Citilink QG 125 from Solo (SOC) to Jakarta (HLP): Back into Capital City’s Routines

<—-Previous Story

Citilink QG 125 flight path (Source: https://flightaware.com/).

It was already past one o’clock when I finished in paying for lunch menu, however, I was blown away by the taste of Nasi Gudeg Komplit and Durian Juice at Javenir restaurant where I stopped by. Lunch session finally ended my adventure in Solo

Two and a half hours before the flight….

Leaving the restaurant, I waited for an online taxi in front yard when Javenir was full of visitors, several cars were queuing up to entering parking area. Five minutes in waiting, I saw a black Toyota Avanza on a road side while turn its hazard lamps on, noticed the vehicle’s license plate, I waved at the driver who looked confused. Knowing my whereabouts, he turned high beam on as a sign he understood.

Airport, Sir!“, I sat next to him while confirming destination.

Ok, Sir….Oh, sorry, I was hesitant for taking Sir Donny. Usually, people who leave Javenir are carrying souvenirs. Sir Donny doesn’t seem to be carrying anything ”, he started to open a conversation.

Oh, I just went there to do a survey for my office’s event, Sir. There isn’t intention for buying souvenirs“.

No wonder. Where is Sir Donny going back? ”, he understood that I intended to leave Solo.

Jakarta, Sir“.

The conversation intently continued for next twenty minutes until taxi arrived at airport’s drop-off zone.

There wasn’t much time left….

After cashly paying taxi, I immediately rushed. Showing my e-ticket and ID card to aviation security, completing an initial screening process, I managed to enter departure hall. My gaze swept over the rows of check-in counters in search of an LCD with a Citilink QG 125 displaying in it. I found it in a corner of row and without hesitation I started queuing.

A few minutes later, I easily got my boarding pass. This time, I won’t enjoy the beauty of flight because I have to sit in column B seat…. Yups, that was the middle column. Leaving check-in counter, initially I smoothly went through second screening process. However, an aviation security officer asked me to take out all electronic devices in my backpack, put it on a tray which they had prepared. I myself am not worry, because I didn’t feel that I have done anything wrong and of course this was still in my own country. I just feel amazed by safety standard of domestic flights at Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

As expected, screening process went straightforward without any problems. I walked towards boarding gate to wait for the plane to arrived.

Half an hour from boarding time….

I took time to do Dzuhur and Asr Prayers in a time at prayer room and spent remaining time fot consolidating with Marketing Conference’s Head of Event Division in Jakarta. I conveyed some important notes regarding my survey results and added Javenir possibility for being a strong candidate for destination.

By sending report via email prior to check-out from Amaris Hotel Sriwedari this afternoon, it means that my survey trip and report were simultaneously completed….Wow, It was good, this free trip has done, the report was also finished….Yuhuuu.

To my surprise, coordination by telephone took so long untul boarding call had interrupted it. I ended the conversation and immediately headed for boarding gate. After checking my boarding pass and ID card, I rushed through aerobridge following other passengers who had previously entered the cabin.

That was Citilink QG 125 using Airbus A320.
To aerobridge.

Boarding was over a while after I sat on seat 21B. Aircraft began to move and cabin crew began to busy in demonstrating flight safety procedures. After being in a perfect position at the end of runaway, plane really took off and left the beauty of Solo City.

Not wanting to be busy reading Linkers, Citilink’s inflight magazine because I had read it during Jakarta-Solo flight a day before yesterday, I chose to sleep and wait until the plane arrived in Jakarta for about 50 minutes later.

The twin-jet Airbus flied 500 km with a cruising altitude of 26,000 feet and a speed of more than 800 km/h. Without turbulence, I fell asleep and felt comfortable in riding Citilink QG 125. For some reason, my heart feels safety when using Citilink’s services. Is it because a suggestion that Citilink is a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia Airways, the best airline in this country?….Ah, I don’t know….

