A Travellerspoint blog

Prambanan and the road to Bromo

day 5

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Early visit of Prambanan. As we are here at 7 am, there is nearly nobody else but our group. It's beautiful and serene.
We continue in the direction of Mount Bromo, which is supposed to be one of the highlights of our trip, with the sunrise on the volcano.
On the way, we make a stop in a village.
The kid, here, is playing with a kite (watch closely for the thin wire).
The road starts to climb and narrows; there are more than 200 hair-pin bends. Our destination is now 17 km away, but the bus will not pass: we switch to minibusses and we finally arrive at the hotel at 8.15 pm. We didn't expect a very good hotel, and we are not disappointed: the waiter bringing the welcome drinks does not make us feel very welcome; the restaurant is closed; our room is very basic and we hear everything from the next room. We go to sleep, as the night will be rather short: we have to wake up at 3.30 am, for the famous sunrise on Bromo. But it is raining ...

Posted by ortho158 07:27 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)


day 4

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Back to Yogyakarta, where we visit the Sultan's palace, the Kratong. No so impressive.
Musical lunch, with two dancers.
No visit is planned for the afternoon, and we go to the main commercial street of Yogya, Maliboro. At the entrance of the street, we are interviewed by a group of students who make a study about foreigners in Yogyakarta.
The street is very crowded. There are regular shops (including western ones: KFC e.g.) and stalls on the street. A significant part of the sidewalks is occupied by thousands of motorbikes.

It starts to rain, and we go back to our hotel.

Posted by ortho158 06:42 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)


day 4

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Today is Ascension day, a catholic holiday also celebrated in the largest muslim country in the world, where we will visit the largest Buddhist monument in the world. The weather is very hot and humid. On the way to Borobudur, we see the Merapi volcano.
Borobudur is a pyramid: it is very impressive but, because of the holiday, it is rather crowded.
It is very difficult to imagine that some people can have any feeling of serenity when they reach the top floor. There are a lot of young people running on the monument, taking pictures of each other with their cellphones.
We realize that some people look at us curiously: they actually want to take pictures of us. No problem! I have a lot of success: our guide says that they like bearded (ok) older (ok) men (ok) with a pot-belly (not ok).
When we go back to the bus, we are harassed by salespersons who try to sell their postcards, hats, umbrellas, lava statues, paper kites, ...

Posted by ortho158 06:08 Archived in Indonesia Tagged java Comments (0)

From Bandung to Yogyakarta

day 3

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Today, we are going to use the train, to our next stop: Yogyakarta. We leave the hotel at 6 am.
The train is on time, and leaves at 7 am. We travel very comfortably in 1st class. We can rotate the seats; we move ours so that we face the window; other people move them by 180°, so that they can play cards with the people behind them. The sceney is splendid, with lots of paddy fields.
It starts to rain around noon. We arrrive at Yogya at 2 pm ...
... and are brought to a very uninteresting batik shop. Then to the hotel. We look for a restaurant and again, it's not easy. It is nearly impossible to walk on the sidewalks: they are in bad condition, with rain puddles, and occupied by the warungs (street eating places). There is a very modern shopping center nearby, but only with fast food restaurants. We go back to our hotel, and have the buffet dinner here.

Posted by ortho158 08:18 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)


day 2

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Back to Bandung, where we see a dance and music show performed by children. It's the kind of thing that I distrust, but I am wrong: it is super!
There is an orchestra, with a kid who plays drums with a lot of enthousiasm, like Animal in the Muppet Show.
Each spectator is given an Angklung, a musical instrument tuned to a single note (but not all Angkungs are tuned to the same note).
Ours is a number 4 (fa, or F). The master of ceremonies shows, on a large chart, the note to be played, and all the persons with the right Angklung agitate it frantically.
And yes, we succeed in playing I have a dream, Frère Jacques, I'll always love you, ... Very funny!
We look for a restaurant but, this time, equipped with a detailed map. Not that many restaurants but, surprisingly, a lot of bars. We pick one in a commercial gallery. It's not easy to choose our meal, as the menu is very unclear, as well as the explanations of our waiter. Good, but extremely spicy. We have a fruit salad for dessert which is, unexpectedly, also spicy! They had beer, but we didn't receive knifes: only spoon and forks. Again, not expensive: 8€. Back to the hotel. In the street, beggars, people who sleep, others who play chess, ...

Posted by ortho158 07:37 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bandung java angklung Comments (0)

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