You probably know the Hallerbos in Spring, when it turns into a fairy wood with its carpets of bluebells everywhere.
I took a group of around 20 people to explore the wild edibles in the Hallerbos today, and the walk was very enjoyable. I even discovered a couple of new plants myself, alas not edible but with medicinal properties. Continue reading “A summer walk in the Hallerbos”
Last weekend I spent a day with a Prince in his court. If this conjures mental images ‘a la Disney’ then you’re quite off the mark, because the Prince I’m talking about is the son of the King of Tiebele in Burkina Faso and his court is a village deep in the African bush with little sign of its royal status other than the ornate luxury of its wall paintings. Continue reading “The royal court of Tiebele in Burkina Faso”
I experienced my first visit to Burkina Faso last week as a first glimpse into the fascinating world of Sub-Saharan Africa.
As I came without any specific expectation on this trip but with lots of mental images of Africa, I was really curious to see if these images stood the test of reality. Continue reading “On the road in Burkina Faso”
Galungan and Kuningan are among the most important Balinese ceremonies and I am so grateful to be able to witness these two ceremonies and the Balinese New Year, also called Nyepi, in the same trip! Continue reading “Living the Galungan way”
As the kids are still getting used to Bali’s hot and humid weather and to the time difference, we decide to take it slowly with excursions. A nice half-day trip is to go to the monkey forest in Sangeh. Continue reading “The sacred monkey forest of Sangeh”
I usually never travel back to the same place I’ve already been abroad – with the exception of Bangkok. But this year we decided to go back to the house we rented near Ubud in 2011, when we started our monthly stays abroad with the kids during winter. The house we rent in Lodtunduh, just south of Ubud is part of a compound of 5 traditional thatched roof houses called T House Kaja. Continue reading “Back to my favourite place in the world”
With Leina, a former colleague from the EU institutions who is currently living in Bali, we decided to do a 2-day tour of the hidden beaches of Bali’s southern peninsula, known for its water temples and its secluded beaches. Continue reading “Hidden beaches and crouching temples in the south of Bali”
On Nyepi Day or Silence Day (28 March this year), all Bali goes into lethargy. Locals and tourists alike are not allowed to roam the streets, to take a car or bike, to use a stove or oven, to work and to make noise. It is a day for meditation and contemplation, but originally it was designed to trick the demons into thinking Bali was inhabited so they wouldn’t come and annoy the people on the island for the rest of the year. Cunning! Continue reading “Biking my way through Bali’s terraced rice paddies, lush jungles and waterfalls”
The big day has come when I will discover what it’s like to celebrate the Balinese New Year with a local family. Before I get to the village of Jasan where Styawan, my new Balinese friend, is waiting for me, I ask the staff at my guesthouse what I should bring as a gift. Continue reading “Celebrating Nyepi, the Balinese New Year”
Being alone in Bali for an entire week is an odd feeling, as the island is so much connected to the best family holiday I’ve ever had. But I’ve decided to make the best of this time and to go where I cannot go with the children, or at least be even more adventurous than usual. Continue reading “First days in Bali”