Java, a beautiful volcanic island
The next morning Usup drove us to the military cemetery from Cimahi where Agnes father was buried. Also this cemetery was very beautifully kept very nice and clean.
I had known Agnes’s father very well before the war, he had a very good sense of humour, I remember that he often made my father burst out in laughter.
What strikes most of this cemetery, is that there were just a few people buried in 1944 but an awful lot of men, women and children were buried as from 1945. Many of our loved ones died in that year, so nearby the end of the war.
We went to visit the famous Tangkuban Parahu, we took a guide who was really fantastic, he showed us everything. The crater was impressive, with its warm water hot springs with a temperature of 80 to 100 Celsius. I had learnt about all the volcanoes at school of course, but when you visit such a crater, then you are really impressed.
When we walked back to Usup, we saw that he was really very ill, so he drove slowly back to Bandung, there he went to the First Aid from a nearby hospital and he came back with the bad news that he had typhus. Our travel agency promised us over the phone, that they would send another driver and that Usup had to go home by bus to Jakarta, the poor man was really ill and then he had to make that long journey back home by bus.
The next morning Franki was already waiting for us, he was our new driver, he really was a very nice man, polite and very helpful. He brought us to the cemetery from Bandung, where Agnes uncle was buried And again so many white crosses with the names of so many young people that died during the Japanese occupation.
From there we past many nice places through beautiful West-Java, we drove right through Tasikmalaya, the town where I stayed in 1935 with the family Stam when I had just turned to be eight years old. I could still hear him say; “It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to eat, your father is still paying me”. What a horrible man that was.
We drove to Baturaden where we were going to spend the night in a very nice hotel with a beautiful view on the Gunung Slamat. This was wonderful, it was nice and cool and we walked through an absolutely beautiful garden.
I can’t help using the word beautiful all the time, because that’s what Java is, beautiful.
All those lovely flowers and wonderful colours around me, the many smiling people, just wonderful. But also the luxury in all the hotels where we stayed so far surprised me a little, on the other hand also understandable because tourism is very important for Indonesia so they want to make their guest feel very comfortable.
The next morning we visited the oldest Hindu temples on Java, on the Dieng Plateau with a view that takes your breath. It was quite cold, it lays very high up in the mountains, the car had to climb all the way. Those temples stood there so proud so mysteriously, it all looked very impressive. I don’t know if my father has ever visited the Dieng Plateau, but I know that he would have loved it, he had always been very interested in the history of Indonesia. The Dieng is made of a volcanic complex, the temples are from the eightieth century, it is a place full of history. There are also sulphur wells and a lake, altogether a beautiful sight.
A guide told us that those wells are very good against rheumatism and asthma.
And then all the way down, we were going direction Yogyakarta, but first of all we had planned to visit the famous Borobudur Temple. It was an unforgettable drive through Central Java.
Our guide at the Tangbukan Parahu
Agnes and the Guide from the Dieng Plateau
Tea Plantations in West Java
The hot water well at the tangkuba Parahu
Beautiful Dieng Plateau