Stuff to Write Home About Volume 4 Issue 1 – Brisbane

In honour of the tenth anniversary of my year-long trip to Australia, I am sharing articles that I wrote and posted on another platform back then. Here is the next installment – it seems I was a little on the cranky side when I wrote it and that makes me laugh!

Brisbane aka “Brissie” is Australia’s third largest city, and it would seem to me, trying very hard to get noticed. It is a nice city and is very busy building new art galleries, a new lagoon, all to make it nicer for tourists to visit. I arrived on the Greyhound, under cover of darkness, on an evening in June. I found the hostel easily enough, even considering the street it was on was very dark. This was not a good first impression. I arrived at the hostel and dragged my suitcase down the steps (yes, down from street level) to the reception area, where the receptionist was protected by metal bars. Okay, I thought, I can handle this…it’s not so bad, I need to stop being such a princess. The room I was assigned to was “homey”, especially with the whole in the wall next to my bed, under which someone had written “smile”. I did smile, and thought my first order of business for the following day would be to find another place to stay! This hostel was well recommended by my LP guide, incidentally, not just a random choice on my part. No regrets, though on staying in a bit of a dodgy place for a couple of nights where a strange middle-aged man snored mere metres from where I slept (or tried to). This experience could be interpreted as being something that is necessary to the flash-packing experience (flash-packing, because as I have mentioned, I’m not a real backpacker).

I did end up finding another hostel to stay in, and it was a nice place, just one street over from the other hostel but on a busy well-lit street. So, first impressions aside, Brisbane is a nice city. I set about exploring it and found that the CBD (Central Business District) is a happening place, and was only a 15 minute walk from my hostel. The problem with all this exploring on foot was that I ended up injuring my ankle due to overuse within the first couple of days (the 7 Km hike through Noosa was a contributor), and then I caught a cold. This meant I had to stay still for a little while and attempt to rest.  Unfortunately (or fortunately in my case) there isn’t a lot of amazing stuff to do in Brisbane, although I imagine it is a very lovely place to live. The weather, for one is pretty good. It was about 20C when I was there, and almost hot when the sun was out.

The hostel had 2 balconies where you could hang out. There was also a pool, but I didn’t go in. The pool was on the second level, and the balcony off the bar area was on the first level, and on that level, there was a window into the pool. There was an Irish-themed bar in the hostel, but as far as Irish bars go, I am convinced that in Australia all a bar needs to have in order to get its Irish status, is Guinness on tap. This doesn’t deter the British guys though. I wasn’t aware that “fancy dress” meant costumes, and these guys really went for it. One night it was super-hero costumes, another night it was dresses (the guys in dresses) and for Canada Day (yes, there was a Canada Day party) they painted themselves red and white. As far as I could tell, it was just the British guys who wore “fancy dress” to the pub.  I certainly didn’t get involved with it. This hostel was a fun place to stay. I did get out about in the city, which I will tell you about in my next installment.

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