Hunting for Jaladara Train and Balekambang Park

Riding a Dutch heritage train was an important agenda item in Marketing Conference in next October. Therefore, on the first day of my survey to Solo, Jaladara Tourist Train was the first priority. And a board which could be informed about this tourist train was Solo City Transportation Board.

So after enjoying the last spoon of Dawet Telasih Ice, I left Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional market to Menteri Supeno Street. My goal was to meet an officer who was in charge of Jaladara Tourist Train rental license and asked about its mechanism and costs.

Office of Solo City Transportation Board.

Not long waiting, an online taxi picked me up and drove me there. Not far, only four kilometers at west of Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market, in 15 minutes I arrived. When arriving at Solo City Transportation Board which its atmosphere was very busy, maybe since this morning, many vehicles have been queuing to do KIR test. That was the only magic certificate for a transport vehicle to hunting Rupiah in my country.

I was directed by a security guard on duty to a small building which was functioned as an office to meet Mr. Sandi who was a Jaladara officer. But Mr. Sandi was having a meeting and wasn’t there. Finally, I only got a little explanation about Jaladara Tourist Train from an officers on duty. The information included rental price of IDR 3,500,000 per 3 hours, if you wanted to add a tour guide, music and market culinary on the train, you needed to add around IDR 2,100,000. And the latest information was that Solo City Transportation Board also offered me a Werkudara double decker bus service which could be used to Solo City tours.

Storing that information and while waiting for Mr. Sandi, I decided to visit a city park near Solo City Transportation Board office, only 600 meters away, so it can be reached by walking. The city park was Balekambang Park, an integrated art park covering an area of 10 hectares and was located in Manahan area. Balekambang Park was one of art performing venues in Solo, besides that, this park also had functions as an educational park, botanical garden and recreation park. Every month, there are art performances in this area. Sendratari*1 and Ketoprak*2 are performances which are often held there.

Gate of Balekambang Park.
Main area of Balekambang Park.
Information of next performing art.
Lactation Room for visitors.

The art scent of this garden was felt when I entered its gate. A high gate with a carved exterior with a mountain concept was very cool. Meanwhile, several blackboards bearing schedule for performing arts at Bale Kambang were plastered around the park. Made visitors easy for get an information.

Meanwhile, a row of shipping containers were placed on one side of park and have functions for visitor facilities such as Lactation Room and Medical Room. Making this park so human to become a place for performing arts in its entirety.

If it was classified, the eastern part of park had functions as a place for outbound activities and plant nurseries, while in center of park was an art building and a main garden with an open stage for outdoor performances. Meanwhile, the western part was dominated by lake and swimming pool for visitors to enjoy.

That morning, there wasn’t much I could do in the park because there was really no art event at all. So after I was satisfied walking around, I decided to return immediately to Solo City Transportation Board to meet Mr. Sandi, who might have returned from his meeting.

Notes:

*1=Sendratari is art, drama and dance, drama or story presented in a dance form without dialogue, usually accompanied by music (gamelan).

*2=Ketoprak is a traditional drama art originating from Central Java.

Dawet Telasih Ice and Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market

North Gate of Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market.

Even though Rahadian had just arrived in Solo very early in the morning and had a chance to take a shower and breakfast in hotel, according to schedule, I still checked out from Grand Amira Hotel by Azana. The time was already 8:30 hours when we came out to hotel courtyard.

I immediately ordered an online taxi and headed for Sudiroprajan area to do the first culinary survey. The special culinary which I was aiming for was Dawet Telasih Ice*1, dawet which was consisting of black sticky rice, jenang sumsum*2, tape ketan*2, telasih seeds, liquid sugar, coconut milk and ice cubes.

I was dropped off at the north door of Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market, right next to Pasar Gede Clock Tower. This old market building of Dutch heritage was indeed amazing. The combination of Javanese-Colonial architecture could be clearly seen from the appearance of Colonial-style walls and Javanese-style roofs. Thick walls, high ceilings and windows extending upwards.

When I arrived, market courtyard area was already busy that morning. The flow of visitors who come in and out of the market to shop, traders who flocked to entering their trading goods into market, boisterous of pedicab drivers who looking for passengers and busyness of light culinary traders outside the market made atmosphere of the biggest market in Solo City very lively .

Its Courtyard.
That is Pasar Gede Clock Tower.
Market inside.
Market inside.
Market inside.

I rushed into market inside to find whereabouts of Bu Dermi’s Dawet Telasih Ice Shop which was said to be very well known throughout Solo City. How couldn’t, it was said that Bu Dermi’s Dawet Telasih Ice recipe concoction was 90 years old and hadn’t changed at all since it was first made. Even this Dawet Telasih Ice had become a subscription for Mr. Joko Widodo (Republic of Indonesia President) when he went home to Solo.

Walking through narrow alleys in the middle of market made me immerse in commercial sense of Solo residents. And finally, unfortunate circumstances befall me. When I arrived in front of Bu Dermi’s Dawet Telasih Ice Shop, the shop was still closed and deserted. I tried to ask some traders in the market about when the shop would open.

Later on 10:00 hours, Sir“, they replied.Oalah, aku terlalu pagi melakukan survey dawet ini.

Until 14:00 hours, it usually ends, Sir“, they added information when I sat on one of empty shop benches.

No matter how, I have to find and taste Dawet Telasih Ice to test its taste, because Marketing Conference participants will be directed to Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market to taste this culinary item.

I tried to walk on other alleys in the market, until I found Ibu Hj. Sipon’s Dawet Telasih Ice Shop. Without thinking, I immediately ordered a portion for IDR. 8,000. I enjoyed it so slowly, this Dawet Telasih Ice had very special taste, combination of savory, sweet, soft and cold texture became an appetizing unit. Finally I decided, Dawet Telasih Ice would be the first culinary destination for Marketing Conference later.

One of Dawet Telasih Ice Shops.
Mrs. Hj. Sipon.
Dawet Telasih Ice.

After enjoying Dawet Telasih Ice, Rahadian and I rushed to Solo City Transportation Board to charter a Jaladara Tourist Train*4.

Notes:

*1 : Dawet Telasih Ice is a culinary specialty of Solo City.

*2: Jenang Sumsum is a kind of food in the form of white porridge made from rice flour and eaten with sweet sauce.

*3: Tape Ketan is is a traditional Indonesian food made from sticky rice which is processed by fermentation.