If I had to choose one word to describe Bali it would be colourful. Every day vibrant colours drew me in like a magpie to diamonds… The dazzling shades of pinks, reds and yellows in its flowers, the ripe, rich greens of its rice paddies and its brilliant blue skies. To put it simply, I fell in love with its colours.
Even the greyest of pavements are lit up by dozens of colourful offerings for the Hindu Gods. Seemingly discarded on the floor, they are found everywhere from shops and restaurants to outside hotel doors. We found them at the top of Bali’s highest mountain Gunung Agung, lying on the sandy beaches (which Matty accidentally trampled on, burning his foot on the incense – but no one seemed to mind) and precariously balanced on taxi meters.
Varying in shapes and sizes, the offerings can be as small as a few grains of rice on a banana leaf, or as lavish as a full size meal, decorated in orchids with sweet, floral scented incense burning. Some had brightly packaged biscuits, most were made with rice and flowers, but all were beautifully colourful, decorating miles of pavements across the island.
It was quite magical to watch women, carrying trays of burning incense and brightly coloured flowers, bless each offering as they laid it down. Silent and transfixed, their mouths moved as their fingers sprinkled water over the small presentation, as if they were casting a beautiful, enchanting spell.
Here’s a few of our favourite picture that I hope convey some of the colours of Bali…
And these beautiful structures, which I think must be made from palm leaves, lined many of the streets and were found outside homes, shops and restaurants. Most had small platforms at eye level that were laden with offerings.
It is an island blessed with vibrant natural beauty…
And the sunsets, which paint the sky with colours at dusk, are second to none.
We found dazzling displays of colour when we least expected it… Like this golden shrine at the top of Gunung Agung.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, the Balinese traditional dress is also colourful.
As is everything else from their dogs to their graveyards…
Whatever the spell, I’ve fallen under it.