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Melbourne

After my incredible couple of days in Sydney, I landed in Melbourne knowing that my taste buds were in for a real treat.

Melbourne is often hailed as the food capital of Australia (just don’t tell Sydney), and has gained a reputation as a city that offers incredible dining experiences.  After landing, I found a cab and asked the cabbie to take me someplace that I could grab a quick bite.  I really was famished!  He recommended Alexander Cafe.

I loved it the minute I stepped inside.  The decor really stuck me.  Firstly, the lights were heavy set industrial style pendant lights.  My eyes were drawn to them straight away.   There were three of them set in the roof, hanging around half way down from the ceiling.  They provided perfect lighting for the venue.   Secondly, the cafe had this amazing chill area with colorful sofas and large fluffy cushion covers.  I sat there having a cup of coffee and a quick bite.  A fair amount of people came into the cafe to have coffee and take ten minutes to relax on the sofas; it really was a great idea.

I then headed off to the hotel and turned in early.  Melbourne waited!

My 24 hours in Melbourne went a little like this…

8am

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I took my time getting ready.  There was no real need to rush today.  I had already made my lunch and dinner bookings at two of the top Melbourne restaurants before I had left the States.

I grabbed a morning paper and headed out just around the corner of the hotel to a coffee shop.  They do love their coffee here in Melbourne

10am

I headed over to Hossier Lane, which features some unbelievable urban art or graffiti as we call it in the States.  Some of these artists are so talented, considering they are using spray cans!

As a lover of sport I decided to pop into the National Sport Museum of Australia.  It was certainly different.  Cricket… now that is one strange form of baseball!

1pm

I had my first taste explosion of the day at the Flower Drum, a Cantonese restaurant.   I tried a number of dishes but their Steamed Tasmanian Bay Scallops was possibly the most incredible seafood dish I have ever eaten.  I had a couple of glasses of Australia’s finest wine as well.  They really make excellent wine here!

4pm

I spent some time shopping in Acland Street, a great place with some quirky little shops.  I also listened to my inner child and went on a couple of rides at Luna Park, an amusement centre in St Kilda.  I forgot that roller coasters can be that scary!

6pm

I went back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.

8pm

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I had booked dinner at Cafe Di Stasio in St Kilda.  This is one of the top restaurants in the city and it did not disappoint at all.  Instead of trying a few things off the menu, I asked my waiter to recommend a starter, main and dessert.  All of them were simply out of this world!  The main was Porchetta Con Mela, a suckling pig. It was so tender, so tasty and just astonishing.  I ate my meal in stunned silence; I just could not believe how much flavour could be crammed into all those dishes.

11pm

A desk clerk at the hotel had suggested that I had to visit Impro, a light night improve Theatre Company.  After my meal, I caught a cab to Abbotsville and caught a show.  I could not stop laughing, it really was so wacky, over the top and funny at the same time.  I wish we had more of this in the States.

2am

I stopped for a late night coffee at the Embassy Cafe and headed back to my hotel for the night.

Next up Brisbane

This morning I fly to Brisbane.  I am looking forward to it as I am meeting up with a backpacker that I met in Sydney.   Brisbane is the mid-point of my tour, so I aim to just relax and rest a little.