“Flight attendants, please prepare for landing!”….

The announcement from flight captain made me wake up and prepared for landing at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Landing at the capital’s second airport is the most enjoyable thing, because we would go down using manual stairs and felt a sensation when under the giant feet of iron bird. It was rare to be able to get a special moment like that.

Smoothly landing @ Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Welcome to Jakarta….

Time to get back into capital’s busy work routine with no end.

Alternative for flight tickets from Solo to Jakarta can be searched on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Stoping by at Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop and Closing at Javenir

<—-Previous Story

Two slices of Serabi Notosuman were enough for me to enjoy this Solo’s typical culinary. After picking up a dozen others at cashier counter as souvenirs, I immediately left the shop for another souvenir shop, i.e Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop.

An online taxi drove me to that souvenir shop in five minutes. Now I was in Jayengan area to review shop feasibility for Marketing Conference participants to stop by.

As soon as the online taxi stopped at shop parking area, I immediately entered shop and glanced around to observing merchandise completeness on display. Then I concluded that the shop was worth visiting as a place to hunt for souvenirs. It didn’t take long to visit it, just ten minutes. This was because Rahadian, my friend in doing a survey, would back to Bandung soon.

Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop.

After visiting Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop, Rahadian said goodbye and headed straight to Balapan Station. Meanwhile, I prefered to head to hotel to spendind remaining two hours of my staying time. Rahadian already took an online motorcycle taxi and left, so I ordered an online taxi to Amaris Hotel Sriwedari.

After arriving at hotel room, I spent two hours for compiling a survey report which I started from the day before yesterday and ended this morning. The report was targeted to reach Marketing Conference’s Event Division today as material for decision making regarding which destinations to visiting. I was so serious about preparing a report, but the phone rang. “It must be a receptionist call as a reminder that the staying time is over,” I inwardly groaned. But whatever it was, I had to leave immediately before being charged an additional cost.

But where was I going? Remembering that my return flight to Jakarta was still in afternoon. I had to think to make use of my remaining time. My hand moved quickly to touch my smartphone screen and started for surfing to find something.

Yes, I know where to go“, my heart cheerfully cried out .

I left the room, walked down the floor in the lift and handed the key to reception desk. I ordered a taxi online and drove to where I intended. The taxi quickly moved out of Solo City’s gate, seven kilometers away. And in 20 minutes I arrived.

Yes …. Javenir“, my heart said.

Javenir courtyard.

Javenir, a well-known souvenir center on western edge of the city which was a favorite for travelers in looking for souvenirs, even some tourist buses which were full of local tourists seemed to go back and forth in this place. I entered selling room and toured every corner. There wasn’t doubt about souvenir completeness in this store, from batik clothes, handicrafts and snacks. I decided to add this place as a list of preferred destinations for Marketing Conference later. I left the shop with a pack of coffee beans and rushed to its back building which was functioned as a restaurant. I decided to have lunch with a group of local tourists there.

Parking area.
Restaurant.
Restaurant inside.
The menu.

This lunch was the closing of my survey adventure in Solo, this free journey has reached the end of the story. Because after lunch, I had to immediately go to Adi Soemarmo International Airport to return to Jakarta.

Savory and Soft Serabi Notosuman

<—-Previous Story

Enjoying local culinary delights is always an interesting thing for travelers. This type of culinary is a special attraction because it reflects culinary treasures of region in question. This time I would taste one more typical Solo culinary after I’ve tasted five of them.

That morning, I decided to leave Alun-Alun Kidul (South Square of Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace) early because the sun had shone on that open area. After taking shelter for a while under Waringin Kurung Sakembaran*1, I immediately ordered an online taxi service to Jayengan area.

Shortly after executing the order, a black Toyota Avanza came to pick me up. Taxi driver was very easy to recognize me after I had given my characteristics in detail starting from the color of my clothes, bag and shoes which I was wearing. I opened the front left door and buried myself in the seat.

