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
I had been told by many that the second largest city on Java was very much like it’s overgrown big brother Jakarta, in all ways bad. I found a large city for sure. I found a city with a lot of noise, a lot of traffic, a lot of people, and all the issues that go along with that.
I also found a city in contrast, battling between historic and modern. A city of wide open boulevards, charming neighborhoods, and a diverse population.
I may be repeating myself and if so that just gives credence to the point that Javanese are friendly and not shy about introducing themselves.
My stay in Surabaya brought me in contact with people that wanted me to experience Surabaya like the Javanese. They wanted me to see all the highlights of the city and they wanted me to have an adventure.
I was about to have one!
Riding through town on the back of a motorbike maybe an everyday occurrence for most in Java but for me the experience proved… “enlightening”. Continue reading Surabaya on Two Wheels