Week in Yogyakarta – part 1

On Friday, we packed up and headed to Yogyakarta (or Jogja). It’s a city in the centre of Java, both literally and figuratively – it is known as the cultural “heart” of the island. We’re spending the week here for language training, and we decided to arrive a few days early to do some sightseeing with our friend Maria.

It was only a one-hour flight, and we arrived safely in Jogja despite some doubts. In addition to the usual traffic going to the Jakarta airport, which we managed to get through relatively unscathed, the flight itself was pretty bumpy. I’m not a great flier to begin with, and turbulence makes me feel like my guts are going to drop out, and this was one of those landings. We made it safely, even though we came in a bit “hot”… At least it was justified when I looked across the tarmac and saw what we just flew through!

That's the direction we came from... explains the turbulence...
That’s the direction we came from… explains the turbulence…

The hotel we stayed at Friday and Saturday was a fancy colonial-era place called the Phoenix hotel. It was beautiful.

Lounging on the bed.
Lounging on the bed.
View from our window.
View from our window.
Bathroom shot. I mostly wanted to gloat about the rain shower.
Bathroom shot. I mostly wanted to gloat about the rain shower.
Pillow covers. I'm really starting to like batik.
Pillow covers. I’m really starting to like batik.
View from our balcony.
View from our balcony.
Swimming pool in the courtyard.
Swimming pool in the courtyard.
Fountain in the dining area.
Fountain in the dining area.
Balinese doorway in the hotel corridor.
Balinese doorway in the hotel corridor.
Hotel courtyard at night.
Hotel courtyard at night.

On Friday night, Maria and I went out to the local ViaVia cafe (which most of you other travellers may have seen elsewhere – it’s a global thing). I had a simple, tasty dinner of kraton tea (cardamom, cloves, lemongrass, dragon fruit, ginger… some other stuff, yum!), lamb shawarma and mango mousse, serenaded by a local jazz band. The cafe also organizes tours, so we signed up for a car and driver to take us to Borobudur temple Saturday morning. That trip deserves its own post, so stay tuned!

ViaVia restaurant.
ViaVia restaurant.
Me enjoying some Kraton tea.
Me enjoying some Kraton tea.
Jazz band. Tres international.
Jazz band. Tres international.

On Saturday afternoon, we made a trip out to a local silversmith shop. A work colleague recommended him as her good friend, and he was very amenable to our visit. He showed us around the workshop and demonstrated some of the techniques. We had a great time picking out some jewellery to buy after that! After the silver shop, we wanted to visit the Monggo chocolate factory, but it has just closed. The shop was still open, though, so we had the oh so unhappy chore of buying chocolate to console ourselves with.

Out in the city. We were looking for a restaurant someone told us about, but we didn't have much luck...
Out in the city. We were looking for a restaurant someone told us about, but we didn’t have much luck…
...so we ended up at McDonald's instead. Yay.
…so we ended up at McDonald’s instead. Yay.
The silver factory was a bit difficult to find. But there's something magical about having to pass through tiny alleys to find a gem in the middle of the city.
The silver factory was a bit difficult to find. But there’s something magical about having to pass through tiny alleys to find a gem in the middle of the city.
Beautiful doorway in the alley.
Beautiful doorway in the alley.
This technique is called "repousser" - the workman punches out the embossed shapes with a chisel.
This technique is called “repousser” – the workman punches out the embossed shapes with a chisel.
Our new friend showing us another stage - these guys are looping shapes to fill with butterfly wings (farmed butterflies, don't worry).
Our new friend showing us another stage – these guys are looping shapes to fill with butterfly wings (farmed butterflies, don’t worry).
Checking out some abalone charms.
Checking out some abalone charms.
View of the workshop.
View of the workshop.
Into the shop now.
Into the shop now.
Some of the showcases.
Some of the showcases.
No chocolate factory for us, but at least we can buy some treats!
No chocolate factory for us, but at least we can buy some treats!

For dinner we visited a beautiful little restaurant called Kesuma for a traditional javanese dinner. We arrived very early (since the chocolate tour didn’t work out) – they weren’t even open yet! But the owner was so friendly and welcoming, and let us come in for an early sitting. The food was absolutely fantastic.

Inside the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant.
View into the restaurant courtyard.
View into the restaurant courtyard.
Dinner time!
Dinner time!
Coconut curry chicken, sauteed veggies, rice, yum!
Coconut curry chicken, sauteed veggies, rice, yum!

On Sunday, we changed hotels to one closer to our language school. This hotel is not quite as classy, but still very comfortable with lovely local decor. Then we headed to a restaurant called Melias for lunch, which is a vegetarian place that teaches local street kids how to cook and manage. Nevermind that, it was delicious, simple food. And there was a play area for the kids, which wins points in our book any day.

Hotel courtyard.
Hotel courtyard.
Door to our room. It takes a padlock!
Door to our room. It takes a padlock!
More courtyard.
More courtyard.
In the hotel yard.
In the hotel yard.
Having lunch indoor/outdoor sitting on the floor style.
Having lunch indoor/outdoor sitting on the floor style.
View from our table.
View from our table.
Let's eat!
Let’s eat!

Now we’re planning to head to dinner at a pizza place down the street and go to bed early. It’s a school night, after all!

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