with Ange and friends

I'm so excited to be here in BrisbaneAng is meeting me at the airport and will take me home with her where I'll stay until the new year.  Then I'll need to decide where I'm going to live and work for the next few months.

I'm surprised by how emotional I am when I get to the airport.  I had a little cry when I arrive both in the airport at the arrivals gate and then when I see Ang.  I’m overwhelmed by a feeling I know, the knowing that I’m in the right place that I’m suppose to be here and something amazing is coming.  I am overwhelmed with seeing someone I know.  Having Ang greet me, seeing Kernel Mustard (Ange’s 1970s VW kombi).  The last time I saw Ange was int he summer on her visit to Canada, but its different here in Aus.

The markets!
  Especially in Brisbane at the airport.  I left this airport a few years ago with a heavy heart, my heels in the airport floor.  Back then I was traveling with my friend Katie and we needed to leave, we were on our way to Vietnam and then to a dream destination, Cambodia!  I had to go!  But I had had such an amazing time in Australia on that trip that it hurt to leave it behind.  So here I was. back in that airport, walking towards my friend, to Kernel, in the country I've felt drawn to return to, to a future.  It was overwhelming. 

For any great celebration (and afterall isn't my arrival a celebration!) you need a little wine so we head to the liquor store, get two bottles and catch up at her place.

Beautiful Brisbane - view from the CityCat
  Have I mentioned that Wolfblass is $7/bottle here?  Lovely!  Ang has set me up in her office on an amazing mattress with real sheets!  Oh I am in heaven after the hostel life I’ve been living.  A double bed with Egyptian cotton sheets.  Sigh!  I may never leave. 

She takes a sicky on the Friday and we chill out together, spend Sat at the markets and I eat the best halomi cheese wrap and have the best spiced espresso coffee of my life!  I also meet her neighbours Floss and Tim, they are so nice!  And I meet Lee next door and her brand new baby.  Ziggy the cat welcomes me with a mow when I arrive!  It makes me miss Gimii (my cat) suddenly.

City Hall
 That Monday I spend sleeping a lot, getting my head around being in Brisbane, my new room.  I do a lot of emailing.  Its weird to be stationary.  I’m used to changing scenery and new spaces.  It’s luxurious and strange to be able to open my back pack, pull everything out and not worry about packing any time soon.  I am in culture shock with all the stuff I can access, a kitchen, a couch, a dining room table, a big bathroom, a tv, books, space, space and more space. 

I take to Brisbane like the tourist I am.  I take the bus and the CityCat (an amazing ferry that takes you along the Brisbane River, stopping at many useful locations throughout the city) everywhere.

Me in the Clock Tower
  I walk the city core, man this place has beautiful architecture.  One of my first stops is City Hall.  Good thing I was visiting today as the entire building is shutting down for repairs next week!  It will be closed for 2 years!  The building was erected between 1920 and 1930 and is going to get some much needed maintenance.  City Hall has a beautiful main entrance and a 92 metre clock tower which you can go up (I did!) in an old elevator.  Awesome!  City Hall has an auditorium that has heard such famous acts as The Rolling Stones.  The Queensland Museum is located within City Hall.  I loved it, I had a great tour guide and learn all about the history of Brisbane, its infrastructure and (my favourite exhibit) Australia's trains.  I’m such a nerd!

I also check out the Old Windmill, built in 1828, which is the oldest building in the state of Queensland.

The Old Windmill
  The windmill was built by convicts and included two sets of millstones to grind the grain; one driving by sails, the other by a convict-powered treadmill.  Wind conditions were poor at the location so it is believed that the majority of the grain was likely ground by the convicts.  When the penal system ended in 1842 as did the traditional use of the windmill.    

I visit the ANZAC Square War Memorial, a centrally located shrine where an enternal flame burns in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp and all of those who have lots their lives for their country.  The Cathedral of St. Stephen was beautiful.  Its located in a lovely grassy open space in the heart of the City.  My visit to Parliament House was awesome.  I took the guided tour, which I always like to do.  Well it was extra special for me because I was the only person on the tour!  The building itself was completed in 1868.

ANZAC war memorial
  It was the first legislative building in the British Empire to be lit by electricity.  And today it is still used for the State of Queensland's government activities.  The Assembly Chamber was one of my favourite rooms in the building because of its beautiful rounded ceilings.  There is also a stunning library, started in 1860, which includes the original marble fireplaces from England. 

I tour the malls, but don’t like them, shopping is not really for me, I need a purpose to like it now, I need to be looking for something.  I’d rather do something else than browse for things I don’t need.  This happens the more I travel.  I like clothes and things but I can’t spend my life shopping for it, and I certainly don’t need all that stuff, so why buy it?  I’d rather spend a grand on a trip than a big screen tv.

Queensland Parliament House
 

I check out South Bank, the lagoon and eat ice cream.  I’m reminded of my visit here with Katie over a year ago, and then now how this lagoon pales in comparison to Cairns (which is the best I’ve seen so far). 

Brisbane is getting ready for Christmas.  Carolers sing on Queen street, I buy a gift for my secret Santa party that I’m going to on Christmas Day with Ang and her friends.  Then the best news for me, I get a cell phone and a phone number on Wed the 23rd, best Christmas gift I could have bought for myself!   I’m very excited to have an Aussie number!!  It feels like the beginning of everything I want here.

Christmas in Brisbane!
 

I’m ready for Christmas!  People keep asking me if it feels weird to not have snow or to not be at home over Christmas.  Its feels like Christmas to me!  I might be physically away from my family but I’m there with them in my heart.  So I don’t feel lonely or that I’m missing something.  I don’t miss the snow and to me it doesn’t make the holiday season.  I’m here in a great place, with amazing people, getting ready for a Christmas party with Ang and her friends.  How exciting to spend Christmas in another country! 

hani4ever says:
Nice ! & Take Care
Posted on: Mar 18, 2010
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Out with Ange and friends
Out with Ange and friends
The markets!
The markets!
Beautiful Brisbane - view from the…
Beautiful Brisbane - view from th…
City Hall
City Hall
Me in the Clock Tower
Me in the Clock Tower
The Old Windmill
The Old Windmill
ANZAC war memorial
ANZAC war memorial
Queensland Parliament House
Queensland Parliament House
Christmas in Brisbane!
Christmas in Brisbane!
Cathedral of St. Stephens
Cathedral of St. Stephens
Views from the top of the City Hal…
Views from the top of the City Ha…
Assembly room
Assembly room
Casino
Casino
Brisbane
photo by: Mezmerized