Monday, May 21, 2012

Gedong Songo | Ambarawa | Indonesia

On Saturday, a group of us drove to a town called Ambarawa, about 20 minutes away, to see a cluster of ancient Hindu temples hidden in the mountains. It's called the place of 9 temples, although only five are still remaining today.

The hiking path that connects all of the temples leads straight into a sulfur pit. It smelled awful.

On the way back down the mountain, we stopped for singkong goreng, or fried cassava root. The root is first sliced then stuffed with sugar cane before being deep fried. It was yummy! This was our vendor:

This hike made it feel like summer. Only one more week!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Trowulan | Indonesia

With my time in Salatiga drawing to a close, I decided to cross another thing off of my Indonesia bucket list last weekend. A few months ago, a friend of mine pinned a picture of a temple in Trowulan, Indonesia to her "Maybe Someday" board on Pinterest. I was drawn in by the beautiful picture, but then I realized that this temple was actually on my island!

According to google, Trowulan was a mere 6 hours from Salatiga by car, but having been here for almost a year, I knew better than to hope for that. I decided that it would be more time-effective to fly to Surabaya (the second largest city in Indonesia) and drive from there. After a two hour setback picking up my motorbike rental, I headed out of town and made it to Trowulan around sunset.

The ruins are scattered all around the village and since I didn't get there until sunset, I didn't get to see everything but what I did see was beautiful. Above you can see Bajang Ratu, one of the gates that led into the ancient site. This is Candi Tikus, a ritual bathing site.

Sunday morning, I woke up and looked at a map. Turned out, my hotel was near the Suramadu Bridge which connects Java (my island) with another called Madura. As Indonesia is made out of over 18,000 islands, this bridge is unique in that it is the only one that connects two islands together. It was pretty incredible driving across part of the Pacific!