Sunday, January 31, 2016

 The congregation was relaxed outside the cathedral in Jakarta in front of a video relay.  It was a full house inside. Plenty of action due to large number taking roles in the liturgy, choir, assistants, vergers,
parking control men, the lot.  Then they geared up for the next liturgy on the hour.
A big population creates a lot of vibrancy.
  The wood carvings that make up the altars and more are rather special and a reminded of Europe.  Assume that the floral arrangements, which were many, were from marriage ceremonies the day before.
  Most surprisingly food vendors were absent from the grounds.
  The vast mosque is across the road which I wished to see but trying to track down a city sights tour bus was driving us crazy.  A car free morning on certain city streets probably upset the system - and there is a system I understand.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

 The smell of spice was stong and pleasant in one part of the Old Town in Semarang.  Spice is grown in the hills.
 Respite from the jaunt was found in a highly appropriate retro cafe that was mute and cool and held a good collection of this and that.  Local timber furniture is notable for design and strength.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Five Day Battle in Semarang Oct 1945. A scene in the museum.  About invader and independence. 
 Below is the same location today - a frantic roundabout with monument and fountain in Semarang - a go-ahead entertaining and big city on a hilly setting that runs down to the sea front and port where there is an Old City with Dutch, Arabian and Chinese buildings that struggle to keep standing.
A new shopping mall is shown.
Few special security measures are apparent, private security is usual found around most city doorways.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Super sized avocado. Imagine what would they cost in Australia. For comparison the mandarine is not small sized.
It is forbidden to bring durians into the hotels.  Wonder why!!

 Babies are seen here well clothed and wrapped up. Being like that from an early age  must account for the ability of adults to tolerate covering from head to toe with synthetics in the steamy weather.
 I was aware that short sleeves are not usual but am a slow learner because knee length shorts or dresses are not worn at all.  Women cover up legs in jeans or slacks or long skirts and the majority wear the head scalf.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Australia Day from Semarang, north coast of Java.
 Trivial but Bananas in Pyjamas is on satellite TV from ABC, channel A Plus.  Great to see vintage B1 and B2 made before the show was cartoonised by those who are unfamiliar with Australian surroundings.

 Here it is difficult to believe that elsewhere snowfalls have been drastic. The wet season is not very rainy.
 Photo from coach that took us across the island of Java from south to north and took about 4 hours via a fairly narrow road over hilly jungle country with volcanic peaks on the horizon although visibility is rarely good - it hardly ever is in the tropics. Blue skies are put on hold and are missed.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Kereta Api.  Train service in Java is organized and spic and span. Plenty of ups and downs at the stations due to need to walk across the lines and take little ramps to the narrow platforms where steps are put in place to climb in the carriage.  If a train is in the station anyone on the wrong side of the platform climbs thru train A to get to train B.
  The couple on the platform are travellers from Chile who found Indonesia was challenging them.  Yes, independent travel here takes you to the limits of endurance!
 As the train passes the smaller stations two members of staff in full uniform stand to attention as it passes.
 The line spanned several long and deep river valleys and gullies with the train perched on concrete piers without any superstructure above the line.
 First class rail is used by a small minority considering the size of the population while the more affordable services seem to travel overnight and take ages.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Saturday afternoon in Bandung Indonesia. Alun-alun.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Villa Isola.  Art-Deco 1933 Dutch colonial heritage. Outskirts of Bandung.
 The building is on the splendid campus of Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia where we met an academic who really enjoyed recalling her days of post graduate study in Melbourne.
  The exchange of university students between Indonesia and Australia could be a terrific means of furthering contact. Any means of creating a more inclusive region would be a very welcome move.The University of Newcatle appears to enrol a number of Indonesians just from my observations.
 From the villa to the city beyond.

Tangkuban Prahu... a flat, elongated summit with a hugh caldera, sulphuric fumes and bursts of smoke..some activity was recorded three years ago.
 North of Bandung, Western Java.  Other sightseers are in the very top left in the handy 'drive to the rim' car park.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Grand Paradise Hotel, Lembang, Java, capturing the mountain airs and hot springs of 'Bandung Heights'. Unbelievable. A modern water fun park is in one corner.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Motorcyclist families are frequently seen in the traffic. These two children  must be heavy sleepers.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Kebun Raya, Bogor from the cafe. 
  The botanical gardens had early beginnings and are impressive. Walking is not fun in the oppressive heat and the cafe beckoned. A more familiar scene after some weeks on the road. 
 The daily shower of rain is in progress as a thunder storm today.
 The Military were obvious at the entrance gates and around the pathways in the park.   

A lot of police were present at the small rail station in Medan yesterday.  Little else in Medan is small.  No sign of extra security this morning.
  Western franchises are common place and difficult to avoid.  One very large shopping mall is full of them and there are other malls. Medan is moving on.
   The Chinese New Year, I think, is featured and creates a stir in China town.
   We stayed in a pleasant well run Hotel named Karibia Boutique.  Breakfast has an international theme and tasty items are good to try although salty and spicy can be difficult to take before 12.
  It is easy to miss a good cup of tea and we often have the makings of one.  Darn it, will I be in trouble if I pack our powdered milk considering the stress on security!
 We flew to Jakarta today and found a fast bus from the airport which skirted around that city to another destination which we reached by 4 pm.  Jakarta appeared blanketed by heavy smog or something atmospheric which was obvious  long before the plane reach touch down.
It is a plus that we were not stuck in a legendary traffic snarl or in any violence nor arrived while Jakarta is in flood which happens every so often.
 Travel advisories have issued warnings since Christmas time.  On line news from Sydney and Newcastle news papers and others helps keep abreast of a few issues.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Monkeys lived close to where we stayed in Sumatera and swung and climbed and walked the tightrope on the electrical cables of which there is a photo but it may not upload as the wi fi is not very strong at this hotel.
 Tethering has been useful and we havnt done too badly considering we cant read the data about the phone plan or the multitude of texts that the telco keeps sending.
 Nature is rather good to be in - not trecking but staying close to the park and the jungle or jaunting around. The natural environment is terrific and markedly contrasts with the built environment and the chaos on the roads.
  Around here, it is difficult to see that any regulations what so ever are enforced and ones that we take for granted. Is it a lawless country? Never the less, it hangs together and sort of functions and in some respects does not seem unsafe. Religion might be the glue in this society.
  Best keep away from Western franchises to avoid risks.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Dance at the Sultan's palace in Jogja.  This is a delightful performance that totally resists  modernity although the gamelan and the subdued singers had a sound system

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Denpasar became the administrative centre of Bali in 1960s.  There is a grand park with extensive lawns enjoyed by the people plus a massive central feature in stone work.
  A distinctive cathedral is another sight.
  A thunder storm is brewing or has the local volcano sprung into action?  It looked benign enough yesterday! Today, pollution or haze is bad and visibility is poor.

Nature is rather good looking in Bali and seen on a drive over hills and dales and areas of rice growing.
 The women are about to have a break at mid day perhaps.
 A system of medium small and tiny canals lined with stone work supply water everywhere.
 The long rice stalks are cut and left to dry and are used for thatching it seems. The brown stubs are seen.
 All the same, driving is not a country jaunt as a certain pace and erratic traffic on the small country roads is hurried even with a driver

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Puri and Bunyan tree.  The Bunyan tree is often a focus of Balinese Hinduism as far as I can see.
  The rainy season is not very rainy just now in Bali.  Gardens could do with rain.  At least there is no flooding.
  The traveller might be prepared for floods in Jakarta but flooding is possible even in York in the UK.