With how excited I am for my dive trip this weekend, I almost forgot to inform you all of the really awesome event that starts tomorrow spans all the way through September 29th! Anyways....starting tomorrow (the 8th) Brisbane Festival kicks off. I'm not really too sure about what all is going on but by the looks of it, there is going to be a lot of celebrating over the next 20 days here in Brisbane. Every night, there is a lights and laser show on the river, incorporating some of the buildings from the city. There will be a lot of various music, dance, theater, comedy, etc shows dispersed throughout the festival and the final night, the river is lit up in fireworks. From what I can tell, it will be really fun and definitely a new experience to see Brisbane come to life for this 20 day celebration. Below is the link if you'd like to check it out for yourself:
Recently in Brisbane Category
This update was primarily going to be pictures, but again the uploading of photos isn't working. So if you would like to view the photos I have to go along with this update, you'll just have to follow this link to my album on facebook: Ekka photos
So what is Ekka?
Ekka is basically our equivalent of the MN State Fair....just a bit smaller in size. When we went, we had no clue what we were going to. We just knew there was going to be fireworks and figured it'd be fun to check out, and it was. It was a week or week and a half (I can't remember) long celebration...much like our fair is. The cool thing about it though was that on the Wednesday of it's main week it is considered a public holiday, so we get classes off (but I was in a design workshop that week anyways, so all of my courses were already cancelled).
My friends Sam, Julia, Sandra, and I went to Ekka on the first Saturday it was open and were there from about 1pm until sometime after 10pm...we were definitely tired after walking around all day. Their fair had a lot of the same things our state fair has....animal barns, carnival rides, carnival games, different vendors selling all sorts of things, food carts up the wazoo, and various shows going on throughout the day (we watched lumberjack competitions, horse shows/stunts, chariot races, motor cross stunts--one of the guys from Nitro Circus if you know what that is, and a precision driving team). And of course the fireworks....no matter how old I get, I will always love watching fireworks.
Since I can't upload any photos, I'm going to cut off this update here. Here's the link to the photos again if you want to check them out on facebook: Ekka photos
Time for a quick update about my surroundings here in Brisbane! I'll post some of my pictures from around town on here, but here's the link to the full album on Facebook: Brissy Photos
First off, where I live....
It's this big green monster of an apartment complex.
My room is about half the size of a room in Griggs....actually probably a bit bigger than half. The room has lots of storage (set of drawers, a full wardrobe, desk w/ shelves under, a bookshelf, and underbed storage). It also came with two big pegboards that I've filled with things from home as well as random drawings I've done while here/projects I'm working on.
Next up, exploring....
One of my favorite things to do here in Brissy is to just explore. It's about a 15 minute walk from where I live to the heart of the city and the walk is absolutely amazing. There are numerous different routes you could take to get there and each has it's own perks. My favorite is to walk along the riverside since it's super relaxing and fun (it also reminds me of the board walk on Lake Superior). There are a lot of different things tucked in along the way to the city....multiple parks, lots of grass lawns w/ barbeques, a lagoon/beach, a water area for kids, a ferris wheel, many statues, a jungle walk-through, countless shops/cafes, and simply the riverfront itself where people tend to sit out on.
After crossing the bridge, you are instantly in the heart of Brisbane. The main stretch is the Queen Street Mall---a lot like the Nicolett Mall for those of you who know what that is---and it is filled with constant buzz and activity. I love going just to walk around. Every Wednesday there is a market where I get all my fruits/veggies from for really cheap prices (for example, 3 big bags of your choice for only $5 total). Many times there are also street performers on Queen St. and my favorite of the bunch are the spray paint artists. There are two guys who both do it and I've spent numerous hours sitting and watching them. Here's one of them:
That's all for this update....if you want to look at the rest of the photos from my time exploring around, check the link at the start of this post. Next update, I'll be posting about my weekend trip to Byron Bay. Stay tuned!
I've realized I have fallen behind (again) on the whole updating of this blog....my bad. I've been pretty busy with settling into my place, meeting new people, having school start back up (it's taken a bit to get used to this again), and just day to day happenings/adjustments. Anyways, bear with me on this update, I'm going to just go through the past month of my existence here in Brisbane and catch you all up with what I've been up to........