Serabi*2 Notosuman, Sir!”, I confirmed the destination.

“Ok, Sir”.

The online taxi drove to east, tracing morning streets of Solo City. It was a national holiday, Islamic New Year, and streets were deserted. I arrived in ten minutes and entered parking area. The first glance was a large green nameboard with words “Serabi Notosuman”, this was the famous Solo City snack. I should try it or at least bought it as a souvenir.

Parking area.
Production area.

In a corner, six production employees were busy working on making serabi. Those employees deftly handled more than a hundred mini serabi pans, carried large basin of dough from the kitchen, greased each pan with oil using a round brush, poured the dough with a distinctive hand shake to form a thin layer over the puddle of dough, then covering the pan for three minutes to produce a cooked serabi. Hot serabi were started to be lifted one by one using a small taper and then were cooled on top of tampah*3, then were wrapped in banana leaves to be ready to sell to buyers. Indeed, the serabi which sold in this outlet were fresh serabi because they were directly taken from the stove.

I entered the inner room, it turned out that this outlet didn’t only provide serabi. But it also provided some other traditional culinaries such as intip, jenang, lanting, jipang*4 and others.

Selling room.

Serabi Notosuman itself was almost a century old, had a distinctive and savory taste of coconut milk. That morning, I chose to order two kinds of serabi, plain serabi and chocolate ones at a price of IDR. 2,000 per piece to bring as a souvenir.

Located on Mohammad Yamin Street, this outlet operated from 06:00 to 17:00. This culinary based on rice flour and coconut milk had two outlets with different owners, namely Serabi Notosuman Ny. Handayani, which was characterized by its orange color packaging and Serabi Notosuman Ny. Lidia with green color packaging.

So, take your time to stop by at Serabi Notosuman when traveling to Solo.

Note:

Waringin Kurung Sakembaran*1: The twin banyan tree is full of magic in the middle of royal’ south square

Serabi*2, one of the most common snacks in the market when visiting Java

tampah*3 is tray which is made from woven bamboo

intip, jenang, lanting, jipang*4 are typical Javanese snacks

Next Story—->

Soaking “Kebo Bule” in “Alun-Alun Kidul”

<—-Previous Story

My success in enjoying Tahok made my morning worthwhile because I could enjoy again one of many typical Solo City’s culinary. My third day in Batik City continued. The limit was this afternoon when I have to leave Solo City to return to capital city.

Now I was standing back in front of Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market’s gate, waiting for an online taxi to came and picked me up. Not long after, a white Toyota Agya stopped its speed right in front of market gate. I walked towards it and the driver seemed to understand that I was the passenger who he would pick up.

Alun-Alun Kidul, Sir“, I confirmed the destination.

It’s quiet in the morning. You should have come there at night, Sir, it will definitely be festive”, online taxi driver provided information.

What festivy is on the night, Sir?

Usually, families will play with their children to try various game rides, and young people will hangout around to enjoying culinary delights, Sir“, he lightly said.

Oh, I see….but I just went there for a survey, Sir, just a moment. The main event is still two months away”.

I see, Sir. It’s okay

Ten minutes later, I arrived at Alun-Alun Kidul (South Square), in Gajahan area. Dropped off at east side of square. My attention was immediately fixed on two large banyan trees in the middle of square. The square still looked very quiet that morning.

OOOngng… .aa… .kkk ……… OOOngng… .aa… .kkk”.

Ah, that’s a buffalo sound“, I thought.

I quickly turned around to voice origin, a little further behind me.

Kebo Bule“, I was shocked.

Kyai Slamet” Buffaloes was othet their nickname.

Five buffalos were seen in an iron cage. That was “Kebo Bule” (“Albino Buffalo”) which was usually paraded at “Malam Satu Suro” (“1st Muharram”) celebration parade around Solo City. It was a routine event which held by Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace to welcoming the arrival of Islamic New Year 1 Muharram.

