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 →
Like Ubud in Bali, Yogyakarta is the cultural and artistic center of Java. You can find everything here from fine art, ballet, dance, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows to the manufacturing of silver, leather, and batik.
It is a city so incredibly vibrant that as soon as you enter, you are completely consumed.
You know you have arrived in a city that is special and it does not disappoint. No traveler to Java should by-pass Yogyakarta.
I spoke of the cities pride in an earlier post and cannot help but mention it again.
(see Merapi’s Fingerprint)
It is relevant to any heritage tour in a way that is opposite to the relevance of other cities. You won’t find a large contingent of Dutch architecture here…there is some but not much.
What you will find is a wealth of Indonesian and world history. Continue reading Tales of Two Cities Yogyakarta and Malang →
I left Yogyakarta, alive and well, on the 23:59 Ekekutif Express train which takes 8 hours to complete the journey to Malang. For most of it I was sound asleep in my reclining chair; bags intertwined around my legs to prevent unscrupulous characters from attempting a snatch and run.
I woke to find my legs and bags still bound together, sharing the ash from Merapi I had been unable to leave behind in the city of its birth.
Fingers tapped me on the shoulder. It was the carriage steward…”Malang, next stop”. I had gotten in a good eight hours sleep in a chair, something I have not been able to achieve in a while.
I wouldn’t say I felt refreshed but I was ready to explore Malang.
All I needed was a room, a shower, something to eat and I’d be on my way. I realised immediately that Malang is a small town. When I took a taxi from the station to my hotel I had barely closed the door when the driver advised me we had arrived.
Ok, that’s a little exaggerated but you get the point.
I devised a walking tour to take in the city sights and then added some stops more personal to me and my tastes. The first added item was Continue reading Hill Station Malang →