Balinese Adventure Part 14
During his 2 night stay at Villa Basilio, a rambling 6 bedroom villa in Seminyak, Michael Taylor discovers that he has access to a car and driver. He takes advantage of this perk to do some sightseeing in Denpasar.
My accommodation at Villa Basilio in Seminyak, Bali, includes a car and driver (not to mention the groundskeepers, housekeepers, security guards, and cook).
When I’m told this, I decide that I can’t spend my entire 2 days here roaming around the 2,400 metre grounds, doing laps in the 15 metre long main swimming pool, or deciding on which of the 6 very different bedrooms I should sleep in tonight.
I learn right away that the chef has a mean hand with the skillet. So I think I should eat all of my 3 meals a day here. I also think, however, that I should take advantage of the car and driver to see some things that I haven’t seen on previous trips to Bali.
After perusing the INSIDE GUIDE I bought before leaving Hong Kong, I decide to focus on Denpasar, the provincial capital. It’s a roughly 40 minute drive from my villa in Seminyak.
The first couple of recommendations are false starts. No reason to get out of the car. No reason to mention them here.
On our way to the third recommendation, we cross an intersection with a giant statue of Catur Muka, a.k.a. Lord of the Four Directions. My first photo shoot, I think. I ask my driver if we can park the car. I want to take a pictures.
Sidetracked by a Temple
Long before I get my picture of Catur Muka, however, I become sidetracked: first by a temple, then by a museum. I’ll focus on the museum.
Museum Bali was established in 1932 by a German artist called Walter Spies (1895 – 1942). Its purpose was to preserve Balinese arts and crafts.
According to my guide book, Museum Bali is open daily except Sunday. It is Sunday, which is why I didn’t ask my driver to take me here.
But when I take a picture of the beautiful exterior, a guard comes forward and asks if we want to go inside.
So much for travel guides. I start by buying more postcards to send readers of my blog. Then I begin my exploration of the museum, which is set amid temple-like grounds. It has 5 pavilions. The exhibitions are interesting.
Sidetracked by Some Music
After touring 3 of the pavilions I am sidetracked yet again – this time by noise, a cacophony of Balinese xylophones and drums.
At first, I think it is emanating from the park across the way. But it seems too loud. As I peek through a gate leading from one garden to the next, I notice a gaggle of small children taking lessons in Balinese dance.
I decide that this is more interesting than the displays in the museum. I decide to go watch.
I’m captivated by the haunting melody of the gongs, the adorable children trying their best to meet the expectations of their patient teachers, the patient teachers patiently correcting them when they get things wrong, and the parents looking adoringly at their children.
Sidetracked by a Photo Shoot
Now it’s my driver’s turn to become sidetracked. At some point, he wanders off. He sees something and comes back to fetch me. He wants me to follow him.
I do and through a gateway I see a photo shoot taking place in the distance.
It’s a young couple dressed in the most amazingly beautiful costumes imaginable. They are posing for wedding photos.
I decide to do a photo shoot of my own. My driver insists that I have my picture taken with the couple, who agree to his suggestion. I self-consciously join them
“Three down, 2 to go,” I think. “Time to check out the rest of the museum.”
By now, the museum has closed. But the photo shoot and dance lesson continue. Maybe I can check out the other 2 pavilions on my next trip to Bali – unless I get distracted along the way.
Museum Bali, Jalan Let. Kol Wisnu, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Telephone: 0361 222 680.