I was really excited that I slept at 3am. We left the house at 5am for our 8am flight!. Garuda Indonesia was far better than Philippine Airlines in terms of comfort (not being a traitor, but it’s the truth). It is my first time to board a plane other than PAL or CebuPac, so cut me some slack for getting giddy about having my own cabin screen. It was fun to be able to listen to music, play games or watch videos and movies on Economy class. I was all smiles when there are Korean movies available. My watching was cut short as the flight was not even an hour long. We reached Yogyakarta’s Adisutjipto Airport. Our rented car was waiting and was ready to take us to our first destination, Surakarta or Solo. It was a 2-hour drive from the airport and we mostly slept through the ride. We had our lunch at Omah Sinten which serves tasty traditional Javanese and Dutch dishes. My favorite was the free appetizer which is a bowl of Cassava and Ube chips. Ube chips were definitely new but a real superb. We were very happy with all the delicious dishes we ordered. It was a great plus that the food were all very cheap (compared to Jakarta’s prices).
We also visited the palace. We had to go through a walled street leading to it but it was unfortunate that it was closed (or we’re really not allowed. I didn’t understand the lady by the door). So in the end, we practically did nothing in Solo other than lunch then went on our way back to our hotel.
Malioboro was renowned as the Batik shopping haven. Passing through it reminds me of Baguio’s Session Road (only Malioboro is a flatland street compared to Session Road’s uphills and downhills). It was lined with Batik stores and food stalls. We went to our hotel room to unpack then went on our way to Taman Sari. It was a former water castle made for the sultan’s wives for reflection. It was so big that you could get lost inside it’s labyrinth-like passageways. It was good to have the guide who really gave us good tour (it was in Bahasa so it was basically Kuya Gustaf who understood everything). He was like a frustrated photographer as he choreographed most of our shots inside. What caught my attention was the head of one of the statues that fell from the top of the building to the ground.
The government is trying its best to protect and preserve this historic site but it was unfortunate that they are having a hard time doing so as the place was already packed with people who built their houses within the walls of the ruins. Just imagine Intramuros having settlers inside its walls. Not a nice place eh?
We also went to the 2 mysterious trees. People are challenged to walk between the trees in a straight line. The wish of anyone who can get passed the trees walking in a straight line will be granted. So far, only 1 person was able to do it. We also tried, and I can say, it was really hard. We even practiced walking on a different direction just to check if we can walk in a straight line with our eyes blindfolded. Turns out, we can, but never between the two trees.
We ended our trip for the day with a dinner at another Javanese restaurant. It was a bit more expensive than what we had for lunch. Apparently, the sultan himself goes to that restaurant to eat.
So that caps off my March 23…tomorrow, or rather later, is Temple day.