Melbourne, or is this San Fran?

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Landing here from Cairns. Suddenly moving from tropics to overcast and rainy. A long boardwalk traded for concrete and towers. Diving kiosks are replaced by a city tram rail and museums replace the ocean for tourist attractions. We are back in a big city, shaking ourselves free of sand and sun. We find ourselves amongst a shockingly realistic Chinatown, centered in a city full of famous chefs, and wandering amongst a farmers market that could bury any of it’s competitors. Art centric, food friendly, culturally diverse, architecturally significant, and uncommonly modern- it feels like the australian response to San Francisco. Here we are in Melbourne: enjoying spicy hand pulled noodles at three in the morning and wondering why our home town, another food focused city, can’t touch the level of authenticity that this city so easily performs. Melbourne.. Who knew?

Originally here for a week, it turned into two weeks without a blink of disagreement between us. Melbourne is an abyss for anyone with a hungry stomach and a curious mind. It takes no effort to lose a day here, or a night for that matter. One can wander the streets aimlessly and trip over world class food without trying. Public art lines the streets, alleyways are not spared from bright lights and hidden shops, and an array of languages can be heard at every turn. Great for tourists, yet still keeping much of itself for the well practiced local, Melbourne offers such a unique mix of big and bold, small and underground.

Laid back yet stunning, you can’t help but feel compelled to stay longer. You overlook the bad weather. You kindly ignore the expense. You walk the riverfront, find yourself photographing statues and street corners with painted panels, planning which hidden eatery you’ll try for lunch. Melbourne, at it’s finest, is the city you find without reading a tourist book. It is the place you get lost in and experience the best of.

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