Unusually at breakfast this morning, all the staff were looking beautiful wearing traditional Balinese national dress rather than their uniforms. I commented how lovely they looked and enquired why they were dressed in this way. Apparently it was Prophet’s Day when it is customary to wear national dress. The entire team looked wonderful in their different shades and patterns of costumes.
We’d spent quite sometime researching how to spend the day, and to be honest, we’d come up with very little as we seemed to have covered all the options on previous days. The only attractions we hadn’t visited were a water park and monkey forest, neither of which appealed as we’ve encountered more than enough pesky monkeys in their natural habitats without needing to pay to see them in a wildlife sanctuary.
A monument to a Danish man in Bali had come to our attention and although this didn’t sound particularly exciting, it was at least somewhere for us to go, so we ordered a Grab Car costing IDR 18,000 (£1). Along a backstreet this memorial to the Danish sailor Mads Johansen Lange commemorates his journey to Bali which is about as far away from Denmark as you can get.
We couldn’t understand why so many scooters were parked in front of it as, apart from the river, there was little else around there. We followed a footpath beside the river bank and although it was off the beaten track, it was perfectly safe apart from reckless scooter drivers weaving their way around and mounting pavements instead of waiting patiently in a queue of traffic.
A pet shop took our attention as it sold nothing but goldfish, some in tanks with others in polythene bags filled with water bringing back memories of my childhood visits to funfairs when I scooped a prized goldfish.
The narrow back streets eventually led to a major road where we came across both Hindu and Buddhist temples. In fact, it was the first Buddhist temple we had seen on the island as Bali is predominantly Hindu.
Looking at our phone map we realised that we were not far from the Galleria Shopping Centre so we thought we’d take a look. Despite it being near, it took us ages to get there as there was a motorway type road with a concrete central reservation in our way. After having to walk a huge distance until we could find a safe crossing place we were glad to enter the air-conditioned mall to cool down.
We found ourselves in the designer/ luxury wing which was stylish but exceedingly quiet. Reaching the other wings was quite confusing as the buildings weren’t linked and it was necessary to cross a car park to gain access. Here we found the usual household names and a large supermarket which we also had a quick look in. Arranging a Grab Car back to the hotel proved problematic as the mall’s Wi-Fi only worked in one section that wasn’t near a road but eventually we managed to order one as it was both too far and too hot to walk all the way back.
Back in our room we enjoyed a rest, a mug of green tea and read the newspapers before popping up to the rooftop pool where we had become quite accustomed to relaxing from around 5.00 p.m. sipping glasses of beer and watching the stunning sunsets.
The pool staff were also wearing traditional national dress and looked very smart. Later we dined at a small restaurant nearby before heading back to the hotel for the night.
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