Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekend in Surakarta (Solo)

 

A little while ago I had the privilege to go to Solo (official name is now Surakarta), the hometown of our current president Joko Widodo. He was a very famous mayor there before he became Jakarta's governor and then president afterwards. So I was quite curious to see what the city was like.

First things first, pictures from work!







 

After work was done, I moved to a brand new Best Western in Solo Baru. It was still nice, but not all floors were open yet. There was still fresh paint smell lingering around there. There was a major problem during my stay though, the bar downstairs had played music so loud, I could hear it in my room several levels up and even the windows were shaking from the noise. I had to call the receptionist downstairs several time before they got it under control, or maybe they didn't but I just got too tired to bother. Not sure which.


 The place where I worked gave each of our team members a souvenir... so nice!

 

For dinner I called a cab and went to have a local specialty called Nasi Liwet. Chicken and coconut rice with some veggies and egg in white coconut milk soup. It was so tasty and cheap!



These leaves are apparently provided to shoo away the flies. Lol...



Because it was still quite early in the evening,  I decided to take the opportunity to go shopping for a what Solo was famous for: Batik. These were my loot from that evening.



The morning after, I woke up to what I thought was a clear blue sky. The day after though, I found out that that clear blue sky had hidden a big mountain in the horizon! We were able to see it on the following day. After checking Google Maps, I decided that it was Gunung Merapi, the one we went to during our visit to Yogyakarta. The two cities are very close to each other after all.


That morning Miss Kiki and DH flew in from Jakarta and joined me at the hotel, then we went to Kampung Batik Laweyan area and did some more shopping. We also rode a becak in between some stores.


I got Miss Kiki a matching kebaya top  at one of the stores. The kids version comes in a set with the skirt.


We went to Batik Putra Laweyan in the same area, they have their own workshop behind the store. This is quite rare in Solo nowadays, because the city has a stricter regulation regarding pollution. Miss Kiki and DH went to visit the workshop while I shopped. 
















Tired of walking, we decided to go for lunch. I had wanted to try a soup recommended by someone by Pasar Gede, but it was already closed by then. Almost hangry, we went in the first restaurant we pass by. It was a Chinese restaurant, and the food was better than we expected!


From the restaurant, we moved to Cafe Tiga Tjeret, literally meaning Three Kettle Cafe, famous for their hot ginger drinks. It was a cute place with unusual decorations.



















From the cafe, we walked quite far to a Serabi Solo store. Miss Kiki did really well walking and it was a good exercise. Unfortunately, the store was already closed when we got there so we took a cab back to the hotel, and had dinner at a diner nearby.


The following morning we headed over to the mall next to our hotel for breakfast. That weekend the 11 Maret University had a fair showcasing their different faculties and clubs. Some of them are quite interesting. They had natural fabric dyes, taro root flour, and some really old archives. Miss Kiki even got to try viewing a document through a universal reader and she took home a papyrus bookmark.


 




Afterwards we went to the Serabi Solo store to buy some for friends and family, and headed to the airport.





So long, Solo! See you next time!