It is hard to imagine a more stereotypical place for me to be writing this blog entry. I am currently sitting poolside at the Yogyakarta Sheraton, watching Ms. Cupcake and S who are sound asleep and L who is reading a book. We ate our lunch on those nifty seats in the pool that are next to the pool bar and are now lounging poolside for the rest of the day until our evening flight to Bali. The hotel was nice enough to let us keep the suite until 7pm, so we have plenty of time to enjoy the amenities all day.
We woke early today to arrive at Borobodur before sunrise. We watched the sun come up over Mt. Merapi, Java’s infamous volcano, from the top of the 1300 year old Buddhist temple. The views were wonderful, despite the cloudy day, and we enjoyed walking around and around the huge and beautiful temple. Our morning continued with tours of the surrounding temples, Prawan and Mundut, and then a journey through all of the nearby villages, where rice paddies and views of Mt. Merapi abound, to the Prambanan Hindu temple sights. Each of the temples was beautiful in its own special way. Borobodur had many tourists (relatively), but the other temples had almost none. They were peaceful and set for the most part in idyllic settings. Mundut had a Buddhist monastery adjoining the temple with the large original Buddha statue that typified the quiet, rural and agricultural life of this corner of Java.
Through the whole day (and for that matter whole night last night), the prayer calls from the Mosques have been sounding. The singing and chanting have certainly added to the mystique of certain sights we’ve visited, though it is incredible that the loudspeakers have been calling with such frequency. At dinner last night, all were sounding at once, to the point that it was almost impossible to hear any individual voice, but really just a muffled cacophony of piety. The day certainly had its irony in that we spent the whole morning in Buddhist and Hindu sights in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
Borobodur was the main reason that we came to Yogyakarata and Java on this particular visit to Indonesia and we are very glad that we did. The temple itself and its beautiful surrounds were the perfect (early) start to what has been a solid day of vacation.
The pool at the Sheraton.
Nothing too exciting is going to happen for the rest of the day, other than perhaps a few more games of “net ball” that S and I have created in the hotel pool, so I think I’ll leave the blog here for the day.