Illustration of “Malam Satu Suro” celebration (Source: SINDOnews).

I knew that “Kebo Bule” parade had been done overnight when I fell asleep at Amaris Hotel Sriwedari. Even though I had invited Rahadian to watch the celebration. But our bodies were just too tired after doing some survey for fourteen hours yesterday. So we chose to sleep and enjoy hotel facilities.

It seemed that that buffaloes was rested in Alun-Alun Kidul after last night parade, “Kandang Mahesa” is their cage’s name. Very lucky, I could see that buffaloes up close even I could touch their head.

For a long time I watched “Kebo Bule” behavior with several people who deliberately stopped from their vehicle to take a brief look at that sacred buffalo.

In the end, I decided to walk towards the middle of square to feel a magical nuance when I passed that two twin banyan trees. I thought that magical power of that banyan tree was just a myth, but I also didn’t blame it when many people believed in magical power of that trees. People’s beliefs were different each other and couldn’t be enforced.

Waringin Kurung Sakembaran” (the name of that twin banyan tree) which have magical powers in the eyes of Solo City’s people.

Not felt, the sun began to rise and its heat began to pierce into the square. I have to get away from here.

Next Story—->

Ginger Scent in a Bowl of Tahok

<—-Previous Story

I have finished exploring Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace and its square, Klewer Market and Great Mosque of Surakarta Palace. I started down southern point of Jenderal Sudirman Street heading north. This was administrative area of ​​Solo City, I felt impressed when I passed Surakarta City Hall which was very majestic with its Joglo*1 roof.

Surakarta City Hall.

Sidewalk in front of city hall seemed to be made wider without a fence, this was because the office where mayor worked also acted as a people’s house who was ready to accept their complaints. The city hall was still quiet that morning, it hadn’t yet touched nine o’clock.

Arriving at a T-junction, classic appearance of Pasar Gede Clock Tower really captivated my eyes. The tower, which was neither high nor low, still showed the spurs of Dutch colonialism. This was Sudiroprajan area with its main icon, i.e Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market.

Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market.

I started to go to Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market. My goal was only one….TAHOK.

I didn’t even know what this traditional Solo culinary looked like, even the location and shape of its stall, I never imagined it. My step was getting closer to market building which looked silent when I looked at it from front gate.

But I was still on other side of street when I noticed a long queue which started at a food cart. I still didn’t know what the culinary which sell in food cart. After approaching and reading small banner which was hanging on its roof, I just found out, it turned out that a culinary which I had been looking for was right in front of my eyes. This was Mr Citro’s Tahok.

Me: “Sir, what are the ingredients?

Mr. Citro: “This is made from beancurd and ginger water, Sir“.

Me: “Rahadian, do you want to try or not ?. I want to try ”, I offered to Rahadian, who had been hesitating.

Rahadian: “No, sir. I don’t really like ginger. Sir Donny can eat it, I’ll just wait ”.

Me: “What?. You come for far way to Solo and how come you don’t try its culinary. It’s strange ”, Rahadian just smiled and took a bench in the corner of sidewalk.

I started to queue, some customers prefered to take away their orders. It show that they were loyal customers of this culinary. Not long in queueing, it was my turn to get a bowl of Tahok. The seller seemed to start to lightly scooping the beancurd and put it in the bowl many times until it was full, then poured ginger water until it drowned all beancurd.

Tahok food cart.
Tahok.

This was the fifth Solo City’s typical culinary which I enjoyed after Dawet Telasih Ice, Jenang Suro, Soto Kwali and Wedang Ronde which I ate a day ago. Combination of subtle texture and warmth of ginger made it perfect to ete in that morning which still blowed remains of last night’s cold wind .

I finished this culinary experience by handing over IDR 7,000 (USD 0.5) and started to leaving the food cart. Now I was heading to Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market inside for second time since yesterday. I was still curious about Bu Dermi’s Dawet Telasih Ice which I didn’t find a day ago because it wasn’t open yet. I did have time to drink Ibu Hj. Sipon’s Dawet Telasih Ice as the replacement.

