Christmas time was a big concern for me from the very beginning of our trip. It was not the first time that I was away from my family for Christmas Eve, but usually I was in somebody else’s house, surrounded with love, home-made delicious food, and Christmas carols. This time all I had was Kev and that was enough for me, but on the other hand I wanted some kind of the special feeling that you have during Christmas.
During our stay on Lombok we knew we had to visit Gili Islands and we thought it would be a perfect place for the holiday time. Gili Islands is actually a ‘family’ of three little islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan. The last one is famous because of its party life. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants, pubs, and the night life is on quite a high level hehe. Gili Meno is the quiet one – that’s the best option if you want to rest and have some peaceful empty beaches around. We chose Gili Air, because it’s a combination between the other two islands. We booked a ticket in a tourist office in Senggigi and on 22nd of December we were ready to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the sun.
After waiting for some time for a boat (geez, the harbour is a small nightmare.. people scream to you, they send you to all different directions, you don’t know which boat is yours, crazy!) we finally arrived to Gili Air. It was AMAZING. The island was exactly what we needed. After a few small walks we knew that there is the main street with many lovely restaurants, empty path on the opposite side of the island, and some small streets ‘inside’, where you can find local warungs and many home-stays.
For the Christmas Eve we chose a restaurant right in the middle of the main street. It looked crowded the night before and the menu looked great, so we were really excited to celebrate Christmas there. Of course I didn’t expect pierogi and barsch (traditional Polish dishes), nor the sweets typical for Christmas in Holland, but we knew it was going to be good anyway. Oh God, it was!
When we arrived to the place it was already a bit crowded and there was a live band playing. We decided to get some barbeque specials – a stick (like a bigger version of sate) with meat, vegetables, and fruits on it. It was together with French fries and some salad, so we thought it will be probably enough. Oh God, it was! We both got a stick that was about half of meter long – no joke! There were three types of meat, a few different vegetables and some fruits. All covered with delicious marinade. Plus an extra plate with four different sauces. Sounds good, huh?
We were in heaven. Our table was on the beach, right next to the band, but far enough to keep the conversation. There were candles on every tables so the beach looked magical. The food was the best ever. Well, for sure in my TOP 10. We were so happy, we had the real Christmas Eve. We might have been far away from our families, but we were surrounded by people, we had a great dinner, and the waiters wore Santa Claus hats so it felt right like at home.
The next day we spend on the beach snorkelling, walking around, and eating local food in warungs. Although I missed my friends and family I was very happy. I had Kev next to me, it was sunny and all the people around us were smiling and wishing each other ‘Merry Christmas!’. It was just perfect.