Brisbane: Back To The Future

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September 1st 2012
Published: September 8th 2012
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What a beautiful city! We have had a lovely time soaking up the world's latest city. The central business district is alive with shops and cafes and bustling streets. From the CBD you can move along the river over a series of pedestrian and motor vehicle bridges. The South Bank is home to more cafes and typical English pubs plus a variety of upmarket restaurants. There is also a man made beach and lagoon facing the river which is very picturesque.

When we arrived on Friday it was a dreary day and boy did it make a difference. The grey skies made the buildings seem imposing on the streets and against the river backdrop. Admittedly we didn't have the greatest of days, unfortunate to be experiencing one of Queensland's 65 of 365 days of no sun. We were still fairly warm so enjoyed a walk and look around and saw many a free museum but we headed to the library for a bit of downtime on the Internet. Lauren knew there was a market on the river banks on a Friday and we decided to wait around to explore. We were keen to see an Australian market having seen so many in Asia.

It was an interesting array of stalls selling home made items such as fudge and soap to jewellery and clothes. Lauren purchased some tiny earrings more than anything to open up her holes as she felt it was too long since they had a stud put through! Our bellies rumbled and after watching a spectacular sunset of deep pinks and purples we hunted out a decent eatery. We were celebrating our engagement anniversary (Lauren insists we still have one of these, any excuse!) and we were kindly treated to a meal from Ben's parents as we hadn't bought the Singapore Slings from them as they had offered!

We found a stunning eatery on the harbour front with an awesome view of the CBD and loved the ethos of the restaurant as a sharing place. Most people who read this may not know that we share every meal! Basically Lauren chooses two meals she wants as she can never decide and Ben eats half of each, always satisfied with any food! We devoured a pizza for the first time since Vietnam and a pumpkin gnocchi which was simply sensational, accompanied by a small glass of wine and beer; we had the best meal we have had since the expensive meal in Singapore! So thanks mum and dad!

We spent the rest of the evening walking along the river for about eight miles taking in the skyscrapers lit up; lights bouncing off the river. The river is also home to cliff edges and we watched a couple of rock climbers scrambling in the night. We walked until we got to the main bridge that had provided a fantastic backdrop to the many photos we had taken. We walked back through the main district to the hostel ready to call it a night at 9pm! We were really flaking on the whole late night thing.

The next day the sun had really come out to play with full on hat and sunglasses and after getting smoothies for breakfast we actually retraced most of the previous days steps to retake the photographs in better light. This may sound silly but we had a coach early afternoon so couldn't risk going too far and what we saw was so pretty we wanted to see it with a sunshine glow. It proved to be the right decision as we enjoyed our walk and came across the river again on an earlier bridge and stumbled across the Botanical Gardens. The coincidence was that we had been to the gardens in Edinburgh exactly three years to the date and that is where Ben had decided to make an honest woman of Lauren! It was quite surreal to be walking in similar style of gardens on the other side of the world! We enjoyed lazing in the sun in the beautiful gardens before getting some lunch at a small cafe.

The one great thing about Australia is its love affair with pumpkin! Nearly every dish comprised it and it's Lauren's favourite, so more pumpkin soup was consumed at lunch. We spent the last couple of hours soaking up Brisbane's sun in a nice square of King George. We watched the world walk by before taking ourselves to the coach station. We may have had a short sweet repetitive time here but as we celebrated our love (sorry) we realised how far we had come when we sat three years ago in a garden toasting our future.

Things of note:

The bridge we walked over is high over the river and it was a bit disturbing to see suicide signs and telephone numbers of help but good in a way too.

There was a lot of free museums celebrating the arts so you could easily spend a few days here without spending much.

Sticking with arts, even all the electricity boxes on the streets were funky and all painted a rainbow of colours.

Our hostel was awful with one bathroom for thirteen people. All but us were Korean which when they were spending 45 minutes a go it was hard to communicate!

It is buskers galore here with every street corner filled with backpackers trying to earn their nights bed fee. This is the main option it seems- work in a hostel for your bed or busk on the street.

What would we do differently:

Lauren would have loved nothing more than to go to koala sanctuary a ferry ride away but to cuddle a koala would have cost us over a $100 total and we just can't afford that in our budget, you have to choose your battles.


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