The Gold Coast in Five Days – 1/5

The trawling slumber of vehicles banked along the lead up to the M5 tunnel and instigated the panic of our exciting day. A 6:00 am start, a last minute rush around the house and a packing of my Hampi bag landed me in the middle of traffic 45 minutes before our flight was due to depart.

One working week away from the hustle and bustle of the big city of Sydney. One week away from the unnecessary stress of work. One week away from anyone except Brenda.

Well that was the dream. The night before I stayed up much later than I should have attempting to finish my research, my articles and send through some emails. However, day 1 and I’ve still got some work nagging at the back of my head.

After hurrying through check-in and reaching our gate 5 minutes before boarding (perfect timing if you ask me), we arrived an hour and a half later at the Gold Coast airport.

Lucky for me, Brenda is much more organised and had arranged a shuttle bus to pick us up and take us to our Q1 hotel check-in.
“Ooh ze r Mz Alvarezz,” says our French driver welcoming us and inviting us to wait 10 minutes for the other passengers.

Conexion, the shuttle bus company, drives us to our Q1 check-in, a separate location to the actual Q1 hotel itself. We receive our keys, a map and a bottle of sparkling wine. We head over to our “apartment” in the Q1 building, the tallest building in Australia and the world’s sixth tallest residential building. Q1 stands for Queenslands Number 1.

Gratefully reaching our room on level 17 we dump our heavy bags and absorb the white light reflecting off the cloudy sky, the deep blue river to our right, the endless ocean to our left and stare across at the neighbouring apartments in the skyscraper opposite us. We could have stayed looking out the window longer if our tummies weren’t growling at us.

Brenda had picked up some brochures from the airport, which we flicked through on our drive to the main hub of Surfers Paradise. I highly recommend picking up the brochures! A stroke of genius on Brenda’s part.

From a recommendation by a friend we end up at Greek Street Grill.
The waves crash on the sand to our left and people meander down the street, while our delicious meat platter sits on our table satisfying out grumbling stomachs.

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Surfers Paradise is ideal for relaxation. The main street running alongside the tramline takes you anywhere you need to go in the area. The sporadic skyscrapers settle across the quiet streets and people either sit comfortably in a café or walk leisurely down the street. Definitely the place to come if you want to enjoy the comforts of a slow, relaxed life.

After filling our stomachs with Greek food, our plans to walk on the sand along the beach are discarded by the sprinkles of rain that had been drizzling down throughout the day. Instead we hit the shops for some shopping. By “shopping” I mean window shopping as we pass the stores and by “hit the shops” I mean the supermarket. Yes, we’re on a holiday but we’re still university students on a budget so we stock up on the essentials for the week for cheap lunches and dinners for the next few nights.

After an afternoon resting up the view in our apartment we head out to the main mall, close-by to Cavill Mall and make a visit to Infinity. Brenda had been through it’s maze before but thought that it would be something I would enjoy.

Floating lights, electrons and lasers. For $21 we enter a maze of darkness. Personally I think it’s a one-time-must-visit attraction, as the unexpected adds to its excitement.

Surfers Paradise is very quiet and relaxed however, the night life impressed me. Families walked the street and young people invigorated the shopping and restaurant life. Peeking into passing pubs and café they appeared quite full. Regardless, the vibe on the street was still quiet, relaxed and felt almost empty. I guess this is part of the attraction of the Gold Coast. A lot of tourist brochures and pamphlets were in Chinese. I believe many of the Chinese who visit the Gold Coast are in awe of its apparent emptiness however are able to immerse themselves into the laid-back lifestyle iconic to Australians.

Returning to our Q1 apartment, we pop our $3.50 Woolworths pizza into the oven and 15 minutes later settle down for an episode of ‘My Kitchen Rules’ with a slice of pizza in our hands.

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