Anyway, here's a glimpse at the second half of our Bali adventures.
So after we left the lovely villa near Candidasa,
We spent the second half of our time together enjoying the jungles, temples, stone and wood carvings, flowers, shopping, dancing, rice paddies, fish spas, and tasty cuisine of the beautiful ancient city of Ubud.
There were temples EVERYWHERE in Ubud - large ornate ones, simple small ones, you name it.
Here's the elephant cave temple:
Here's one of the many amazing temples that are around every corner as you wander through the city:
There's still a ton I don't understand and there's likely a lot I don't understand correctly since what I gathered was from the great information our various taxi drivers and guides provided in a language that wasn't their native language. But basically, the Balinese have a totally unique version of Hinduism that flourished without interference and grew to be it's own type of thing because there was so little connection with other Hindu people for a long time. The Balinese culture wasn't affected very much by the Dutch who ruled Indonesia since Bali was generally too far away from the major Dutch settlements to be much affected by the Dutch influence. So Balinese religion and culture is truly unique in the world.
Inside every temple compound, there are different smaller temples or shrines to different Hindu gods. Each neighborhood has a temple where people gather for the abundant special religious celebrations they have plus every home has their own little temples - at least three - one family temple, one ancestor temple, and one protection temple.
Here's a little temple where the owners of the rice field leave offerings to help keep their crops healthy and plentiful. I so loved these little temples that were absolutely everwhere, helping us all to constantly remember to be grateful and to keep Deity in mind.
There were also amazingly beautiful entrances/gates/doors everywhere:
Here are some school-children at the fancy gate entrance to their school. Fancy gates were a dime a dozen. Love how the Balinese care about making even simple things beautiful.
Here's our room:
Here's the beautiful vaulted ceiling of our room:
Here's the outdoor living room at the hotel where we had our own little church services on Sunday:
Here's Anita at her room:
Here's the entrance to Charity's room:
And here's the entrance to mom and dad's room. Nope, they don't cut corners when it comes to wood carving.
There were gorgeous flowers everywhere you looked - by the side of the road:
Arranged nicely in stone bowls placed here and there:
Even the statues got fresh flowers:
There were fresh flower arrangements placed in our hotel room daily:
Even the sinks in the public restrooms were adorned with fresh flowers:
We ate at some gorgeous restaurants. This one was featured in the movie "Eat Pray Love" and after going in through a pretty ordinary-looking storefront, there are these amazing gardens with lovely tables, some on their own little islands. And lunch cost like $5 if you got one of the most expensive things on the menu.
The food was beautiful and tasty too. This is the vegetarian sampler of some common Indonesian foods. It was super delicious.
And here are all the ladies enjoying a special "MFME" (mothers and future mothers of Eyrealm) lunch at this super super tasty place overlooking a gorgeous ravine.
Some people tried out this "fish spa" where little fish eat off all the dead skin on your feet. You should have heard the squeals and giggles from these tough guys!
One morning, Charity, Saydi and I went for a gorgous run on little dirt trails through some rice fields:
See the volcano in the distance?
We spent some time souvenir shopping at a big open-air market. A lot of the stuff for sale was pretty junky but we searched and found some great stuff to bring home to the kids and to the kind people who watched the kids. Plus it was really interesting just being there in the markets and observing people and bargaining for things.
One night, we were able to watch some traditional Balinese dancing - so interesting to see how different it is from the dancing we're used to. It's all about moving your eyes just right and keeping your toes and fingers flexed at sharp angles. These little girls were really cute in their bunny costumes and the older women were masters of their art. They invited some of us up to try out some of their moves - they did their best to teach us some simple stuff and it was really fun!