Chaoyang Park blanketed under a thick layer of fluffy snow

Beijing, Saturday the 8th of February 2020


We have been given a rare treat this winter in Beijing – two consecutive days of snow have covered the city under a fluffy white blanket. In Chaoyang Park, where we usually have our picnics during summer, the lawns are hidden below more than 10cm of snow. Taking a walk in the park is a welcome relief after days of quarantined home office to prevent the corona virus from spreading. While it isn’t airborne it is still recommended to wear face masks when mingling in larger groups of people. Fortunately, the park is still fairly deserted and it wasn’t necessary to keep your face covered. The cold air felt nice and clean and gave a much needed release after days indoors.

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Missing the island life on Gili Air

February 5, 2019

Incredible beaches of Gili Air.

It has been already a year since we visited Gili Air and spend a few incredibly relaxed days on the island. Again and again I am shocked how time flies and truly cannot imagine that our Indonesia vacation was precisely one year ago. After spending a day in Jakarta and two days exploring Bali’s hipster area Ubud, we decided on a whim to buy boat tickets to shuttle over to the Gilis, a group of three tiny islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. As the least developed of the group Gili Air is less of a party island and more an oasis of calm, which is why we chose it above the others.

Island swing on Gili Air

On the boat we booked a few nights in the Ocean’s Five diving resort, about the only larger place to stay. We would also take a two day introductory course into scuba diving here, as their diving operation is PADI certified. Ocean’s Five is located right next to Gili Air’s only “harbor” where boats drop off and take on visitors two to three times a day. Walking along the water many beachfront bars with bean bags and lounge corners invite you in to have a cocktail or a fresh coconut.

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Indonesia is famous for it’s sunrises and sunsets. We are not necessarily morning people but still prefer to rise early in order to enjoy more hours in the day. This has the added benefit that we get to experience the lonely sunrises at Gili Air and take morning swims in the shallow waters close to shore.

Sunset.

Sunrise.