We're here to i) experience Bali and its history, ii) share a mini- holiday with our daughter Becky when she arrives Sunday and iii) find Julia Roberts' villa and the Holy Guru she met in the Eat, Pray, Love movie.
Here's the history. Bali is a small island in Indonesia with a population of 4 million. It ranks as the 12th most populated island- there are 300 million people in all of Indonesia. A very interesting point is that Bali is 90% Hindu whereas Indonesia as a nation is 90% Muslim.
History shows Hinduism in Bali as early as the 11th century with construction of the Pura Besakih temple complex, the largest and holiest in Bali:
Near the Bali capital of Denpasar, there is the Hindu Goa Lawah Temple. They were having a Hindu ceremony when we visited:
Locals lined up in their best attire to have food blessed as part of a traditional ceremony held twice a year. Note what the little guy has in his hands- the marvels of technology aligning with hundreds of years of tradition.
One last piece of history- for centuries, Bali was governed by different kingdoms. The Klungkung was the strongest and their palace dates back to the 17th century:
The palace was largely destroyed during the Dutch colonial conquest in 1908 (they ruled from the 18th century till 1948). The first pic is one of the gates to the original palace. The next pic is their 'floating palace' and the basic remains of the court of justice.
And something totally different- a piece of trivia for you:
This is a bat we found outside a restaurant and this guy was doing all kinds of acrobats. If you look at the pic closely, you'll see he's peeing- very strongly. Just thought you might need to know this trivia if a bat gets close to you sometime down the road.