Hello from Brisbane! Well, actually, hello from the Greyhound as we leave Brissie for Byron Bay. As most of you know, I am now no longer travel-buddy-less: Arianna arrived from London on Saturday evening – woohoo! My Greyhound from Noosa arrived a convenient 45min before Ari’s flight landed and it is with a mixture of impatience, relief, nervousness and happiness that I waited for her to come through the arrivals gate. For a couple of days, I had been feeling a bit short sad and grumpy – almost as if the end of the solo part of my trip was upsetting me. I can’t believe how fast it’s all gone! And I guess it’s a fair amount to process, emotionally speaking. But when I saw Ari’s smiling, albeit tired, face, all that blue dissipated!
We hopped on the airport shuttle to Bunk in party central Fortitude Valley, having only realised a couple of days earlier that we must have made a mistake when booking. And indeed, on our first night, a bunch of boys came back to the dorm loudly and drunkenly, on multiple occasions, one even sleepwalking into the corridor in his underwear at 6am and knocking on the door until someone (not any of the other comatose) had to get up and let him in, meaning I didn’t sleep much more than 2 hours straight. Even Arianna who had passed out didn’t sleep through it! Fortunately, the two other nights we spent there were much quieter, with only one other (quiet) dorm buddy.
In all honesty, we didn’t get up to much in Brisbane – apart from walk a lot! Our hostel was a little way out and, after walking in the wrong direction for a while, we made our way into town on foot. Weirdly, we both agree that the city has a sort of American feel to it – rather square and modern, and pleasant to get around.
In the two days we were there, we spent a fair amount of time at the South Bank and its lagoon, enjoying a live blues band on the grassy banks on Sunday and sunbathing/paddling on Monday. We also indulged in a spot of shopping, making the most of the pre-Christmas sale (still struggling to get used to Christmas trees and decorations in this heat) and found some great places to eat and drink – of course.
On Sunday evening, after a rather grey day, the sun suddenly made an appearance around 6pm – at which point we thought it might be an idea to go for our planned drink before dinner, to catch the sunset, rather than after. We got ready as fast as we could manage after a day of walking, did a quick Google search, and made our way down Ann St to Eleven, a snazzy rooftop bar with stunning views over the city, great music and one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in a while! A spicy Korean bibimbap at nearby Nom Nom was exactly what we needed after the tasty cocktails.
On Monday, after lounging by the lagoon and trying to get away from two very sweet and friendly but overly clingy locals, we decided to try the Lonely Planet recommended Super Whatnot. Another great find, where we enjoyed some Australian prosecco and fatty nachos. Yum!