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    • Day 74

      Java, Indonesia

      March 5 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 82 °F

      What an experience this was! We had a three hour bus ride escorted by local police which made the long drive as smooth as one could hope. Stacy bought a hat from a local who couldn’t contain her delight.

      Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and ranks with Bagan in Myanmar and Angkor Wat in Cambodia as one of the great archeological sites of Southeast Asia. Borobudur remains popular for pilgrimage, with Buddhists in Indonesia celebrating Vesak Day at the monument. Among Indonesia's tourist attractions, Borobudur is the most-visited monument.

      Borobudur Temple - Constructed of gray andesite-like stone, the temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and originally 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa. The monument guides pilgrims through an extensive system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the walls and the balustrades. Borobudur has one of the world's most extensive collections of Buddhist reliefs.

      Built during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, the temple design follows Javanese Buddhist architecture, which blends the Indonesian indigenous tradition of ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of attaining nirvāṇa. The monument is a shrine to the Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Evidence suggests that Borobudur was constructed in the 8th century and subsequently abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was completed at 1983 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, followed by the monument's listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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    • Day 32

      Semarang Indonesien

      January 22, 2023 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

      8.00 Uhr Anlegen in Semarang mit wieder Feuchten Gefühlen 28 Grad. Wir unternehmen mit vielen weiteren mit Bewohner den Ausflug ‚ Semarang, Begrüsst wurden wir schon mal mit einem auf Grund gelaufenen Tanker was auch kein Wunder da die Fischer auch weit hinaus Laufen können 🤣🤣. Wir wurden dann wider mit Lautstarker Musik empfangen. Unser Ausflug führte uns zu einem Künstler Viertel dort sahen wir kurz wie ein Batik Tuch Hergestellt wird. Die Wände des Viertels waren alle Kunstvoll Bemalt oder anders wie Gestaltet. Der Besuch rund um den Buddhistischen war schön und interessant. Dann das Haus mit den 1000 Türen ein hinterbleibsel der Holländer das ist gut möglich jeder Raum hat sicher 4 Türen 😀😀. Es folgte dann die Besichtigung des Chinesischen Tempel in dem natürlich gleich noch das Chinesische Neue Jahr gefeiert wird inklusive einer Typischen Aufführung. Nach ca. 20 min. Geleiteten wir an einem Flohmarkt vorbei bis in die sogenannte Altstadt wo wir mit feinen Tee begrüsst wurden und unser Reiseleiter, da ja auch eine Band da war, uns einen Song zum besten gab und das war sehr gut👍😎😎. Und zurück zum Schiff🤣🤣😎😎Read more

    • Day 77

      Semarang, Java, Indonesia

      March 5 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

      Midnight found me emailing with our property manager. We had an alert from Thymes2 water monitoring company that there was continual water usage in one of our units. Luckily it was just a toilet that was running which the tenants didn't think it was important for them to report.

      Then my sweet mother returned my call from yesterday at 4:30 AM. She said in her delicate voice, "Are you sleeping?". I told her that I would call her in a couple of hours.

      My alarm went off way too early at 6 AM. I woke Bob at 6:15 AM and showed him the morning in Semarang, Indonesia.

      We hurriedly got ready and our day packs packed and headed up for breakfast.

      Our tour today is to visit Borobudur. At 7 AM we headed to the first floor and got in line to depart the ship. We had to wait for about 30 minutes for the Indonesian Port Authority to clear the ship for disembarkation. This gave me time to call my mom and get caught up with her and her visit to Arizona.

      Soon, we were given the announcement that we could proceed ashore.

      We quickly found our bus. There are over 200 Viking Guests going on this exciting so we have many buses. A police escort has also been arranged to whisk us through traffic.

      The immediate area around the port took my breath away with the abject poverty. It reminded me of the informal settlements in Cape Town, South Africa.

      As soon as we were a few miles from the port, the condition and type of the housing vastly improved. By the time we got to the hills surrounding Semerang, there were now elegant villas.

      We soon moved to the tropical jungle where we saw coffee plantations, rubber tree forests, mahogany forests, teak forests, avocado, mango, pineapple and papaya plantations, and rice fields. Java appears to be so much better off economically than Bali. It appears that the government of Java is investing in infrastructure and economic opportunities for its population instead of using economic resources to build huge statues and temples.

      Java also appears so much cleaner than Bali. Although the air quality is horrible.

