A day in Bali – the villa, the beach, and the food

After just about a week of travel, we were pretty exhausted. Bali was a really welcome change. We could just literally do nothing and relax.

All of this was a part of our villa. I’ve never had such nice accommodations.

We got to try some Indonesian Roti. Each dish was like a dollar!! We watched the staff at the restaurant tossing and spinning the dough and everything. They have plain roti, roti with sausage, cheese, onions, or even dessert roti!

Warung Bunana

Getting around is pretty easy with the many taxis around or even a motorbike rental. I’ve read that there have been altercations between taxi drivers and Grab drivers, but I didn’t experience that while I was there, except for some areas clearly marked as not Grab friendly. There aren’t a lot of gas stations around, but a lot of stores fill up petrol in vodka bottles and sell them.

This section of the beach was part of a restaurant/bar/resort called Ku De Ta, and people could just sit back and enjoy a drink or two (cigars are on the menu too!) while enjoying the beach. Locals own the chairs on the beach and charge people to sit on them.

The waves were a bit strong for actual swimming though

We couldn’t chill on this beach, but we did have a pool in our villa! Mike made an amazing video tour of the villa in his video below!

I spent my time in the pool learning how to swim (at this point, I didn’t even know how to float). I started off being super uncomfortable even leaning back to float, and was really frustrated at not being able to do basic actions on the water. I looked up YouTube videos on how to float and tread water and eventually figured it out! We basically stayed in the pool until we got hungry for dinner – this time to try local seafood. Mike, if you’re reading this, you missed out by not recording this part.

Warung 24/7 has an option on the menu that serves a variety of barbecued seafood and it’s amazing – highly recommended for seafood lovers

After the meal, we went back in the pool. I practiced some more, and when I got tired, I floated on my back and gazed at the stars.

I was disappointed to leave this amazing villa, but alas, all good things must come to an end. The next day, we took the plane and flew back home, where we resumed our regular lives.

For my photos of Bali, click here.

A very brief tour of Reykjavik

Seeing that I spent so much time outside of Reyjavik, I really only spent a handful of hours here and there in this city. The best experience I had here was eating all the different kinds of stereotypical Icelandic food! On my first night staying in Reykjavkik, I had the “Icelandic Gourmet Feast” at Tapas Barinn. The name of that sounds totally like something like you would see from a tourist trap kind of place (I highly doubt locals eat this stuff on the regular), but everything was really good and I still recommend it even after going!

Smoked puffin with blueberry “brennivín” sauce
Lobster tails baked in garlic
Icelandic arctic char with candy beets salad, asparagus and elderflower-hollandaise
Pan-fried blue ling with lobster sauce
Grilled Icelandic lamb tenderloin with beer-butterscotch sauce
Minke Whale with sweet potato mash and malt sauce
This was a lamb dish that I don’t remember what it was because it was on the house!
White chocolate “Skyr” mousse with passion coulis

I was totally sold on this meal even before I went to Iceland. The part of this meal that I was most excited for was the puffin and the minke whale! I had never eaten them before! Puffin is supposed to have a bit of a fishy taste to it, but since it was smoked, that taste wasn’t very strong. It doesn’t really have a distinct flavour and was a bit chewy. It tastes a bit like minke whale, and minke whale tastes like really chewy red meat – without the strong flavours like beef, and not that fishy. The lobster tails were also amazing. I didn’t even know lobsters can be this tiny, or maybe it was a crayfish that was lost in translation?

Oh and it’s true what people say about Iceland being really windy. I was told to open a car door slowly and to hold on tight as I open it to prevent the damage to the car door from swinging wide open from the wind.

Another place I went was Cafe Loki, just outside the Hallgrimskirkja. Everything tastes like what you’d expect, EXCEPT the thing in the middle. That is Hákarl, whcih is fermetted shark meat. Some people say it’s rotten shark.

This isn’t shark fin like what Chinese people like to eat, but this is actual shark meat. It’s a bit chewy and has a slightly sour flavour to it. Would not eat again.

After the meal, I checked out the Hallgrimskirkja. It’s a church, but the architecture on the outside is quite unique! It isn’t like the old baroque/gothic/etc style churches in a lot of parts of Europe.

I got to try some craft beers as well. They were pretty good – not better or worse than the craft beers I’m used to drinking. I do live in Seattle, so that might speak highly of Icelandic craft beers!

Clockwise from top left: 1) Viking lager; 2) Viking Rokkr; 3) Viking Red IPA; 4) Viking Stout; 5) Einstök White Ale; 6) Einstök Arctic Pale Ale

As a little bonus, I saw a guy get his ass kicked at the bar. Story was that the guy who got his ass kicked was being creepy towards some women and was asked to leave, but instead attacked the employee who happened to train in MMA…

That concludes my trip to Iceland! Photos here.

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