Rising from bed prior to dawn is something I do sparingly. I prefer to leave that for others who relish the early morning light and seem to thrive on the knowledge that they are awake and about before most everyone else.
For me, being up and about at the same time most everyone else is up and about is good enough.
The reasons I may entertain the idea of an early morning awakening and the inevitable stumble into a wall had better not only be incredibly good but should also be classified in the “if you don’t see it now you may never see it” category of life experiences.
Unfortunately for me, the wee hours, early morning, dawn, rise and shine (oy!) all happen during the time I am normally sleeping and quite possible dreaming of things that, just maybe, could happen later that day.
Also, unfortunately for me, this is the time in which the golden glow of sunrise appears over the horizon of the night sky; that pitch black seam turning brighter and bluer with the passage of time. Continue reading Sunrise Over Bromo
Arriving in Surabaya by air from Yogyakarta you can see, before landing, why one has a small town feel and the other quite the opposite. Surabaya spreads itself over a considerable amount of land and with all the new construction seems to be pushing its limits further and further like an unrestrained juggernaut.
The city is high energy, flashy, and alive. It’s also ethnically diverse, a center for trade and education, and steeped in history of monumental proportions to both Dutch and Indonesians.
Nestled as an oasis amid the throbbing progress and construction is the Hotel Majapahit (formerly Hotel Oranje). There are several moments that will take your breath away for any who travel through Java and Bali and this hotel is one of them.
Arrive in the early evening, just as the entrance lights begin to shine and douse the century old hotel in a warm golden glow. Enter and be struck by the Art Nouveau foyer. The upper reaches are encircled by a continuous series of imported and colorfully stained glass windows while the rich white marble floor stretches out in front escorting you around the lounge and onto reception. Continue reading Eminence of the Majapahit
Just to the east of Yogyakarta and in the shadow of the highly respected and revered Mt. Merapi is the temple complex of Prambanan and UNESCO World Heritage site.
Building began in the 9th century and continued for another 130 years. The final result being a series of highly ornate and religiously important temples that stand today as a testament to the efforts of generations. One of the more remarkable features of Prambanan is the fact that the complex contains temples of two religious groups; Hindu and Buddhist.
Buddhism had been the earlier religion in Java and temples had been constructed. As Hinduism became the primary religious doctrine in the 9th century the massive temple at Prambanan dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva was built. It is 154 feet tall and was constructed as an answer to the Buddhist temples nearby. It is said to mark the return of Hindu dominance after almost a century where-in Buddhist leaders had ruled the area.
The day begins as all days begin when traveling; map out the town and head to the sites that made you want to come here in the first place. By the time the day would be over I will have explored the city, taken refuge from the heat in the Sultans palace, an underground mosque, and a royal garden swimming pool complex created originally for the wives of the sultan. Continue reading In the Shadow of a Giant Prambanan Temple