We were enchanted from the moment we stepped onto Finland, the snow tickling a childlike glee. Helsinki was enough to delight us, but it was our trip down to the Kimitoön archipelago that really revealed Finland’s magnificent nature.
Here’s a photo journey through our visit. Read more
Looking back through our photos of Finland, I’m struck by the texture of the images.It’s a cliché to say that no two snowflakes are the same, or to talk of winter wonderlands, but the reasons behind those tropes come alive in these photos. It’s a mesmerizing sight to see the shape of each individual fleck adding to a veil of glitter across an already fractal landscape. This is a post that can do without many words. I promise stories next time.
When the sky turns lilac, I know my day is nearly done. The trees fade into the horizon and make way for the nighttime sky. I’ll miss the stars when we move to the city. Four months worth of days have passed at this window from Autumn into Winter sun. People say England is grey. In Devon, it’s kaleidoscopic.
A hail storm gives way to a brilliant blue sky, cotton wool clouds speeding from the winds of sea. The sky is never still. Read more
Sometimes places inspire a picture painted with words. Helsinki in its winter dress did plenty to provoke poetry, but now is time for some more practical prose.
One of the reasons we were drawn to Bali was a school. We’re not planning on having kids anytime soon nor do we even know if that’s a path we’ll go down, but we realised when we were in San Pancho that when it comes to choosing a place to live, good education options might be something we need to pay attention to. San Pancho has that covered with the Costa Verde School in Sayulita, which has a focus on sustainability – something I hadn’t come across before in a school. It prompted me to do a little research into other eco-focused schools around the world, through which I quickly found Bali’s Green School.
Voted the Greenest School on Earth, Green School lies just outside Ubud and is one of the most fascinating schools I’ve ever come across. Read more
Eleven years ago, I saw a boy dressed in a red hat, a red hoodie and a pair of baggy blue jeans. Looking at him that day, intuition and a skip of the heart told me that there was a story to be written between us. It took some time to get going – we were friends for six years before finally the romance chapters began – but it’s a story I grow to cherish more every day. In November, we celebrated five years together, and to celebrate, that red-hatted boy surprised me with a weekend in Paris. It was magical. Here’s the Paris chapter à la Instagram… Read more
As we approached our last weekend on Bali, we realised we’d only managed to visit the beach once in our entire five months there. Both of us had been so busy on our various projects that we’d had little time off, and Ubud kept us more than entertained for the leisure time we did have. In fact, aside from our trip to the Gilis and Village Above the Clouds, we hadn’t left the town for more than a day trip. This is madness for a girl who loves beaches and is living on an island so when the final weekend came, we decided we really had to visit the coast – we were, after all, about to head back to a very cold UK! We debated heading to Amed, but finally decided on the Bukit peninsula, in particular the surf beach, Balangan. Here are some photos from our trip:
Last week, we told you about a special place to stay in Bali’s central highlands, a village suspended in the island’s quieter days before the tourism boom. The Village Above the Clouds is one of the most peaceful places we’ve ever stayed. As we said in our last post, it’s a place where you feel like you’re a guest of the village not just the hotel, and that point was made clear when a group of sisters invited us into her home. Read more
As soon as I saw the Village Above the Clouds website, I knew we had to go there. I’d found it while searching for eco-hotels in Bali and it was the most charming and visually stunning one I came across. A few weeks later, I chanced across the owner at one of the many workshops I’ve been to in Ubud and he told me some more about the village where the hotel sits, and the school he’d started there. It was the obvious choice for our road trip away from Ubud, and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. Read more
A lot of people complain about the tourism in Bali, and it’s fair enough. The proliferation of guesthouses and villas that are quickly filling the rice fields and shorelines of the island is alarming and painful to watch – and the traffic is abominable. Ubud is one of the places that has been hit particularly hard, and what we hear was a quiet town is now teeming with tour buses and endless vendors vying to make a buck from the tourist dollar. We’ve gotten used to it, and managed to carve a life behind the tourism screen in what is still a richly cultural and beautiful town.
However, many visitors to Bali never get past the initial shock of tourism, traffic and touts, and leave believing the island has been ruined. It’s likely these people never got beyond Ubud, Kuta and some of the other “must sees” of the island. We wish they’d ventured to Central Bali… Read more