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Published: September 8th 2014
I LOVE BRISBANE!
Though I understand my other blog was a bit of a downer, it should in no way reflect the amazing experience I had in Brisbane. I had the perfect 3 day weekend in a sunny paradise. I arrived late on Thursday morning to the Kookaburra Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast style inn just north of the main city center. My room was clean and comfortable and there was a full kitchen and sunny porches to relax on. Not to mention - WIFI!!! Oh how I've missed my WIFI, much more than television. I haven't watched TV in a month and couldn't miss it less. But the luxury of the internet... that's one which has been hard. I had a great nights rest and woke up to the sun and coffee on the deck and plans for a run.
I left my hotel and ran along the north quay to the city botanic gardens, across the bridge, up the city beach and south bank parklands, across the Victoria Bridge, through the mall, back to my hotel. It was gorgeous and sunny with a great breeze. Brisbane is an awesome city to explore on foot, so after I went back and got ready I just WALKED. I checked out the botanic gardens in more depth, and took a nap at Streets Beach. They have a manmade beach... in the middle of the city, on the riverfront. There are pools there as well and a ton of families and kids. At the South Bank, they have many museums and shops and cafes. On the weekends, they also have market. I had lunch at an organic café and then went back and spent some time at the Queen Elizabeth Mall. Definitely touristy, but the city buildings such as the Treasury are really stunning, and there are a lot of street performers (quite good) and demonstrations.
I then stopped in at a wine tasting at the Grand Central Cellars that I had passed on my way. I tried some wines from the Barossa. I am really into the GSM blend which is quite popular here. I ended up buying a Pacific Ale from a local brewery on the recommendation of the guys staying there. I went out that night at the Grand Central bar, which had a live band doing 90s cover rock. I befriended a... well.. interested group of older women who were quite drunk, the only ones dancing, but definitely the ones having the best time. I also chatted with a professor from Melbourne and a girl from Holland there for a conference. Everyone was really friendly. Not surprising here in Oz.
Saturday was just as nice and sunny and I headed out for Mt. Coot-Tha. I spent a bit of time at the Botanical Gardens and then walked up to the top along the highway. I'm pretty sure this was not the "right" way to do this, as it wasn't very scenic and I just walked along the road. The views were... Okay. Quite honestly, I'd skip the whole thing in retrospect. But I had a great convo with the bus driver on the way there who recommended a few craft breweries for me to try out. So I got dropped off in the city center and fiand took a ferry to eagles point and walked the whole coast through the arts district and to the top of Kangaroo Point. There were a lot of people rappelling and climibng and kayaking. This view was worth it. So then I embarked on my beer tasting and went to a local brewpub and got a flight of beers. The beers were... So so. The Brisbane IPA was nice and I got to listen in on a "brewers" convention going on in the side room. After a nice time and buzz I made my way back to the hotel and got ready for a night out.
As luck would have it, one of the guys I had stayed with in Sydney 5 years back had recently moved to Brisbane. For years he was doing a FIFO (fly in fly out) where he would be flown to a remote location for 10 days to build a railroad and then have 4 days off in Sydney. However his job relocated him. We went to a bar which was a mix of a lounge, bar, charcuterie, and tiki bar... And somehow it worked. I forgot how much the Irish can drink. Phew. The night ended on the dance floor singing along with a two man band doing 90s covers. So... Brilliant.
the next (slow) morning I decided to check out the north west part of town and stumbled upon yet another awesome part of Brisbane. There was a china town block with a cheap crafts market and a lot of ped malls, I could have spent another day there! But alas, I had to return and arrived to a cold and rainy Adelaide. Go figure! The sunny weekend rejuvenated my soul though, that's for sure.
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