Day 1 Arrival in Brisbane

Managed to get limited wireless access from Hotel Ibis so here I am here trying to quickly pen my thoughts and day’s program. We didn’t manage to do as much as I wanted because it was just impossible to sleep on the plane. Only managed to catch 3hrs’ rest and it was barely enough to last me through the day.

Quick feel about the city is that it hasn’t reached cosmopolitan status. Not many skyscrapers and most of them are being built. The design of the buildings are also uninspirational. After checking into hotel which was pleasantly better than I expected in terms of locations and proximity to facilities and amenities, we headed out for lunch at Queens St Mall, which is supposedly the Orchard Road of Singapore.

Well it is only one rather short stretch of road which further reinforced my impression that the city is still developing. But Queen St Mall leaves a rather messy and dirty feel and the locals who hang out there look rather shady. We grabbed a quick lunch at Hungry Jacks which was surprisingly good.

Across the road from Queen St is Brisbane Square which is a nice shady area to chill out facing the Treasury Building which would have made for an impressive early 19th century building. However I was rather disheartened to find out that it has been converted into a casino of all things. Then we took a short stroll across Victoria Bridge to South Bank which is the cultural centre of the city. What a contrast to Queen St.

The skies in Brisbane are cloudless and as we strolled I could really feel the sun searing my skin. It is really very strong and understanding that the hole in the ozone is just above Australia, will take better precautions to put on sunblock. However when in shady areas and at night, it can be really cold at 21 degrees and possibly lower with wind chill. So it is a continuous task to take on and off the coats.

At South Bank, we visited the Queensland Museum and for free admission, I have to say the exhibits are pretty educational and intriguing. However the place is due for refurbishment from 3rd Oct until Jan next year in time to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

My plan was to continue towards South Bank parklands but I could sense that most of us were already on the edge of our stamina so I decided to scrape the plans and go back to the hotel for a much needed nap. By the time we woke it was 7pm. Theo’s parents came by to bring us for dinner at Sunnybank which has a mini-Chinatown market place. Dinner was Chinese fare which was not too bad but rather expensive in comparison.

We took the train back to Roma Street from Sunnybank. The train ride of 10 stations cost us $6.10 per adult. Public transport in Brisbane is mighty expensive. Thankfully we got back to hotel safe and sound at 11.30pm. I am not going to try this in Sydney though. Seems the more developed a city, the more vices and I am not going to tempt my luck.

Noticed that there are many etiquette notices all over the trains and stations. I wonder if that’s the government way of educating the public to be mindful and considerate?

Anyway I decided to move towards voice recording for this trip. Much easier to keep track than to spend so much time writing instead of looking out for humpback whales!

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