Sunday, September 3, 2017

Solo-Jogja Trip

I went to Solo for the first time few weeks ago. I went with a group of people who went there for hiking, but since I don't do hiking I just stayed in the city and joined them again when they finished the hike. We got there at 7 or 8pm, and spent the night together as we ate dinner while catching up with one of our friends who lives in Solo. The hiking group left at 3am in the morning, while I continued to sleep and my solo trip in Solo got started.

Picture #1 -- the first morning in Solo; #2 & #3 -- the second morning in Solo. I changed the room & got the opposite side from the previous room but different floor, I knew that I would be able see the sunrise so I got up really early. It was worth it!

Before the trip I did some research of the places that I wanted to go in Solo for a day, so I had a plan of where I wanted to go. On the airport I took some flyers about where to go and what to eat in Solo, they're pretty informative. I went to batik museum (House of Danar Hadi), one of the palaces (Keraton Mangkunegaraan), a café--kind of --(Café Tiga Tjeret), and a park (Taman Balekambang).


The batik museum was really nice. They have so many collections of batik, and what's best is that they have a tour guide that explains so many things about batik. The history of it, how to make it, the meaning of it, and so on. Same with the batik museum, the palace also provide a guide. It's so amazing to travel back to the past and hear the glory of it, and the pain. I thought I'm not a museum person, but I changed my mind. I love museums, as long as they have a good tour guide who could explain things nicely and accurately. I don’t like going to a museum and just walking around and still not understand anything at the end. Who cares about those stuff. I care about the story, not just looking around. I know, sometimes they provide information through writings, but it's different when someone actually explains it to you. Or I might be just lazy.

The so called café that I visited is not really a café. It's more like an outdoor restaurant that's pretty popular in Solo. One of my Solo friends calls it a higher class "angkringan". Angkringan is actually a street food place in Central Java that sells different kind of cheap food and drinks. So this "café" sells the same kind of food but in a nicer place, instead of on the street. It's still outdoor, but nicer, with tables and chairs, while for the real angkringan people usually sit on the floor. I sat there for a while for lunch and reading & resting after walking for quite a while, and it was a hot day (read: a nice day).

Taman Balekambang is pretty nice. They release most of the animals there without cages. I saw some deer, geese, birds, and a monkey. I also saw peacocks in their cage. There were so many couples there. I guess it's one of the spots for those who are having a date. No worries, I still enjoyed my time =D. I sat for quite some time in front of the lake, journaling, reading, people watching, and just enjoying the afternoon breeze, so peaceful.  Oh ya, some people were fishing on the lake too. After I felt that I got masuk angin because I sat there for too long, I decided to go back to the hotel.


I went around the city with my dependable online ojek drivers (grabike & gojek). So happy for gofood as they came to my rescue when I was hungry but didn't wanna go out alone at night and didn't wanna spend money for the expensive food from the hotel and still able to enjoy the food from the popular places in the city.

The next day I met up with my friend from my previous work who went back for good to Solo few years ago. It was a good catch up with her. She took me for lunch with her friends, got ice cream on the street, went to an antique market (Pasar Triwindu), took me for another meal before I went to the train station for the trip to Jogja and being reunited with the hiking group again.

As I arrived in Jogja and went out from the trains station, I was quite amazed by the crowd and the traffic. Not much different than the city that I live in, the lovely Jakarta. It's probably because of the start of the long holiday so many people came there for vacation like me. As usual I went to the guesthouse by online ojek and I got there few hours earlier before the hiking group came. Then they arrived around 9pm and as I opened the door, "Liaaaaaa" I heard my name being called. They looked so tired and dirty (totally different than the last time I saw them before), but I was so glad to see them. My group trip in Jogja got started.

We got nasi gudeg Sagan for our first meal. So gewd! While we're there we went to different food places, filigree class (so hard!), some temples (Candi Ratu Boko & Candi Ijo), a city park at night (we took mobil gowes/cyclecar), Malioboro, gelato place (Tempo Gelato--so good and cheap!). Aside from these places, I went to Taman Sari Water Castle (and some other places around there) with one of my friends as the others were still asleep (they slept super late so we let them to sleep more). Jogja indeed has a lot of places that you can visit. I still haven't gone to the other popular places, but even the temples that I went to were really nice already.

My creation was #1 & #2, I did it in about 1 hour & only able to put few wires. It was really hard and frustrating because we had to make sure that the wire fit perfectly and no glue at all, yet they kept falling off. Because of the unlimited time at the end we just drew the design that we wanted and they continued our unfinished work and sent us the result few days later (#3).

Going on a trip on your own versus going on a trip with your friends is so much different. Each option has it's own pros and cons. When I go by myself, I can freely decide where I wanna go, how long I wanna go, what I wanna do, just basically everything. When I go with a group, things can be cheaper as they're spent collectively, there are people that I can talk to and have fun with, not feeling afraid of getting lost, and some people just know what's best to do/go/eat because they're more experienced and I can trust them. And these things that I mentioned about going with a group are of course with a disclaimer that you go with the right people. In fact I've been in a group trip where it's not fun most of the time and I wished that the time would go faster so that I could go home soon. So make sure you're going with the right people, although sometimes you don't really know if they're the right people or not until you go on a trip with them. And it's actually possible that you're not the right people for them (that you're the source of the un-fun-ness in the group). Hopefully not. *grin*

Anyway… so my conclusion at the end of this post is I enjoyed this trip, the people and the places. :)

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