Today’s main feature is Vatican City which we had already pre-booked a half day tour with Dark Rome tour operator. With the tour we would be able to access some restricted areas and (most importantly) skip the entry queue. You know its money well spent when you see snaking queues forming outside the entrance at 8:15am.
We got to the meeting place quite easily and everyone else in our group were on time. From then onwards, our guide when about clearing all the administrative stuffs to ensure our entry was fuss free.
The guide then gave a general introduction of Vatican City, touching on its minute population (around 800 if I remember correctly), the Swiss guards who had to live within the compound and how the dome of St Peter’s Basilica was designed to be just slightly smaller than that of the Pantheon by Michelangelo (can’t quite recall the exact reason). She also shared various interesting facts and trivia which helped saved our brains from shutting off.
We first explored the Pinacoteca, the Vatican art gallery where the famous works of Caravaggio (The Entombment of Christ is pretty epic), Leonardo and Raphael can be found. It was mentioned that Raphael took inspiration from Michelangelo, especially from his Sistine Chapel frescoes to capture the gestures and movements of the characters in his Transfiguration. It is pretty evident that the stances of the characters from his earlier work, The Crowning of the Virgin Mary (which can also be found in the Pinacoteca) are less vivid in comparison.
Oh look at me going on and on like a sir.
It’s an early day today!
There is quite an interesting story about the chains which are on display at the main altar. However, the main draw for us was Michelangelo’s statue of Moses.
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I’m definitely not an art connoisseur but was nevertheless left in awe by the details etched on the statue. Hats off to that orange dude from TMNT.
Happiness is waking up to the smell of fresh toast and an assortment of bread, ham, yogurt and juices.
Enlightenment is realizing that oranges are not only orange in color but red too. Yes, it’s true and they are called blood oranges!
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On the way to the Metro to get to our 1st destination.
We haven’t been on a proper beach throughout our trip and with it being one of the attractions of Bali, we sure as hell couldn’t give it a miss. Faced with so many choices coupled with our indecision, we took the easy way out and got the driver to send us to the nearest beach.
We alighted at Ku De Ta Beach Club, which is supposedly the place to be in Bali, especially if you like to partayy. But nope, no party for us as parties even of the Ku De Ta kind don’t start at 11am. Made the short walk across the compound to be greeted by these fabulous sights.
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As in awesome or great, even though we had to pay to rent one of the beach beds for an hour. Yep, nothing comes for free. However, I can’t recall how much we paid. But I did made a feeble attempt to haggle and succeed! Haha, cheap thrill.
Tanah Lot has gotta be one of the must see sights of Bali, even with its massive crowd of tourists. The awesome sight of the sun setting right before you, it seems like nothing else really matters at all. That is until the mosquitoes start biting.
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As Tanah Lot is situated on a offshore rock, we couldn’t explore the temple proper with the tide rising.
Continuing from where I left off in Part 1 of Bali Brouhaha, we were headed to Ubud for its famous Babi Guling! Although, our driver informed us that we could easily find better tasting Babi Guling from just about anywhere in Seminyak rather than this joint which mainly caters to tourists. But heck, we’re here so let’s just dig in.
And nope, I’m sorry to say that the only pic I have of the dish is this one from my phone.
It tasted kind of funky. Probably because of the overpowering smell of the pork. I used to scratch my head at friends who refused to eat pork because of its smell. Now I know what they mean.
After lunch, we took our time checking out the area which we so hastily left the day before.
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Inside the premises of a temple in Central Ubud.
It has been a lifelong dream of mine to use the word ‘brouhaha’ in some form of writing. You would think it’s an easy task but I don’t see how it’s possible to squeeze in that whimsical looking word into work documents and emails without getting dirty looks from my colleagues.
Anyway, I have had the opportunity to visit Bali on a short holiday recently and I was pretty psyched to go due to the rave reviews I’ve heard. Unfortunately, the first day was pretty much a write-off in terms of itinerary accomplishment and photos. We did minimal planning thinking that Bali or at least Seminyak (the area our villa was located) is a commercialized area that is easily accessible. Wrongggg. But our biggest mistake was thinking that the cab will be a cheaper option to get around compared to hiring a personal vehicle. Wrong againnnnn.
We took a cab to Ubud to check out the Babi Guling (suckling pig) and traditional dance performances. The driver must have been on the brink of death trying to contain his laughter at striking tourist gold. Although to be fair, he did informed us that the trip would take an hour or so. Upon reaching our destination, we found out that the famous Babi Guling restaurant was already closed for the day.
In addition, our driver informed us that it will be quite hard to hail a cab to take us back to Seminyak and offered to wait for us while we go about doing our touristy stuffs. We readily agree, then realised he might have keep his meter running, so we had better have a quick dinner and make our way back. Therefore, no dance performances whatsoever and minimal sightseeing was accomplished. And I screwed up the film while loading it in my camera.
Deflated and dejected, we decided to just take the easy way out and hire a driver from our villa to take us out on a day tour the next day. It’s an infinitely better deal than hiring a cab considering it’s cheaper and we could have the car for up to 8 hours.
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The 1st stop of our day tour, a plantation selling Balinese produce such as fruits, chocolate, tea and coffee. When it comes to coffee, Indonesia is famed for producing the most expensive in the world: Kopi Luwak. It is produced from coffee beans consumed and subsequently defecated by civets and cost between US$100 and $600 per pound.
That’s some expensive shit.