Being a tourist in my own city

Do you know your city only as a driver? I imagine most people who drive regularly in a city know
Opinion

Do you know your city only as a driver? I imagine most people who drive regularly in a city know it like that, with maybe the addition of night time visits when it’s either cloaked in darkness or a neon jungle.

Some of you may remember I’ve never driven at all – I’m the expert passenger. I’ve talked to people on buses who have been forced onto public transport for a variety of reasons and they comment on how relaxing it can be (outside peak hour of course). 

They are pleased by how much more they can see of the route, and how much they learn about other parts of the city and suburbs, rather than being restricted to highways, freeways and main roads. 

Since my husband retired through ill health, we’ve made a virtue of his inability now to drive. It’s taken him a while to get used to it, but he’s accepted that driving’s impossible for him. I’ve enjoyed introducing him to the relatively relaxing lifestyle of the habitual public transport user (outside peak hour of course). 

Now, there’s another aspect of not driving, and in my husband’s case, not travelling far, that your city is the perfect answer to. We are in the habit of once a year staying in a good hotel in our city, Brisbane in my case, for two or three nights.

We take the opportunity to attend a show, maybe meet friends for dinner one night if my husband is up to it, then home again without the stress of long distance travel.

In recent years we’ve seen and heard the Vienna Boys Choir, we’ve attended a wonderful comedic performance of the Bolshoi Ballet, and visited galleries and museums.

During our most recent foray we were in the audience for The Odd Couple, a story we knew well from the movie and the television series. It was so good! We toured the City Hall clock tower, until 1967 the tallest structure in the city and now dwarfed by modern giants. We had time for the Museum of Brisbane, also in City Hall. We had some lovely meals and my husband got to walk a bit more than he’s used to – but had a modern comfortable hotel room to recover in. 

Brisbane has quite a few hotels in and around the CBD of varying quality and cost. I’m sure Australia’s other cities do too.

Do you sometimes think of staying home like this, spending your money locally, and learning more about your city? Have your children shouted you a night or two in a really fancy hotel for a special anniversary, in your own city?

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