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Touchdown in Australia - Night 1

Brisbane, Australia


I landed in Brisbane around 11:30 local time, and was free from the rigors of customs by noon. Stepping outside was similar to stepping into a sauna. It felt like New Orleans in March, minus the pervasive smell of stale urine and sour milk. A man on the train told me that they’ve been getting some torrential rains the last few weeks, which has led to the uncustomarily high level of humidity. I hope he’s right. The Brisbane City Backpacker’s Hostel was about a ¼ mile walk from the train station. Half way there I was soaked. The evaporative cooling powers of sweat are greatly minimized when the relative humidity hits 90%. It is sort of like trying to fit a third corn-fed Minnesota girl into the back of a Volkswagen; there just isn’t any more room for her (or the water) to go.

Checked into my room to find the two inhabitants already there were busy speaking German. I waited for a while, to make sure they weren’t talking about how they hate dirty Americans, and then calmly asked them in German where the shower was. Looks of pleasant surprise fell over their faces, especially when they learned that I was from the US. I think they were amazed that anyone from the States knew German. After swapping stories, it turns out one of them was from Poland, the other from Germany. Our final roommate showed, a Czech named Vladimir, who also spoke German. Though in the end, English one out, likely due to mine and Vlad’s poor Deutsch. Everyone went their separate ways, with me heading back to the train station to get an AC adapter. The voltage in Australia is the same; it is just that the top two prongs are turned at 45 degree angles.

Upon returning to the hostel, I promptly crashed and slept until 6. Quite a surprise to me, the sun was setting at the 6 o’clock hour as I awoke. I took a walk downtown to find some cheap food. While Brisbane is most certainly a 20th century, automobile-centric city, the traffic is beautifully quiet. In over an hour of walking, I heard one or two horns at the most and not a single siren. I eventually ran into the Queens Street pedestrian mall. Imagine a packed mall, three blocks long, full of bars in the middle and stores on the outside, all exposed to the great outdoors. Needless to say, a great place for a stroll and some people watching. I eventually found a grocery store in the underground level of the mall. Prices were somewhat similar to back home, though it seems meat is bit pricier and the selection of fruit isn’t quite as expansive. I settled on bananas and the old standby, granola bars (or muesli bars as is the nomenclature here down under.)

Returned to the hostel and headed to the lounge

to return some emails and work on the blog. The room was packed with most of the inhabitants were mesmerized by the Simpsons on the TV. The bar downstairs was full, but not overly packed. As much as I desired to find my roommates and have a beer or six, it was already 9pm, I could hardly keep my eyes open, I was over my $50 per diem, and I really needed a good sleep (Monday night was my most recent horizontal sleep.), so I headed to bed around 10pm…there will be plenty of opportunities in the next six months to belly up to a bar, that and I am due at the volunteer office at 10 tomorrow morning. A pretty calm first day, which I needed. The jet lag isn't as bad as flying to Europe, but I still feel a bit off.

What I Learned Today: It is tough to jaywalk in a place where the cars are coming from the wrong direction. I probably crossed 35 crosswalks in my travels today and I still look the wrong way for traffic every time. Thus, in the name of safety, I’ve taken to waiting for the little green man.


permalink written by  exumenius on October 11, 2007 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Kiwis and Kangaroos
tagged Brisbane

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Brisbane

Brisbane, Australia


Well we arrived and we have absolutely no idea what our bodies think the time is. Just a quick comment on our trip - Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 is a mess (dirty) and chaotic (security - honestly lets stop the hysteria - after arriving 3 hours before our flight we only had 30 mins to grab something to eat - the retailers (airside) must be hating it - if common sense doesn't work how about greed?) Why do we put up with it? Once we left got on the plane everything was breeze all the way to the hotel in Brisbane. As you can see from the picture it's raining - Brisbane is in a drought and we bring the weather with us - call us the drought busters. Other than a quick walk to get something to eat we haven't seen much (falling asleep at the table). Early night (day/whatever) today; let's hope we can adjust quickly.


permalink written by  The Wilde Family on December 17, 2007 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged Brisbane

