Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Day Trip to Solo, Indonesia

I went down to Solo on a Sunday morning during one of my Jawa week long trips last year which involves Jakarta, Semarang and Yogyakarta (all blogged before except Semarang. Hikss). I took a bus from Semarang and went to Solo

Alone.

The main road Jalan Slamet Riyadi was closed for Cars Free Day. (Click here for bigger map)
I reached Solo (or also known as Surakarta) by 8:30 am and was surprised to be greeted with closed roads.   Why did I go to Solo? Well, Solo is considered as one of the two major centers of Javanese culture (the other being Yogyakarta) in the island of Java. A week to Java means nothing if Solo is not visited. Hehe.

And then here I was during Cars Free Day in Solo. Solo Car Free Day happens every Sunday from 6 – 9 am. Jl. Slamet Riyadi (as denoted in the yellow green line above) is closed for all cars and motorbikes and becomes a giant open air sports ground. There are several aerobic groups you can join for free and it has become a major social event with hundreds of people showing up and having fun.

I wanted to head to Kraton and so decided to walk there. Didn't realize how far it was until I reached there almost 2 hours later. hahaha!

From right : A notice on what not to do and do and "Pesan, Harapan dan Cinta" banner where people can write about their hopes and advises
As I was strolling down Jl. Slamet Riyadi, I noticed that many people brought mats and placed themselves all over the place as if on a picnic. Others were cycling or rollerblading down the road. Mostly in big groups or with families. It became such a cheerful and healthy environment because no cars were in sight!! I wished I had a bicycle too!

Another thing to note were the MANY, many food stalls at the sides of the roads!! I, too, decided to try some myself. :) 

I forgot the name of this snack. But it's made from grilled potatoes. And marinated with special sauce. 
I didn't eat much because I still didn't know if I was heading to the right direction to Kraton. I had a map with me but I still needed to ask for directions. Haha.

And so I finally arrived... around 10 am. By FOOT! Arrived a bit late because I stopped by Museum Radya Pustaka first but unfortunately it was still closed. So I walked further down the street and found Indonesia's famous book store, Gramedia! I immediately entered the store while the workers were singing to the national anthem. Hee *baru buka rupanya*

The many buildings I passed along the way to Kraton.
I rested outside the Kraton complex before entering as I was already sweating like a pig. And I was very thirsty! A cart driver next to me asked me why I looked so tired. Hahaha. I told him I just walked from Musuem Radya Pustaka to Kraton and he was shocked! =P

Kraton Surakarta is an 18th-century palace with an European and Jawa influence that once housed King Pakubuwono II and his royal court. It is now a museum.
I was a bit disappointed with this place. Haha. It was a bit run down and unkempt but it sure has a lot of cultural antique stuff in it. It just lacks information, maybe? So after some time spent here, I didn't know where else to go. An uncle came to me and offered to show me around. I quickly agreed since it was only 2 pm. He brought me to eat Nasi Pecel at some stall, and then to see some bulls at alun-alun Kraton at the back and the last place was to some batik places. I didn't buy much. I was more on browsing the art of batiks and see how the designs are different from Malaysian's batik designs.

In truth, nothing much to do in Solo except if you're interested to shop for Batik or become a dancer. (Which I'm not.) But I came, I visited and what-ever because now I know how Solo is. =)

Unfortunately all my pictures after Kraton and the ones taken during my first day in Semarang the next day were corrupted. Thus the reason I decided to blog about Jakarta and Yogyakarta first. T___T

Semarang will be next.... will make do with photos I still have. :'(
.

11 comments:

FarhanaDr said... [Reply]

Oh. Mengidam pulak nak makan potato spring. =.=

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ farhanadr... ohhh.. so that's what it is called!! hahahaha! =P

Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

Ayoyoyo nak beli Batik datang ke Solo. I went only once and not attached with the cultural in there hehe... the only place I really really want to visit so bad in Solo is Sangiran Museum which a bit far from Solo.

HenRy LeE said... [Reply]

potato spring, pasar malam cina ndak da jual... kene stop by pasar mlm melayu baru dapat :)

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ alid... haha. never saw u wear batik before. Sangiran museum? will check that out later. haha.

@ henry lee.. hehehe.. aku nda pernah pula beli di KL ba. must look for it then. =)

Hulubalang said... [Reply]

car free day tu sama cam kat jakarta setiap ahad. semua kenderaan bermotor dilarang kecuali basikal.

apa yg menarik kat solo selain museum dan batik?

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ hulubalang.. yepp.. dan di kebanyakan bandar2 besar di Jawa mmg ada Car Free Day.. Surabaya, Semarang, Yogyakarta.. dan sebagainya..

benda lain kat solo bnyk jugak sebenarnya tp aku ada kesukaran transport. hehehe.. boleh rujuk sini --->> http://www.traveljunkieindonesia.com/18-things-to-do-in-solo/

Adam @ PergiDulu said... [Reply]

I haven't been to Solo yet, but I think we will go there next month! Can't wait as this looks cool. Thanks!

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ adam... hehehe. pls do and blog about it! can't wait to read your experience!

Ajib Bond said... [Reply]

There are so much more to see in Solo..., Wirun Village is the best Gamelan (bronz smith )production in indonesia, and it's only 10 minutes drive from the palace, Karangpandan district, mountainious area which has waterfall, erotic temple, tea plantation. some Empu's house... u just didn't meet the right person
email me if you'd like to come again
ajib_efata@yahoo.com

fanny fristhika nila said... [Reply]

AAAWW.. This is my hubby's hometown ;). For me, Solo is best for culinary and yes, for shopping batik ;) That's it.. nothing much to do there ;).But again, everything is damn cheap in Solo ;)