Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Round the world travel: Brisbane, Australia

Where I am

Brisbane, but only for one day really, as I pass through on my way up the East coast.  Most Sydney-ites I met dismissed it as not sizeable enough to join the big boy cities and, while I can see their point a little, I found it charming in its dinky-ness.  With so little time, I actually appreciated the ease with which I could navigate and the sense of familiarity one could quickly gain.  Moreover, it was warm and sunny, with the relaxed temperment of such climate blending easily with the suited city, so it felt like London on a rare summer afternoon, but permanently so.  Very pleasant indeed.

Where I stayed

With a lovely French couple in their lovely eco-house just outside the CBD.  Another Airbnb stay, it was quite cheap for the area and, while still lacking on the breakfast front, was supremely comfortable.  They had flannelette sheets that made me feel like a child staying at my Nan's again. Snug as a bug.

What I read

'A Tree Grows In Brooklyn' - Betty Smith 

A sad, moving and incredibly honest novel.  A classic for a reason, its characters are ones that won't leave me in a hurry.

What I listened to

The Indie Travel Podcast - funny, soft-spoken New Zealand couple sharing their knowledge of long term travel in a really accessible, unpretentious way.

What I ate

A very pricey, but delicious breakfast at Lock and Load Cafe.  Free coffee for me after the waiters completely forgot I existed for about half an hour.  Score.

Subway sandwich for the train. They're so horrible, but cheap. Oh well.

More meal replacement breakfast bars. Sad face.

What I did

Headed straight to the West End and the two famous bookstores of the city to find subsitutes for my Kindle (RIP).  Avid Books was cool, with a tiny cafe in the back and a decent collection of new titles to peruse, but it was Bent Books that stole me heart.  With an enormous collection of nearly new books crowding every shelf and the funniest, rantiest curmudgeonly owner with whom I passed quite some time putting the world to rights, it was a bright spot in my trip so far.  I ended up with three new adventures to go on and the ignomany of having taught said owner the meaning of the word chav, earning the delightful exposition: "You're the antithesis of the world, Darling, but whenever I hear it I shall think of you."

Browsed the equally delightful, if for my purposes less necessary, record stores of Boundary Street.  Still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Found myself grumpily in the middle of yet another Westfield shopping centre. Seriously, who in Australia sold their soul to the Westfield Devil?

Spent all together too much time in the mildly depressing transport centre as I tried to fix and re-fix my train tickets for the rest of my stay.

Sat by the river of the Southbank and marvelled at its Bizarro world Southbank, London properties.  It is sooooooo similar in design and content, but miniature and sunny and full of tanned people.  I loved it.

Went for a night run along the riverside.

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