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Nowadays, Bali stands for private villas and pools, hip shops and coffee bars, and dreamy temples. But how did this island become so popular as a tourist destination? Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash

With corona still roaming our planet, it’s hard to imagine what travel will look like in the future. And on an island that receives 80% of its income through tourism, that uncertainty must be devastating.

While Bali is just one of Indonesia’s 17.500 islands, it usually receives about 40% of the country’s monthly tourists. Now, it’s banned all international visitors until the end of 2020.

Instead of trying to predict Bali’s future, let’s have a look at the island paradise’s past. How did Bali become Indonesia’s tourist hotspot? And what almost took away its title?

Dive into 120 years of Balinese tourism industry in the making. …


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If looks could kill. Painting: Medusa Murtola by Caravaggio (1595–1598)

Do you think strong, beautiful women are intimidating? The ancient Greeks sure believed they were.

Not only did they consider their goddesses to be ruthless — even love goddess Aphrodite could be stonecold — or did they think all beautiful female antagonists were sorceress’ — like Medea and Circe. The ancient Greeks also created myths about female creatures just waiting to make men’s lives miserable.

There were the women who waited by the side of the road to catch travelers and eat them, the ones who could kill a guy with a single, icy look, the sexy entertainers who would try to murder you, and even the ones who would defecate all over a king’s food. …


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Some of these flowers may be people, you never know. Painting: Festoon with Flowers and Fruit by Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1660–1669)

The ancient Greek gods loved to play with mortal lives. Although they preferred turning people into animals, sometimes the Olympians went for garden decoration instead. Whether it was to punish them or to help them, these are the tragic Greeks who were turned into plants.

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Mother earth, trapped in a sheet. Painting: Gaea by Anselm Feuerbach (1875)

Syceus

Syceus was a son of mother earth, Gaia, and therefore a member of the warrior race called ‘giants’. Although that term might make you think that he and the rest of his race were tall, Syceus was of average human size.

Because Olympians (Zeus and co) had ruled the world for a long time and had shoved all other deities aside, the giants started a war to gain power, called the Gigantomachy. The Olympians, being the most divine and powerful, won the conflict and punished the losing giants in a lot of diverse ways. Some of the giants were buried, crushed, burnt alive, or even eaten. …

About

Lisa’s vivid Writing

Freelance blogger and content creator for hire. Specialized in travel and nature. Passionate about Renaissance art and eighties hits.

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