But my curiosity still paid off with no luck. Stall which I was looking for had not opened yet, even the market was still deserted and not many traders were present. My desire was delayed again.

Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market inside.

Later I would taste this Bu Dermi Dawet Telasih Ice two months since my arrival that day.

Note:

Joglo*1 is a type of traditional vernacular house of the Javanese people

Next Story—->

Klewer Market and the Great Mosque of Surakarta Palace

<—-Previous Story

Klewer Market in the morning.

I started walking to north towards Alun-Alun Lor (North Square) of Hadiningrat Surakarta Palace. Its distance was less than half a kilometer from palace courtyard. I arrived in five minutes. As far as my eyes could see, Alun-Alun Lor was quite well-maintained, with an area of ​​almost seven hectares. Covered by imperfect green grass which was covering the entire square, asphalt paths crossed from north to south and from west to east and in each side of square were surrounded by large trees (banyan trees in between). Meanwhile, to limiting the road which surrounding the square, a chest-high iron fence were built which aligned with inner boundary of sidewalk.

I seem lazy to go to the middle of square, just kept walking around it and intended to go to eastern part of square to kill my curiosity about the biggest textile shopping center in Solo, i.e Klewer Market. Like Tanah Abang Market in Jakarta, Klewer Market was the city’s economic pulse with a very capable cash flow cycle. I arrived right in front of market gate which was still quiet. Some traders have started to come and bringing coli of textiles upstairs. Meanwhile, several stalls seemed to be opened to prepare for trade that morning. I tried to step to the first floor and went around looking at each side. Looking at its surrounding conditions, I could imagine that this market would be very busy if all stalls were opened.

I won’t wait until Klewer Market actually was opened, I immediately went down and heading to north of the market. This time I would visit Great Mosque of Surakarta Palace which was still part of Hadiningrat Surakarta Palace. The mosque, with a three-tiered roofs, appeared to be devoted to witnessing the marriage of a couple who seemed to be important people, because I saw there was a greeting flower board from President Joko Widodo and his family. That event then discouraged me to entering the mosque.

Great Mosque of Surakarta Palace.
Great Mosque of Surakarta Palace

The mosque was decorated with classic lampposts in its courtyard, even more beautiful with its elegant single minaret which standing in north of courtyard. This 232-years-old mosque was still quite dashing and elegant standing at east side of Alun-Alun Lor which was side by side with Klewer Market.

Finally, I had been in the last part of Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace complex. I started to leave palace area by passing eastern side of Slamet Riyadi Street which was marked by a Brigadier General Slamet Riyadi statue who looked dashing while pointing a gun into sky. Slamet Riyadi himself was a hero of Solo City who fall in Ambon while carrying out state duties in quelling the rebellion of Republic of South Maluku.

Now my intention was turning towards my first destination when I did the survey yesterday. I wasn’t looking for Dawet Telasih Ice, but a traditional culinary which was quite famous in Solo.

Next Story—->

Visiting Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace

<—-Previous Story

Soundly resting in Amaris Hotel Sriwedari made me woke up just as Shubuh call to prayer rang out. Taking time to enjoy the dawn from behind a glass window in the room, I decided to splash under the shower with warm water afterwards. I deliberately lingered under the shower, perfecting my muscle relaxation after since two day before I had to chase with time doing lots of survey agendas exploring Solo City.

After more than half an hour of bathing, I immediately cleaned up, tidied up my bag and prepared myself for my third day of survey. On exactly seven in the morning, I was at hotel’s restaurant for breakfast. While Rahadian, my Vice Chair of Marketing Conference, had been in the restaurant since half an hour ago. He leaned closer to my dining table when I ate fried rice combined with mendoan*1 and hot coffee. We chatted and discussed about the last survey that day.

