Mysterious Central Java
The Borobudur is very special, there are always thousands of tourists visiting this very old Buddhist temple built in the eighth century.
My mother told me once that my father, uncle Pierre and my aunt had visited the Borobudur in 1934, while my mother, my sister Henny and I were in Holland. But nowadays you can visit the Temple that is restored in 1970 with the help of UNESCO, since it is a protected monument. When Agnes started talking to some Americans tourists I told her that I was going to walk around the temple. Now and then I stood still admiring the beautiful surrounding, when an Indonesian gentleman asked me if I came from America.
I laughed and said; “No, I come from Holland, I grew up in Indonesia but that was a long time ago.” To my big surprise he said in Dutch; “Oh that is very nice, are you on holiday?”
I asked him where he had learnt to speak Dutch for he spoke it really very well. Then he told me that he had learnt it at school, and that he had been to a Dutch high school before the war. Again I was surprised so I said; “But you are too young, your hair is still black, you could not have been to a Dutch high school?” He started laughing and said: “Your hair is coloured? Well so is mine you see!” That was fun.
Since we spoke so nice together I asked him, if the Indonesians still have hard feelings towards the Dutch. He gave me a heart warming and beautiful answer: “ You know the younger Indonesians hardly know anything at all about the Dutch people, and most of the elderly Indonesians like myself have never really disliked the Dutch people before the war, but we just wanted our freedom.”
I saw Agnes looking for me, so I shook hands with this very kind Indonesian gentleman and said goodbye, I told him that I would always remember his words. Thank you!
Our hotel in Phoenix Heritage in Yogyakarta, was very special, there was a ditch with fishes in between the dining room and the drawing room. The rooms and the food was very good and the ambience was real fine.
We visited the palace from sultan Hamengo Buwono X. A young charming Indonesian lady was our guide. She told us that the father from present sultan studied in Haarlem, the Netherlands and was called Henkie by the other students and his friends.
The present sultan is 50 years old and his wife 49, they have five daughters but no sons, as our guide told us. Most probably his younger brother will follow him up later on.
The gamelan orchestra was playing while we visited the palace, it was a pity that Agnes doesn’t like this music because I really like it, it is a very special music, even as a child I used to listen to the gamelan sounds.
Frankie our driver brought us to a batik fabric shop; several women were working there and we could admire their beautiful work. But when I walked around in the shop and when I saw the price of a batik handkerchief $ 35, I stopped planning to buy anything.
But of course the real batik work is very expensive, think of all the work and time.
Since Yogyakarta is famous for its palace, batik and silver, Frankie drove us to the best silver shop in town. I bought earrings for my daughter Angelina and a small ring for myself. It was a very beautiful shop.
After supper Agnes and I went for a walk in the neighbourhood. There are many banks and expensive hotels near our hotel, but in between there are all sorts of warongs , small Indonesian shops, we visited several of them.
People are so very friendly, when you greet them in the street, they all greet you back, I found the people all over Sumatra and Java very friendly. I know that I shall miss them when I am back in Holland.
Hotel Phoenix Heritage in Yogyakarta
In front of the palace in Yogyakarta
The beauty of the island Java
The palace gamelan orchestra
The famous Borobudur