Semarang City, Java, IndonesiaFebruary 15, 2015 in Indonesia
Today we visited the country of Java, specifically the Borobudur Temple, which is the largest Buddhist Temple in the world. It was built of lava rock in the 9th century and was designed to blend the Javanese architecture with the Buddhist concept of achieving Nirvana. There are 504 Buddha statues as part of the temple. There is evidence the temple was abandoned in the 14th century during the decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java and the conversion to Islam.
There are a number of active volcanos on Java, and it is thought that the temple of covered in ash and was undiscovered until 1814 and was then restored between 1975 and 1982. By the way, there seem to be volcanoes erupting either right before we get somewhere or right after we leave. I hope our luck continues to hold out!
In any case, the temple was an incredible sight if only in the sheer massiveness of the building. The over 2000 carved panels serve to tell/teach a story as one walks around the temple and up the levels.
The drive to the temple through Java’s cities, villages and coutryside was quite hair-raising at times, but fascinating in the variety of sights along the way.
It is getting quite steamy as we approach the Equator again – not a complaint, just an observation. The Java Sea remains extremely calm – it almost doesn’t even feel like we are on a ship.
We have learned to eat an Indonesian hot sauce called samba olec. It is quite hot and we have enjoyed putting it on many things here on the ship. When we were out to lunch yesterday in Java, Jeff and I spied a bowl of samba olec and piled it on our plates. WOW! It was a lot hotter and took a lot of rice and water to put the fire in our mouths out!Read more