      On the way to Borobudur, we stopped for a restroom and snack break. I had a cup of coffee and Bob had a cup of tea. The coffee was wonderful! It was very full-bodied with zero bitterness. It would give Vista Clara a run for its money.

      After an approximate 3 hour drive, we arrived at Borobudur. We were given wrist bands and issued special sandals to use to climb the temple. The reason for the sandals was to minimize the wear on the temple. Bob's feet would not appreciate walking in the sandals so he opted not to climb the temple.

      Borobudur is the largest Buddhist monument in the world. It strikes a dramatic pose against a backdrop of four volcanoes, one of which erupted just 2 days ago. Borobudur is a popular place of pilgrimage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the massive pyramidal temple towers to a great height. The devout walk up a clockwise path to the pinnacle, passing 2,672 reliefs and 504 Buddha statues along the way.

      We spent about 2 hours in the tropical heat and humidity touring and climbing the temple.

      The view from the top was pretty hazy due to the humidity and particulates in the air from the volcano's eruption.

      By the time we made it to the bottom, my dress was about as wet as it was in Ubud. Unfortunately, I was neither done sweating nor did I have another dress to change into.

      Bob finished his tour much earlier than I. His tour involved very few steps and he was in the shade most of the time.

      I was hoping that the restaurant would be air conditioned but nope, it was outside under tents. Luckily, Bob had procured a table direct in front of the occiulating fan.

      The lunch was amazingly delicious. They had a fish dish that was out of this world.

      After lunch, we boarded the bus for our 3 hour trip back to the airport. The bus was blissfully cool.

      We stopped at a gift shop because I believe that Viking feels they must feed you (with the exception of the tour of the Rice terraces and Ubud) and they have to give you an opportunity to shop. Bob wasn't interested in shopping but I thought that we should at least go look because we would be on the bus for at least 3 hours.

      We ended up making a purchase. Our stateroom is quickly filling up. I think we may need to send some luggage home from Singapore.

      As soon as we left the shop, the heavens opened and it poured in torrential sheets of rain. The streets flooded which made our drive home a bit longer. The rainy season in Indonesia is something to behold. I have never seen it rain this hard.

      If I had to choosing to visit Bali or Java, my hands down choice would be Java.

      I am not looking forward to the heat in Vietnam as it is forecast to be near 100 degrees. I am glad that I brought electrolytes with all the sweating that I have been doing. Absolute zero chance of me being able to wear a dress or skirt more than once.

      I did forget a hat and my umbrella. Will be making a note of everything that I need to pack to survive this heat.
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    • Day 19

      Semarang, Indonesia

      February 15, 2017 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      With the Valentine's party last night everyone was very tired this morning and it took a long time before we left the ship. Once we did we had a 40 minute shuttle bus ride. Which is the longest we've ever had. The shuttle bus took you through a very poor area where most people were asleep under whatever they could find and there were only shacks for buildings. People were walking down the middle of the road selling water and fresh fruit. Like you see at home with window washing sometimes.
      The bus dropped us off in a slightly nicer area at the visitor centre. We stayed there for a bit updating our phones and checking emails before walking down to a shopping centre. We walked through the entire things but I just bought some ice cream and a drink. We then went back to the shuttle and are now using the free wifi in the cruise terminal. There were not very many photo opportunities today.
      One of the big differences between the world cruise and regular cruises is that you go to many ports that cruise ships rarely go to. Today was an example of that. Other cruise lines occasionally go here but P&O never has before. Everyone was so excited to see us. People were taking pictures of us as we were coming and going from the cruise terminal. Kids were jumping up and down waving as the shuttle bus drove by. People are on shore are always taking pictures of the ship as it comes and goes from ports. On regular cruises the ports you go to are full of other cruise ships.
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    • Day 101

      Semarang Indonesien

      March 13, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Wir sind heute doch planmäßig in semarang angekommen. Der medizinische Check hat aber heute ewig gedauert. Stehen am Arsch der Welt. Mit dem Shuttle braucht man eine Stunde für eine Strecke und da gibt es nur eine Shopping Mal. Bin demnach heute im Schiff geblieben und Ruhe mich aus. Keiner weiß wie die nächsten Tage werden.

      Update für heute:
      So wir werden heute übernachten hier bleiben und dann mal schauen was passiert. Einzigst Gute ist das ich länger frei habe.😅
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