Presently, I am continuing my policy of exploring my immediate area. Last Saturday, I finally made it to the keraton of King Boko, a partially restored elaborate Hindu palace complex from the 9th century. Incredibly, it is only 15 minutes from my kos. By comparison, in Adelaide I would be able to get to the equally impressive 20th century Westfield Marion shopping complex in the same amount of time.
I was once again pleased to find that this tourist attraction also doubles as grazing land for goats.
Unfortunately, very little remains of the original complex, and restoration has yet to reach the same level as at Prambanan or Borobodur.
Thankfully, this handful of guys has been tasked with restoring the hundreds of thousands of stones that make up the various structures.
The whole time I was walking around, I imagined myself in the Crete section of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. If you havent played that, shame on you, and this caption will make little or no sense.
Boko was a king of the Mataram empire. Pocari Sweat is the sports drink of Japan. Guess which one I’ll be worshiping.
This was the best preserved of the structures at the time I visited. It was King Boko’s pendopo but presently people seem to be using it to dry rice.
People actually live on the grounds. Having this place as your backyard would surely lead to some epic games of Lock-On.
Feeling adequately burned by the midday sun, I trekked on to Surakarta, aka Solo. On the map, it seems to be pretty close, but the journey ended up taking about two hours each way. As a city, Solo is kind of the companion to Jogja. They share a royal lineage, a language, and a culture, but while Jogja is a very heavily touristed city, Solo is somewhat outside the loop.
This is the old part of the city, around the Sultan’s palace. I wasn’t looking forward to going into the market, but it was more like Adelaide than Jogja. No one was giving me the hard sell, shouting out their wares, or even talking.
All this politeness belies the fact that whenever something goes wrong in Indonesia, Solo is the first place to get all up in arms about it and go berserk. Probably best to make sure the price of petrol hasn’t been increased recently before you start packing your bags.
Unfortunately, everything I wanted to see was already closed. Even the big mosque, pictured above, was in the midst of afternoon prayers, so I wasn’t game to go and take a bunch of pictures. Outcome: I’ll have to go back soon and try again.
I also found out that my head is 60cm in circumference. The more you know!