This will just be a quick update as Typepad has been problematic as of late. We are still in Jogjakarta for the time being, but we leave tomorrow morning on a two-day excursion to Mt. Bromo in East Java and then on to Bali. We expect to arrive in Denpasar, the capital of Bali, late on Friday night.
On Monday we toured Jogja. We saw the Kraton, the palace where the sultan, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, lives. It is full of artifacts from his father, SSHB IX. Then we saw the Taman Sari, or water palace, which was amazing and beautiful.
On Tuesday we saw Borobudur, the giant Buddhist stupa near town, and Prambanan, the giant Hindu temple complex near town. These two sights are ancient and unbelievable, and were well worth waking up at 4:30 AM to see. Apparently we were a bigger attraction than the temples for many Indonesians, since they insisted on taking pictures with us all day long.
Today we took a trip to Surakarta, known here as Solo. It’s another big city about an hour by train from Jogja. In Solo, we saw the Puri Mangkunegaran, the second biggest palace in Solo, where the Prince Sri Mangkunegoro IX lives. We skipped the big Kraton in Solo because we’ve heard it’s a let-down. We finished off the day with a trip through the Pasar Klewer, or batik market, which is a steamy and crowded maze of small vendors selling everything imaginable.
We promise that we will blog more detailed descriptions in the future, when we can count on regular internet access and a quiescent Typepad. We also have 72 digital pictures from the past 3 days which will make it online in due time. Tomorrow we will be overnighting in the mountain town of Cemoro Lawang, a town on the slopes of Mt. Bromo which will probably be closed off from communications. We will probably spend the rest of Friday after our planned ascent to the summit on buses and minibuses, so we don’t expect to be email-capable then either. Perhaps Saturday, before TP’s parents arrive in Bali, we will find time to update more fully.