Brisbane an ugly city according to Alain de Bottonr

Brisbane an ugly city according to Alain de Bottonr

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Is Brisbane Really So Ugly?

Author and philosopher, Alain de Botton, has used Brisbane as an example of one of the ugly cities of the world. He cites it as the result of poor planning restrictions (or a lack of planning) and says “everyone thinks Brisbane is a bit of a mess”.

Kurilpa Bridge Brisbane

As someone who’s lived in Brisbane for a few decades, it got me thinking. Certainly we have our fair share of boring 70s concrete government buildings scattered throughout the CBD, and planning is not something our government excels at, but if you look at the city as a whole picture I really don’t think it’s as horrible as he makes out. Sure, being a relatively young city (on a world scale) we don’t have the classic architecture you might find in the romantic European cities of old, but there is a certain beauty to be found. This is especially true once the sun sets, and the city takes on a very different look.

Below are photos that I have taken over the past few years in Brisbane. Beauty is always subjective, but I’d urge you to look at all the photos below and tell me that Brisbane really is so ugly. (Click the thumbnails to view larger)

What do you think? Leave a comment below with your view.

Brisbane Rocks River City (more…)

A BIG Heist In Far North Queensland

A BIG Heist In Far North Queensland

You may or may not be aware, but Aussies love things to be BIG. There are hundreds of giant roadside attractions throughout the country; I’ve even written about some before. I never would’ve thought that one would disappear in the middle of the night, but it seems that’s exactly what happened in the early hours of this morning!

big mango in Bowen missing

The internet is abuzz with the news – apparently someone made a visit in the middle of the night with a mobile crane, and stole the 10 tonne, 12-year-old giant mango. To what ends? I don’t know. But I’m actually quite surprised that anyone questioned it. It seems like the sort of activity that would fly under the radar, with most people assuming it had been removed for repairs. Let’s hope this isn’t the start of a spate of “big things” abductions!

[Read more at]

10 Valentines Gifts for the Travel Lover

10 Valentines Gifts for the Travel Lover

Valentines Day is just around the corner, but it can be hard to find a gift for the person that has everything. We’ve rounded up 10 ideas for travel-related valentines gifts. They’ll be sure to keep you in the good books!


Smittens – Be closer to your loved-one or friend by holding hands inside a single, oversized mitten! Featuring cozy, warm and durable Polartec fleece, Smittens are perfect for long romantic walks, keeping you and your partner warm during chilly winter outings, no matter where in the world you are.

Travel Heart Lock

Travel Smart Heart Lock – This TSA recognised lock features a sturdy construction and resettable lock combination. Perfect for securing your luggage or backpack whilst travelling.

Bear Grylls Survival Kit

Bear Grylls Survival Kit – Designed for survival in the most extreme conditions, the Bear Grylls ultimate survival pack from Gerber is the all-weather workhorse of the Bear Grylls survival line. It features an easily pocketable multitool with 12 components, Gerber’s Tempo flashlight, a fire starter rod, and a textured plastic sheath for durable yet convenient storage. Perfect for those camping trips or if you’re venturing into the outback. Speaking of flashlights, LED flashlights are another great gift.

Luggage Scales

Luggage Scales – Avoid being stung by excess baggage fees by using these compact luggage scales. Simply clip the EatSmart buckle to the handle of a suitcase or bag. EatSmart’s proprietary two handed SmartGrip design allows for easier lifting of even the heaviest bags. Lift the bag and the scale will beep when the weight has been determined and appear in the large backlit LCD. The scale is compact, lightweight and durable so you can take it along for the return journey!

Bose QuietComfort 15

Bose QuietComfort 15 – Perfect for blocking out airplane engine noise or screaming children, these are the best Bose headphones, period. QuietComfort 15 headphones feature exclusive Bose advancements in noise reduction technology. You hear less noise and more of your music and movies-with quality sound and a long-lasting comfortable fit. You won’t find this combination of benefits in any other headphone.

Road Trip Soap

Road Trip Soap – This soap was made with earth-loving, free-living, road-tripping people in mind. Its deep red color comes from natural French clay, which is used in holistic medicine as a skin purifier. Its rich and earthy scent of patchouli mixed with orange for freshness makes it a favorite among roamers of the roads. Groovy! Also available in other varieties such as Sasquatch Soap.

Travel Experiences Book

World’s Best Travel Experiences – Popular actor and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy writes the foreword to this lavish book, offering 400 awe-inspiring destinations chosen by National Geographic’s family of globe-trotting contributors; dozens of fun, “Best of the World” themed lists; illuminating sidebars, several by travel and literary luminaries such as Anna Quindlen, Bill Bryson, Gore Vidal, and Pico Iyer; and hundreds of dazzling, oversized, full-colour images to bring to life a wide variety of location categories – from entire countries to mountaintop villages to pristine lakes to ancient wonders.

RFID blocking wallet

RFID-Blocking Travel Wallet – Keep your passport safe while traveling with the Travel Smart RFID Passport Wallet. It safely shields all your RFID credit cards and passports, preventing identity theft while traveling. It has interior pockets for cards, currency and more. It also includes a zippered pocket for coins.

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite – The best Kindle yet. Perfect for the traveller that loves to read, this device offers long battery life and a screen that’s readable in daylight, or (with the addition of the new reading light) at night!

Sunburned Country

In a Sunburned Country – The perfect read to accompany your Australian Journey. Despite the fact that Australia harbours more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.

How to open a beer Aussie style

This is how to open a beer, Aussie style. Note the uniquely Australian safety footwear known as “thongs” or “pluggers”. (Don’t try this at home)

When was Australia discovered by Europeans?

When was Australia discovered by Europeans?

Australia may have been discovered 100 years earlier than we thought!

kangaroo portugese australia discovery

Who do you think were the first Europeans to discover Australia? The Dutch? The English? WRONG!

New evidence may show that the Portugese discovered Australia around 100 years earlier than even the Dutch explorers! A prayer book dating to around 1600 A.D. has been found with an illustration depicting a kangaroo on one of its pages (pictured above). Another page even features a “native” which some are suggesting may be an Australian Aborigine.

What do you think?

[Source: Guardian]