Week 1 (12-18 July):
Ok. First week of Brisbane/second in Australia was one filled with quite a bit of emotions. I arrived in Brisbane the day after I received news about Sandie having to be put down so I was still a bit shook up over that. It didn't help that the weather was all rainy/gloomy and that when I got to my flat it was a complete ghost town as I was the only one in my hall. To make matters worse, I walked into the living room/kitchen area to find it a COMPLETE disaster. The previous residents practically just up and left, leaving food to rot in the fridge, dirty dishes in the sink, fruit flies everywhere, and the remains from a going away party still in the room. Continuing to make matters worse, when unpacking everything, I discovered I had left my bear from when I was little at the hostel in Cairns (had taken it out when I got news of Sandie and apparently forgot it there). So that is long gone now, which is very unfortunate and definitely did not make things better that first day in Brisbane. My other flatmates finally moved in though, we cleaned the kitchen, and everything turned around. But let's just say those first two days were a complete nightmare. The rest of my first week was basically spent exploring the city (which I love and still do many days) and figuring out what all I needed to get ready for my classes. I'll leave the explaining about what's all in Brisbane for another update with pictures (it'll be more interesting that way).
Week 2 (19-25 July):
This week was one of the most fun weeks I've had here in Australia, mainly because of my weekend trip to Byron Bay on the 19th-21st. I'll post another update (with pictures) giving more of a description of my weekend in Byron, but basically we (a group of international students) took a weekend trip with this group called Extreme Adventures to the wonderful little town of Byron. It was such a relaxing and exciting weekend. (Here's the link to my photo album from the trip on FB: Byron Photos) After my amazing weekend in Byron, classes started up that Monday. It was sure quite the change of pace starting back into course work. I had been so used to constantly doing orientation activities/trips that it seemed odd to be starting school again so suddenly.
Week 3 (26 July - 1 August):
The basic summary of this week: Schoolwork and Olympics. It was the second week of classes and basically was all I did that week besides stay up/get up early to watch the Olympics. It was also my best friend's birthday back home in the states on the 28th. Since I wasn't there to celebrate with her, I drew her a picture of the Doctor from Doctor Who (one of her favorite shows).
Week 4 (2-8 August):
More Olympics. More school. More exploring the city.
I'm pretty sure people around here thought I was crazy for staying up as late as I did to watch the Olympics as they were happening, but it was totally worth it. I loved staying up to watch Phelps make history. I also met a lot of new people through watching the Olympics (people from all over including Croatia, Italy, Australia, Germany, China, Denmark, France, and a few more I'm forgetting). I have to say that watching the Olympics while in another country is an experience in itself...the coverage of the games are a bit different and being around people from other countries makes it a really interesting but fun atmosphere.
School this week was same old school. Most of my classes are fun but right now a lot of the work I'm doing is all review and just really busy-work to fill class time. They should pick up though once we start in on actual projects.....speaking of which, I think I'll make yet another (really brief) update just going over what courses I'm actually in and how the courses are structured different than in the states.
During my exploration of the city this week, I sat and watched a spray paint artist for over 2 hours one day. I find his work to be incredible and I was so fascinated watching him do his thing in the middle of the Queen St. Mall (the big outdoor mall here in Brissy).
Oh! One last thing from week 4, I got a package from home! Stuffed inside the little box was my favorite sweatshirt I left at home the day I left, my TOMS that I forgot, pictures of my dogs, Sandie's dog tags, and the scuba dvd from my trip this summer. I seriously watched that scuba dvd 3 times the day I got it (and probably another 5 times since then) because of how much I miss diving. I loved being able to relive those moments spent under the water in the Caribbean, surrounded by the people who understand my passion for the life under the sea and all the creatures that go with it. Plus, Bronson (who put the dvd together) had excellent choice in music this dvd. The Jimmy Buffett song I'd been wanting to listen to but couldn't (it's not on spotify in Oz) was included in the dvd, as well as Off to See the Lizard (Buffett's song about Oz), songs from Fun., and my favorite song by Of Monsters and Men. Overall, the dvd is basically perfect and I love watching it (and find something new every time I do watch it).
That's it for this recap....I know it was a very lengthy one, but I figured I'd rather just get the past month all taken care of. Within the next 3-4 days, I'll have the other little updates (Info about Brissy; trip to Byron; school) uploaded.