Each city in Australia has a very distinct personality. Someone once told me that, in Sydney, they want to know where you work, in Melbourne, they want to know where you went to school—and in Brisbane, they want to know if you’d like a beer. This humorous comment is a gross oversimplification (especially since anywhere in Australia, you’ll find folks with a fondness for the local brew), but it does reflect something of the atmosphere of these three cities: bustling, Old World, and laid back tropical.
In my May 25, 2009, post on Melbourne, I spoke of the city’s European feel—it’s the most European city in Oz— and elegant architecture. It is not just European in its appearance, but also in its mindset. People refer to the “Paris end” of Collins Street, where you find most of the cafés and boutiques. Replicas of clocks and statues from England adorn shopping arcades. And no raging British soccer crowd can top the folks in Melbourne for going wild at sporting events. (Though in Melbourne, you’d be watching Aussie Rules Football.)
As noted in that earlier post, the wealth of the gold rush led to a lot of fabulous buildings being constructed at a time when most of the folks in town had just arrived from Europe. I thought I’d share with you a couple of those buildings, just to show how impressive some of the older architecture is. Below are the Royal Exhibition Building, on the left, and the ANZ Bank Headquarters. (There are lots more wonderful old buildings, but a row of photos of buildings would be tedious.) And by the way, in Australia, the Z in ANZ is pronounced “zed”; the acronym stands for Australia-New Zealand.