Yogyakarta

Trip Start May 20, 2010
1
35
195
Trip End Sep 05, 2011


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Flag of Indonesia  , Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta,
Sunday, August 29, 2010

DOMINIQUE HERE :

Day : 106
Temperature : 34 degrees
Weather : Sunny, humid and very hot

OK people, panic over!!!! Thank you for all your concerns and comments, and sorry to have caused you all to worry. Although it was a horrible, horrible experience we are all safe and sound now, and have vowed never again to turn up in a city / town / village after dark in dodgy transport!!…..apart from arriving in Yogykarta at 8pm on a Garuda flight that is!! OK, I take it back, the Garuda flight was actually very good, brand new looking planes, professional staff…and I believe they even now have a license to fly in Europe!

Yogyakarta, pronounced Jogjakarta, is an hour east by plane from Jakarta. It has a completely different feel to Jakarta and as our LP describes it, it is the soul of Java. It is still headed by it's Sultan,  and it is the city where the traditional Javanese language, customs and arts are at their strongest.

We stayed in the Prawarataman Area, which more or less consists of a few streets dotted with hotels, art shops, travel agents and funky cafes. Apart from the constant approaches by cyclo drivers enquiring whether you would like to take a tour, the area is very pleasant and relaxing.

Our day in Yogya consisted of a 2 hour walking tour taking in the Kraton, which is essentially a walled city within the city of Yoga and consists of the palaces of the Sultan. Our first task was to find our way to the ticket office at the entrance which is not as easy as it sounds, since the touts of Yogya have many scams, often involving taking you to a false entrance then directing you towards Batik shops and encouraging you to make a purchase…from which they receive a hefty commission. After locating the correct entrance we were then told by the ticket office that it was "regulations" that we hire a guide. Yeah right. After several minutes of disagreement he finally allowed us in without a guide. After leaving the museums some time later we took a wander down the myriad of streets inside the walled city, at which point Kevin and I decided to have a photography competition! We’ve given ourselves a week to see who can take the best panning shot…having never done any panning before in our lives! A panning shot is a photograph designed to show movement. It is taken in such a way that the photographer moves the camera along in time with the moving object being photographed, with the result that the object is in focus and the background is blurred….that’s the theory!! So, I’m afraid you are all going to see lots of pictures of cars, motorbikes, cyclists, horses and so on over the next few days….and then you guys can give your feedback and let us know which piccie you like the best!! If you don’t die of boredom first that is!!

Back to our tour of Yogya….after several hours in the sweltering heat we jumped in a cyclo and headed back to our hotel. We found a great little café called ViaVia, which just happened to be in the LP. What a find! Lunch was a scrummy green salad with lots of veggies, olives, sundried tomatoes, goats cheese in a delicious dressing, served with lovely brown bread. Kev had pasta, chips and a sandwich…his appetite is just the same as back home! In the evening we returned to ViaVia for dinner, which once again was delicious, and after several hours enjoying the music and singing which was performed by a live band we returned to our hotel to get some rest.

The following day we had an early rise as we headed to yet another bus terminal to catch the bus to the enchanting Borobodur Temple....details of which will follow.
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