Unlocking the hidden side of Melbourne after dark

Unlocking the hidden side of Melbourne after dark
Melbourne is the restaurant culinary and cocktail capital of Australia so after a guided walking tour of the lanes and arcades by day with Hidden Secret Tours , we headed back out to discover the al fresco eateries, cozy bars and music clubs nestled side-by-side in laneways that thread throughout the city. Here’s a sampling of what we found one night on the town in Melbourne.  Shebeen Bar and Restaurant on Manchester Lane donates 100% of profits to the developing world so no matter how much you drink at their bar they guarantee you’ll wake up the next day feeling good! The night started with Tommy’s Jalapeno Margarita with cilantro and chile, and a Pepino Pisco sour with cucumber and fresh mint.      Dinner was just a few steps up the way on Manchester Lane at Maccaroni Trattoria, everyone’s favorite new Italian eatery with a warm, homey feel of...
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The high side of down under: The Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia

The high side of down under: The Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia
Sydneysiders, as they are called, see the Sydney Harbor Bridge as more than an iconic landmark. They drive it, walk it, drift under it, and we saw many of them stop to pose momentarily in its golden shadow at sunset.      For the visitor to Sydney Harbor, it’s ever present and in most pictures of the city, and with a little zoom lens you can see groups of climbers constantly ascending one side and down the other.  We scheduled our climb the last day in the city, so for two days prior we watched and photographed teams of about 10-12 persons streaming up and down starting ascents from 8 AM to 8 PM.      Every visitor is in awe of the bridge, and most are in awe of the many people who climb it. So, of course, we couldn’t resist either. Anne was nervous until she saw what...
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Heres what the first 24 hours of our Endless Summer Downunder looks like

Heres what the first 24 hours of our Endless Summer Downunder looks like
What a breeze flying from LAX departing at 10 PM, in the air for 14 hours getting a solid night's rest and arriving Sydney at 7 AM, 3 movies in with just a 5 hour time difference. Flying Virgin Australia in Premium Economy (roomy seats with same Biz Class in-flight service) certainly helped make the trans-Pacific crossing easy too.    8 AM:  We headed straight from the airport to a beautiful coastal trail in Royal National Park just 45 minutes from the city.  12 Noon:  Our Aussie angel, Sheree Knickel, a friend and guide at Longitude 131 one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia (Ulhuru), took us to the beach for a swim by high noon. 2PM:  Checked into our room with a view of Syndey Harbor at the spectacular Intercontinental, centrally located in the hub of Circular Quay with views of the water, Sydney Opera House, and spectacular waterfront...
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