After thirty minutes in enjoying a variety of restaurant menu, Rahadian and I started ordering an online taxi for heading east to Baluwarti area. That morning the official palace belonging to Surakarta Sunanate became the first survey destination on my third day in Solo. Shortly waiting in the lobby, a black Toyota Agya came to pick us up. I immediately got into front seat and Rahadian at back, then that online taxi started went for two kilometers in ten minutes to reach the destination.

The palace building was 277 years old.

Fifteen minutes before eight o’clock, I arrived at Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace. That day, I planned to shorten our survey time because Rahadian would come home early by catching Lodaya train departure to Bandung at 13:00 hours. Therefore, I went to palace when its operating hours weren’t yet opened.

Rahadian and I enjoyed palace frontyard which also functioned as a one-way traffic lane. But there was one part of palace building which really stole our attention, i.e a thirty meter high tower which was visible from palace frontyard. That was Sanggabuwana Tower which was founded 38 years after palace building was built. It could be guessed that this tower functioned as a watchtower because this palace was founded during Dutch colonialism era.

But it was said that the tower was also used to meet Nyi Roro Kidul*2 “The Queen of South Sea” by Sri Susuhan Pakubuwono III.

Like an city planning of the ancient kingdom era, Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace was flanked by square, i.e Alun-Alun Lor (North Square) and Alun-Alun Kidul (South Square). Alur-Alur Lor was a busier square, this was where the “Sekatenan” (Night Market) was held to commemorate the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday every year.

So to explore area around the palace, I started to continue my journey to Alun-Alun Lor by walking. Alun-Alun Lor was no more than half a kilometer from palace and could be reached by walking in ten minutes.

What were destinations around Alun-Alun Lor?

Note:

Mendoan*1  is a type of fried food that comes from the residency of Banyumas, Central Java, Indonesia

Nyi Roro Kidul*2 is an Indonesian goddess of the sea. She is the Queen of the Southern Sea (Indian Ocean) in Sundanese and Javanese mythology

Next Story—->

House of Danar Hadi and Ngarsopuro Night Market

<—-Previous Story

Danar Hadi Ancient Batik Museum.

I was just trying to find as much information as possible about some events which would be held at Sriwedari Park in two months since my arrival. But unfortunately, there would be no cultural performances in next two months at that cultural park. That means, Marketing Conference participants couldn’t be directed to enjoy cultural performances at Sriwedari Park. Okay, that was okay, this survey was arguably a failed, but on other hand, at least, I had time to visit Sriwedari Park and added cultural treasures about Solo, even though it only took half an hour to visit.

At half past ten in evening, I started to leave Sriwedari Park. Then again swinging steps to east to survey the last destination on Jaladara Tourist Train Line. The place which I was aiming at was still a heritage site, located half a kilometer from Sriwedari Park.

This destination was nicknamed House of Danar Hadi. Of course, I already knew that when I arrived, this place was definitely closed because its operating hours was only until five in the afternoon every day. But that was okay, I only meant to confirm the place because I definitely recommended Marketing Conference Event Division to including this place as one of places to visited. Besides shopping for Typical of Solo Batik*1, Marketing Conference participants would also be able to visit Danar Hadi Ancient Batik Museum, which collected up to ten thousand types of batik in it.

A few minutes after arriving at destination, I was just silent looking at the shape of building and surveying surrounding area. It took me time to observe this destination before deciding to leave it and moved to another destination. Because that night, I would spend time around Ngarsopuro Night Market before going back to hotel for rest.

I continued swinging steps to Keprabon area. Ngarsopuro Night Market was no more than one kilometer from House of Danar Hadi. It only took fifteen minutes to get there.

Arrived at Diponegoro Street. My attention was suddenly drawn to crowd on west side of road. Gamelan sound made me curious and finally I couldn’t refrain to take a look at it.