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Movie World

Brisbane, Australia


In an effort to stay awake we went to Movie World, we woke up at 2am, so it's coffee (or cola+sugar) and adrenaline. We got very wet on the water ride (Chris' favourite) and playing in the fountains. Sally's favourite ride was the Scooby Doo ride - "a sort of a 'mouse trap' in the dark and you get to go backwards for a bit of it". Shaun went on the Superman Ride and swore a little bit.
We managed to stay awake 'till 9pm, though we were all falling asleep at the table over dinner.


permalink written by  The Wilde Family on December 18, 2007 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged ThemePark and Brisbane

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Australia Zoo

Brisbane, Australia


Today we went to Australia Zoo (The one that the Crocodile Hunter - Steve Irwin - owned).
Chris says - It was lots of fun when we had our photo taken with a snake around our shoulders.

Sally says - We saw some tiger cubs in the tiger temple and then we fed a pair of elephants.

We got to see lots of native Austalian animals and we were allowed to feed and stroke them including a (baby) American Alligator and an elephant.

We all had a fantastic day out, the zoo's atmosphere was relaxed with a real 'hands on' approach with the animals and we thoroughly recommended it to anyone who gets the chance to come here!

permalink written by  The Wilde Family on December 19, 2007 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged Brisbane and Zoo

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Mt Coot-tha Lookout

Brisbane, Australia



After Australia Zoo, we met up with an old friend Drew (Pictured) and went to the Mt Coot-tha Lookout which offers excellent views of Brisbane. We ate a local delicacy called Moreton Bay Bugs!! They actually taste like lobster and are really nice.


permalink written by  The Wilde Family on December 19, 2007 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged Brisbane

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Travelling to Cairns

Cairns, Australia


Today we travelled to Cairns and then on to Mission Beach - Just a note or two to you all
#1) There is no such thing as a short hop around Australia
#2) Brisbane and Cairns have 2 airports (International and Domestic) and your ticket may not tell you which one you have to go to. (International also does Domestic flights and I wouldn't be surprised if the opposite was also true).

Guess what we did? Yup, wrong airport and panicked for 5 minutes as the one flight on the departures board to Cairns was already boarding passengers! Thankfully a nice lady explained about the other airport and after a short taxi ride we were back on track.

The flight with Virgin Blue was fun, beginning with the announcement of "This is a no smoking, no whingeing and no complaining flight - which includes the toilets which are fitted with smoke alarms and microphones!"

permalink written by  The Wilde Family on December 20, 2007 from Cairns, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged Cairns and Brisbane

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Brisbane

Brisbane, Australia


Hi..

We drove from RainbowBeach towards Brisbane with a stopover in Noosa Heads.

I decided that it was time to get real food without sand between your teeth..
Therefore we went to the Sheraton's resort and orderd Lobster and oysters..

The next day we went to the Australian Zoo
(Home of the crocodile hunter Steve Iwin)


At this moment I'm in Brisbane..
Had an perfect night in the most perfect hotel room..


Just chilled out because I was to tired and have a cold...

Wanted to stay for a few nights, however, the hotel rates are going to be 7 times higher then normal. therefore I'll just cruise arround the city today and then drive towards the coast.

I do have to take things a bit more slow because I have 4 weeks left to travel 1200km.
I'm thinking of going to Surfers Paradise and take an surf course..

Ok..
Catch ya later..


Kris

permalink written by  Kristian Kossen on September 12, 2008 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Trip around the world
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Day One

Brisbane, Australia


Day One. Arrived at Brisbane International airport at about 7 in the evening, greeted by a homely flourish of grayness and rain as well as three great friends who had come to meet us (van, trigger and his other half). not much to report really was too late to do anything apart from getting a few beers from the drive though bottle shop and find a good spot on the floor for the night. The rest of the week in bris was mediocre had to use most of the time to sort out my visa and other exciting paperwork like a bank account (dad - i will let you know the details soon so you can send me some money :) ) Not much else happened to be honest, a night out and an interesting house party.... yeah ..... interesting.... not fun or good, just ... interesting.

permalink written by  Ben Garside on May 6, 2009 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Oz 2009
tagged Brisbane

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