The end of the year is in sight, the oliebollen can almost be fried and the fireworks out of the packaging. New Year's Eve is of course one big party, wherever you are. But one party is not the other. there...
Tiny Samoa is a republic that is very far from the Netherlands. Swaying palm trees, white beaches, clear blue skies, delicious fruits and beautiful snorkeling. Samoa; it sounds like any tropical island you can find in Polynesia or the Caribbean. It is a small country near New Zealand. Please note: Samoa is the name for the western part of the Samoa Islands. The other part belongs to the United States: American Samoa. The country has more than 200.000 inhabitants and was once discovered by the Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen.
The magical timeline
Samoa used to be the last country where you could cheerfully celebrate the New Year, but since 2011 it has been the last country where the clock is ticking towards the New Year. The date line shifted so that a day was actually skipped, so it's that easy. The decision was mainly related to business interests. Time is money, also in Samoa.
Samoa consists of eleven districts with a lot of untouched nature. Waterfalls, caves and sparkling white beaches define the face of this country. You can enjoy excellent diving and snorkelling here. The underwater world is colorful with different types of fish and coral. The most famous attraction are the Alofa'aga Blowholes. There is solidified lava in the surf. Throwing a coconut into the blowhole creates a mega fountain! You have to see it to believe it.
Apia and Savai'i
The Europeans brought Christianity to Samoa and the religion took root quickly and deeply in their lives. Especially in Apia and the north coast of Savai'i you will find many Baroque churches that are fully visited.
Unfortunately, many churches were ruined or damaged during the two severe cyclones of the XNUMXs. On Sunday the whole village goes to church: everyone is dressed in white and there is prayers and gospels sung. If you want to go to a church service as a tourist, you are very welcome. However, cover your bare legs: preferably with a lava lava.
After the church visit, the men prepare the traditional 'umu'. These are the most delicious dishes from the kitchen of Samoa, which are prepared on piping hot stones and covered with palm leaves. This keeps everything nice and tender and juicy. Sitting on the floor, you can enjoy raw fish in coconut sauce, bread fruit, koko Samoa (a kind of chocolate milk) and marinated meat.
Besides very nice people and a special culture, the islands of Samoa also have a beautiful natural beauty. For example, close to Apia, in the middle of the rainforest, you can slide down five meters from Papasee'a Sliding Rock. Or snorkel in the Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve, also close to Apia.
Also on Upolu is the Piula Cave Pool; a freshwater lake that disappears under a rock above which stands a small church. The crystal clear water invites you to snorkel and to cool off. At the end of the cave you can swim through a narrow passage to the next pool.