Two days in Yogja
Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
12Trip End Jul 24, 2012
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We woke up to the street-noise of Jakarta, roaring from behind the windows. The air was polluted by car exhausts. The kids had found the Indonesian Disney Channel, staring at the big LCD in the suite's living room. As our flight left at 17h00, and we just had a (broken) night on the plane, we didn't plan anything to see in town. Breakfast was our first 'live' encounter with Asia. We were the only Europeans sitting there and both the kids and us got some staring eyes. But breakfast was so yummy! Bye-bye diet ! Hot stir fried greens with sambal, chicken and rice for me and Diewertje, fresh fruits combined with yogurt for Sietse and Anja. Yogurt was apparently considered more exotic and available in small amounts from the buffet at the entrance. At every table, at least ONE person was using their mobile phone or tablet. Mostly the men, old and young. In the lobby as well, everybody was on the phone or using the wifi. I felt so "old school" as I left the MacBookPro at home and only had my Nokia E71 to type the blog. After swimming we secured our backpacks with the fence-net and left them at the portier for storage. Lunch was as good as breakfast. We retrieved our backpacks, but the small one (with all our medication) was missing ! DISASTER as I can't last 5 hrs without it. Luckily we found it back, stacked together with other backpacks to be loaded on a bus. Then we headed for the airport, checked in, passed security and waited for our flight in the JW Sky Lounge. Flight JT554 Lion Air was 1 hr delayed. The plane was brand-new. Apart from the delay an excellent service!
We were picked up by the car service from Rumah Palagan Guest House, checked in and had a late dinner. Peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle from travel. What a delight!
First day in Yogja. The guest house was out of center of town and we needed a taxi to get there. OK, so we walked out of the hotel to the main street, that never came. A local guy pointed us the way, and by 11h30 we got at the main road. Apparently we walked in the wrong direction, and getting a taxi from the main road (out of town) isn't that easy. All the blame on me for waisting half a day ! The sun is facing north here on midday instead of south is really confusing my orientation. Finally we got a taxi and went straight to the Via Via cafe to get lunch. The Kraton was closed anyway by now and we have time tomorrow to visit. Good lunch with penne+pesto for the kids and 2 real Java coffees for mum and dad. The famous bird market was next, and we took a Becak to get there. Overpriced ride of course, bus basically the only way to get around in Yogja. The city is clogged with becaks and scooters, taxis hardly get through. This massive amount of traffic was somewhat unexpected. I'm not sure whether this is part of Yogja's cultural soul. Bird market was interesting, although cages were most of the time overpopulated. Pretty sure you can find endangered and protected species, but I'm not a bird specialist. Sietse found the green colored chicken chicks fabulous, and Diewertje the cats. After the bird market we dived into the hustle and bustle of Beringharjo 3 floor traditional market. Wow this was nice. We were the only tourists there and certainly Diewertje was getting the looks...blond, long and white skin. Anja bought some skirt and I got some nice shirts for 45000Rp each (about 4.5 euro). On the third floor was the "spice market" but except basic food (rice, nuts, sugar) nothing fancy. A "friend" guided us through the spice market explaining us the types of rices and what was being sold. Nice for pictures though. Back to the guest house then for a relaxing atmosphere and evening dinner.
Today we hired a driver for the whole day (Didi) to drive us to Kraton, lunch and Prambanan Temples. The Kraton (Sultan's Palace) was neat. Nicely placed buildings with details of dutch architecture, as well of the 3 main religions; hindu, muslim and buddhism. Anja and the kids were impressed by the old chariots. The palace is still in use by the current Sultan of Yogja. there were a lot of artifacts from the life of the Sultan and his predecessors, amongst which an official declaration of the Belgian King Boudewijn. After the Kraton, we drove to Prambanam to have lunch and visit the Hindu temples built in the 9th-century. This UNESCO world heritage site originally had 240 temples. The main temples are restored, and the others remain rumble. The Shiva Temple is the biggest and has on the south and north side the Brahma and Vishnu temples. The other three shrine in front of three main temples is dedicated to vehicle of the respective gods – the bull Nandi for Shiva, the sacred swan Hamsa for Brahma, and Vishnu's Eagle Garuda. And that's why the Indonesian airways have Garuda as name and symbol. Fantastic architecture, statues and carvings.
At about four PM we had seen the lot and were too tired to explore the further away temples of the complex and headed back to the guest house.
Before getting to the guest house we visited the SuperIndo supermarket (Delhaize!) to fill up on fruits, crackers and other necessities. Oh what a heaven, the vegetables with asian greens, the fish were not prepacked but swimming in aquariums. Difficult however to find chips (crackers) that were NOT spicy. Tomorrow we are driving to Borobodur.
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