Thursday, February 5, 2015

Solo a la Solo

This morning I said goodbye to my lovely homestay, packed my bags and headed to Solo, a less touristy sister-city to Jogja (Yogyakarta) where the Prince and his family reside. They say that it's the least westernized city in Java, but the 24-hour McDonalds I saw on my way reminds me that all things are relative. Still, the people were very friendly and helpful every step of the way today. I started in the city proper by checking out their version of the Kraton, or palace, and in comparison to the one in Jogja this one was much more heavily influenced by the Dutch.

Pictures inside were not allowed, but it mostly contained fancy furniture and various gifts from the Dutch and other dignitaries, plus did I mention fancy furniture? Turns out for $40 a person, which includes food, you can rent out the royal dining room for a private event. Needless to say the dollar goes a long way here. After the palace, I walked around outside, but the markets were just opening up and it was mostly various forms of batik so I headed out back towards the green. 

The next stop was Sukuh, a Hindu temple nestled high up on Mount Lawu, which itself is a rolling hill paradise of tea plantations, terraced rice paddies, and general gorgeous green vistas. I must say that no temple after the behemoths will ever measure up, but the drive was worth a slightly less impressive locale. 

Following the hills to an even higher spot, I went to check out another Hindu temple nestled in the hills called Ceto...which involved crazy steep slopes and a LOT of steps. Polina, this one will be mostly for your benefit, and no, I didn't get you a "souvenir". For the rest of you, this temple is known to lift curses and ward off general doom from your life. People come here and light incense and, um, meditate.

I climbed down from the hill and was asked "Did you like the fountain?" Um, I didn't see any darn fountain. "Oh, you have to turn left through this small entryway and go up a bit and you'll see it. You really shouldn't miss it". Fine. Back up I trudged and it was quite a lovely fountain.

I stopped at one of the tea plantations for a pot of tea and lunch before heading back to town for a night in an actual hotel...with no lizards and HBO. Don't judge me. 


  1. I hope meditating to the penises will help you ward off doom and find some bug spray!

  2. Ditto to what Josh's mom said ;) hahahha

  3. Boy am I behind on the blog. Hoping to fix this with the extra time before my appointment this morning. The pictures are wonderful.