Oh, it turned out that there was a Wayang Kulit*2 performance at that place. Better, for half an hour, I stood still and enjoyed the show, I haven’t seen a Wayang Kulit show in a very long time.

Wayang Kulit performance.

Several time before ten in evening, I finished in watching the show and rushed to Ngarsopuro Night Market area. This night market was actually open every Saturday night, while I come on Monday night. Therefore, traders at that night market didn’t seem optimal. There were only several food cars and culinary carts which sold foods and drinks at several points. But still, I decided to hang out and mingle with several groups of young people who seemed to be enjoying the night while sipping coffee and eating street culinary in Solo.

Taking a seat and enjoying a cup of coffee latte, I began to spend the evening in that place. That night I felt satisfied because my full day adventure was full of memories and very satisfying.

Until it was almost eleven o’clock in evening. I decided to immediately went back to Amaris Hotel Sriwedari and took a rest because tomorrow there was still a very busy survey schedule.

Food car in Ngarsopuro Night Market.
Visitors who were enjoying the night.
Finally, I joined with them.
Diponegoro Street.

Come on….Back to hotel….Sleep!

Note:

Batik*1 is an Indonesian technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to the whole cloth. This technique originated from the island of Java, Indonesia

Wayang Kulit*2 a traditional form of puppet-shadow play originally found in the cultures of Java, Bali, and Lombok in Indonesia

Next Story—->

Gatokaca and Pregiwa Romanticism in Sriwedari Park

<—-Previous Story

Sriwedari Park gate.

Because Loji Gandrung was once used by Colonel Gatot Subroto as the commado centre in facing Operatie Kraai which was launched by Dutch in December 1948. That was a reason which I would find later why a statue chosen to be placed in front of Loji Gandrung was General Gatoto Subroto Statue.

Now we would talk about other topic….

In the past….

Before Manahan Stadium was built by Cendana Family*1 through Ibu Tien Soeharto Foundation in 1998. Solo City had a small but legendary football stadium. The stadium which had given birth to a professional football club that had made history in Indonesian football, namely Arseto Solo FC. The stadium itself was called Sriwedari Stadium. This naming itself was of course related to its location in Sriwedari area.

That night, of course, I had no intention of visiting Sriwedari Stadium after visiting Loji Gandrung to seek information. But you just needed to know that on east side of this legendary stadium, there was a cultural park which was famous in Wayang Orang Art*2 performance. This cultural park was known as Sriwedari Park.

Fifteen minutes past nine o’clock in evening, exiting Loji Gandrung gate, I continued my survey trip to east for half a kilometer. Along south side of Slamet Riyadi Street, I stepped into night crowd. Until I arrived at a name board entitled “I Love Solo” which was located in a small park under a large tree, right in the middle of a wide sidewalk. This was a sign that my step had reached in the destination.

Hangout place in front of Sriwedari Park.
Gatotkaca and Pregiwa statue.

I was greeted by a magnificent gate with a “Buto*3” mask on it then followed by a welcome greeting by a golden statues of Gatotkaca and Pregiwa*4 in courtyard. From there alone, Javanese cultural aura smelled very strongly. Meanwhile, a large pavilion filled one side of  park.

From the information which I read on an event calendar at one point. Exactly two months before my visitation, this place has held an annual performance in Wayang Orang Art preservation effort, i.e 7th Wayang Bocah Festival. It seemed that Solo was very active in preserving culture. Having cultural events from an early age to providing cultural venues such as Sriwedari Park was a real proof.

At back-east of pavilion stands Gedung Kesenian Solo. While on the right side, there were several neat project boards which surround THR (Taman Hiburan Rakyat) Sriwedari. I received information that this park had been closed and would be replaced by Taman Sriwedari Mosque. THR Sriwedari itself was one of legends of an amusement park at Solo city centre on the past. Previously, this area was known as Bon Rojo (Kebon Rojo/King’s Garden) in Paku Buwono X era.

