08.09.2007 - 09.09.2007 0 °F
I wasn't sure what to expect for Brisbane and talking to some locals on the way to the city i wasn't expecting too much. Every seem to have a downer on the place and call it dull.
But as Dirty Harry says "Opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one." So, Firstly the bad points. Actually i'm struggling to think of anything too bad. Its not a great place for shopping, if you compare to Melbourne or Sydney. The bars and restaurants are very good, especially sea food. The transport is getting in to a bit of a mess, but at least they had the nonce to relocate the bus routes underground. If anything you could say it lacks sparkle, but on the other hand the gold coast is only a couple of hours away, the reef isn't too far and the weathers pretty good all year round.
On the plus side, the the South Bank Riverside, is a revalation. It's a great place to relax and spend the day or two. They are renovating the swimming pool complex at the moment, which is massive (and free) and will be amazing when completed. The swimming pool is connected to the paddling pool which links in to the waterway meandering around the complex. The waterways are shared by the local Ibis, which are seen to be pests by the locals but look facinating to any visitors. Surrounding the pool is a multitude of cafes, restaurants, an outside arena (where there is always a local band playing at lunchtime, great idea) and numerous childens play areas (including a giant wall for chalk art). All of this is linked by a walkway with floral covered steel steel structures, all different and contorting their way through the complex like a giant caterpillar, the effect is creatively stunning.
Also whilst in Brisbane, i took the chance to visit Austraila Zoo, (Steve Irwins Place), which is only and hour or so away from the city. I havn't been to a zoo since probably when Cleethorpes zoo was around. (so not a good yardstick to measure by). However, you couldn't help leaving being impressed with the size, dedication, and care that the staff at the zoo put in to help and conserve the wildlife. Nowadays, attractions are treated totally as money making schemes.
In this place the money goes back in to the welfair of animals, and it shows. They now have the adjoining land to expand the zoo (not that it isn't big already). So in a few years time it will be even better.
I never really liked Steve Irwin when he was alive (always thought he was mad and a bit of a prat). Having been to the Zoo my opinions have changed. I still think he was mad, but looking what he had achieved and tried to do. You can't help but admire his commiment and dedcation.
Anyway the rugby world cup started this week, so i've been avoiding as many rugby conversations as possible. The word cat and hells chance does come to mind. Having seen the All Blacks and the Aussies earlier in the tri nations, I cant help see anything but us getting completely stuffed, thats of coarse assuming we get out of the group stage. But at least we have beaten the Yanks.
All in all, i liked Brisbane, the pubs, restaurants are great and livley and the people are friendly, even though most of them like country music, but everyone has their flaws!!