18 October 2009


With a small group of sailors of the Rally we make an organized tour by coach over central Java. In Solo we visit a batik atelier annex showroom. By waxing patterns on cotton cloth and immerse them in dye baths of different colour, beautiful designs appear.

The Hindu temples of the Prambanan temple complex are the best preserved remnants of the Hindu period in Java, although the restauration is still under construction, also due to an earthquake a few years ago. Most impressive are the sculptures on the great Shiva temple. In the evening we enjoy in an outdoor theatre the colourfull and spectacular Ramayana musical/ballet, telling the story of Rama and Shinta.

A visit to the Kraton of the sultan, his palace, is one of the highlights in Yogyakarta. The guards of the Kraton, you can regocnize them on their blue tunik, brown batik sarong and on their back fastened 'kris' (short dagger), are volunteers, faithfull and wise men, who are on duty once in a fortnight.

The Borobudur is a intriguing monument, expressing the Buddhist vision of the cosmos in stone, build on a hill. There are 9 terraces with fine and detailed mural sculptures, every level expressing a next step on the way to Nirvana, the Buddhist heaven. The higher we come the more serene-faced Buddhas (in stone) you encounter and on the top three terraces you find the so-called stupas.

We also visit local restaruants, ateliers for wood, leather and silver, small shops, a museum and every night we are expected in a good and welcoming hotel. A pleasant and interesting week away from the floating home and discovering some treasures of central Java.

Slide show Java