For a change we don't have
an early morning or a night flight, so we are relatively fresh
when arriving at Yogya's small airport. A big minus to AirAsia for
how the arrival is handled: the on-board staff did not have
English arrival forms available, and it takes time for the
immigration staff to find them. Meanwhile, the planeful of mostly
foreign passengers pack the small and steamy arrival lobby and try
to line up for the VOA counter in some organized manner. And
eventually fill in the forms while standing in the queue in the
Next morning we wake up very
early first to our own alarm and then to the call to prayer from
the nearby loudspeakers.
We have a plan to have a
breakfast and then beat the crowd in Borobudur temple. The
breakfast is not ready at 6:40am. --- it was supposed to start at
6am. --- so, we head to the temple first.
The temple of Borobudur was
rediscovered and restored by the initiative of Sir
Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles,
the same guy who is known as the founder of Singapore.
Unfortunately the only place
within a reasonable walking distance is KFC. We are ashamed enough
so we don't take any pictures of our "happy meal"
(chicken wrap and fish burger), even if the interior of the
restaurant is quite retro.
Affandi's paintings (and
sculpture) are very impressive and the museum consisting of three
galleries is designed (partly by himself) to exhibit them in the
best possible way. The mint green shade of paint, prevalent both
indoors and outdoors, is directly from the 80's.
After some wandering around
in the alley labyrinth, and asking local residents for directions,
we are in Via Via Cafe on Prawirotaman. We have Storm Pale ales
(from Bali) with Falafel and a Mediterranean salad.
Later we head out for
dinner. We try the Turkish restaurant next to our guesthouse.
Bright blinking lights make us turn back immediately. We end up in
Alioö for pizza, and enjoy Hatten Rose (from Bali) for
dessert in Via Via afterwards.
Next morning we wake up
early for a run. The traffic is not yet bad, but fumes from
motorcycles and burning trash is unbearable. We start running
around a "park" next to the Sultan palace, which has
attracted other exercisers to run, cycle but mostly stroll. It is
too crowded so we head out to the Southern Ring Road. The
motorcycle lane is practically empty for us to run. The roadside
is heavily littered.
After breakfast we take a
rickshaw to the Malioboro area. The poor guy has to work hard
uphills for 30.000 rupees he asks. We give him 50.000, since he
does not have change and we think he earned it all.
The driver drops us off at
the temple and tells us that we have until 5:30pm or 6pm to
explore the temple grounds. That is about 3 hours and we have no
idea how to spend it. And we will get quite bored.
What current day visitors
see of these temples is actually the result of quite impressive
reconstruction and renovation work. The structures were quite in
crumbles when rediscovered by a surveyor of Sir Thomas Raffles in
Finally tonight we dare to
try the Turkish restaurant --- finally they have turned down the
blinking lights. However, we have the weirdest dishes ever. We
have chicken biryani and lamb "something" that resembles
tagine in writing but is not. It is a pile of rice topped with
minced meat. Dry and flavorless.
All main courses are served
with french fries, but something we don't realize is that the
fried french fries are chopped and mixed with the rice, not served
as a side.
The restaurant also
advertizes wine, but none is available.