Meanwhile, to back-west of pavilion was Gedung Wayang Orang Sriwedari. This building had played an important role in Wayang Orang Art  preservation which had been functioning for nearly a century.

Sriwedari Park was a place which worth visiting if there was a cultural event during Marketing Conference. However, if there was no, there was very little chance of visiting it.

Note:

Cendana Family*1 is Second President of Republic of Indonesia’s family.

Wayang Orang Art*2  is a type of classical Javanese dance theatrical performance with themes taken from episodes of the Ramayana or Mahabharata.

Buto*3 is another term for evil giant

Gatotkaca and Pregiwa*4. Gatotkacais a character in Mahabharata epic, he is a son of Bima. Pregiwa is Gatotkaca’s wife.

Next Story—->

A Project at Loji Gandrung Front Yard.

<—-Previous Story

Loji Gandrung

Have you ever visited Merdeka Palace? Or visit DKI Jakarta City Hall? Yes, these two important places in Jakarta often offer visiting tours.

So, what about Solo City?

Yups, Solo City also has a similar tour. A place which has become attention center for this tourism type is Loji Gandrung, An official residence of Solo’s Mayor which is located on south side of Slamet Riyadi Street.

The night went on, it was almost nine o’clock in evening when I finished in designing a Marketing Conference teaser. Luckily, I got help from a design staff in Jakarta. I have also sent that teaser to Whatsapp number and email of all prospective Marketing Conference participants.

Now, I thought again about next destination. My task this time was to choose several destinations along Jaladara Tourist Train line which be rented by event comittee to get around Solo City on second day of Marketing Conference. So in remaining time, before it got too late, I would survey at least three tourist attractions which were located nearby each other.

I immediately ordered a taxi online, then drove to downtown. I moved south for five kilometers from Manahan area to Laweyan area.

Loji Gandrung, Sir!”, I asked online taxi driver.

Wow, it had closed, Sir

Oh, it’s okay, Sir. I just want to find information there”.

Oh well, Sir. Loji Gandrung is indeed popular in Solo City, Sir. In the past, President Soekarno often stayed at Loji Gandrung when he visited Solo”.

Wow, it’s cool, Sir“, I started to be stunned by a story from that young driver.

Our conversation topic progressed to several things, until driver hit brake just across Loji Gandrung gate.

Loji Gandrung gate.

Without hesitation, I entered the gate. It seemed that renovation was underway at Loji Gandrung front yard. I just saw the top end of a bronze statue whics was tightly covered by a row of project boards. My arrival made a security out of his post and swiftly directed his steps towards me.

What do you need, Sir?. Sorry this is a city government building. It’s forbidden to carelessly enter the yard”, he admonished.

Oh sorry, sir. I just want to find information

What information, Sir?”

Sir, we will rent Jaladara Train and intend to make this place as a tourist destination on train route. Can I know the procedure, so that I along with event participants can visit this historic place, sir?”

Wow, the licensing is a little tight, Sir because it’s being renovated. But you may submit a formal application and is addressed to Head of Household Department. Hopefully on the event date, you can be allowed to enter”.

Oh good, Sir. I hope so“.

I looked around. This Loji Gandrung building had a very classic architecture. There was a blend of European and Javanese architecture. Thick European walls were covered with a typical Javanese roof. The front and back yard of the building was wide with several trees.

I realized that what was in front of me was a government building and I couldn’t stay long in that place. I must immediately go and empathize to security by did’t disturbed the comfort of that place.

Before I stepped out of Loji Gandrung yard. I was still intrigued by project mystery around front yard. Finally, I ventured to ask to securiry.

“Sir, whose statue is blocked by this project board?”

“Oh, that’s a statue of General Gatot Subroto, Sir”.

I said thank to secutiry because he had accepted me well even though he only talked for no more than fifteen minutes.

Why should it be General Gatot Subroto statue?……..

Next Story—->