We didn’t realise that we had stepped into a time warp, where minutes can pass by agonisingly slow. The name Yogyakarta (pronounced jog-ja) is said to mean “Peace without Conflict” in classic Javanese. It figures, because it became apparent to my companions and I that time stood fairly still less than 24 hours we arrived.
For me, the highlight would be my visit to Borobudur in time to watch the sun rises from behind Mount Merapi. Beautiful.
While we were able to see the volcano from the Buddhist monument, the clouds shrouded the peak when we got to the foot of Merapi. That was a bit disappointing. And get this. We left for Borobudur at 4am, got to Merapi by 9.30am and was back in town by 11am. Not even noon!
Kraton, the Sultan’s palace (he is also the Special Region’s governor), was a bigger disappointment. It was quiet and not lively. There were lots of the palace staff milling around in their traditional gear but somehow that didn’t help much.
All in all, a meaningful sojourn with friends. Good times, some laughs, a bit of drama and for me, tears.