If you need to rest or improve your mind for a few hours in Brisbane, visit South Bank, opposite the CBD. Last week after the close of the World Computer Congress 2010 , I found myself with some hours until I had to be anywhere. Instead of jumping in a cab (or getting back on the ferry), I decided to walk in the twilight. Across the road from the convention centre I found the Wheel of Brisbane a large Ferris wheel. Nearby some of the WCC2010 delegates were boarding a paddle steamer for a post conference cruse (seems to be the thing to do at conferences, I cruised a Fjord during INET2001). Walking north past the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, I crossed over the pedestrian bridge above the bus interchange, then walked between the Queensland Museum and the Queensland Art Gallery, to spend a relaxed time reading the magazines in the State Library of Queensland. Then I continued north on the boardwalk on the riverbank past the newest building, the stunning Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (featuring a Valentino, Retrospective). Then I walked across the Kurilpa Bridge over the river to the CBD. This Tensegrity cable stay bridge looks much better in photos than in reality. It is over-engineered and over sized, its cats-cradle of cables clashing with the very large, but elegant modern art gallery and more out of place and temporary looking than the temporary Ferris wheel.
The next day, with some more time before my flight, I returned to South Bank. This time it did not start well, with a grumpy cafe proprietor at the Cafe of the State Library telling me he was not providing free seating for people who did not order anything (when I tried to buy a coffee the queue was too long). So I moved south to the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. This has a cafe as well as a good library, where I sat, did some work and listened to students do what students always do: worry about assignments and make plans for parties.