University of Queensland in Brisbane

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC popped over to Brisbane last week, to check out the two main campuses of the University of Queensland (UQ). My previous post includes moody shots of Ipswich and some fish in a library. Now for the lowdown on the big smoke itself.

My impressions? A university with character, in a city of character, owned by a river full of attitude.

The book I’m in

The Intercept, by Dick Wolf. Fast, believable action.

Recommended accommodation

Manor Apartment Hotel, 289 Queen Street, Brisbane. It’s in the centre of the city. The service is friendly, the rooms are roomy, and the breakfast is excellent.

Travel tip

Take a ferry trip down the river. It’s not always the fastest way of getting from A to B, but it’s a great way of seeing the city and relaxing at the same time. The ferry ride from the Eagle Street Pier to the UQ campus (St Lucia) takes about half an hour.

The photos

Me on a map of Brisbane, on a podium, on the top of Mount Coot-Tha:

Me and a map of Brisbane

The dark squiggly line running across the map is the river.

A view of the city of Brisbane, from the viewing site on Mount Coot-Tha:

Brisbane seen from Mount Coot-Tha

The St Lucia campus is further inland by a couple of bends of the river. In this picture, you can see the wall of the great court that lies in the centre of the UQ’s St Lucia campus. It’s to the right of the patch of river, in front of the four poles rising up from the bridge:

Another view from Mt Coot-Tha

St Stephen’s cathedral, Brissie:

Cathedral of St Stephen in Brisbane

“Brissie”, pronounced “Brizzy”, is the locals’ rather irreverent name for their city.

We took the ferry from the CBD to the university’s St Lucia campus. Here’s the striking Kurilpa Bridge, seen from the ferry:

Kurilpa Bridge

Before depositing you on shores academical, this worm would like to take you on a diversion semiotical. Take a look at the sign below, which this worm spotted on a lavatory door at the end of a queue of women:

Lavatory sign

The women in the queue ignored this door. Instead, with great patience and forbearance, they were waiting in line for a single toilet, which had a sign containing just three pictures: the figure of a woman, a wheelchair, and a baby-changing platform. The patient queue assumed the first toilet (shown above) was for disabled people only, and the second was for everyone. The TC, bless her cotton socks, piped up that she was sure it was OK to use the disabled toilet. Imagine her delighted surprise, and that of everyone else in the queue, to discover six vacant toilets behind the above door, all ready and waiting for “ambulant” people’s use.

So, this worm muses, past experience has conditioned us to expect a special toilet for disabled people and to assume the difficult word “ambulant” is yet another term for “disabled”. And we don’t read.

Here’s another diversion. This worm as vastly amused to see the following sign in the hotel lobby. Shades of Sweeney Todd?

Doors at the end of the hotel lobby

A closer look:

The words on the sign

Moving on from dark humour to the light of academia, this is the outside wall of the magnificent great court at UQ’s St Lucia campus:

Outside the great court

Inside is spacious and restful:

Inside the great court

The detail on the walls:

The inside walls of the great court

One of the grotesques, rather gentler than many of that ilk:

A close view of one of the heads on the wall

That’s all for today, dudes.

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