Fall asleep at Amaris Hotel Sriwedari

I was still four kilometers from western boundary of Solo City. The air wasn’t as hot as midday earlier, now it was 14:15 hours and I had just finished exploring De’ Tjolomadoe Sugar Factory Museum. A portion of rawon and chocolate ice milk which I ate in the museum at least made me calmer and clearer thinking about the next stage of survey.

But it was been six hours since I left the courtyard of Grand Amira Hotel by Azana in Pasar Kliwon area this morning. I decided to immediately do an check-in process at Amaris Hotel Sriwedari. That means, I have to head to the middle of Solo City again. I decided to take an online taxi.

Soon I ordered it. Until the online taxi which I was riding began to rush towards downtown. After rode twelve kilometers, I finally arrived in front of Amaris Hotel Sriwedari in thirty minutes.

Rahadian at reception desk.
Lobby.
View from guest room.

Rahadian immediately handled of check-in process at reception desk and I chose to enjoy a glass of orange juce as a welcome drink facility at this two-star hotel. We immediately entered the room and I decided to cool off myself under the shower.

I re-opened the itinerary which I had compiled in Jakarta. I took a deep breath, because there were still many agendas left to do. But before heading to the next place, I decided to take a moment to write down all important things which I have been getting since morning. I started to type all important things about Dawet Telasih Ice, Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market, Jaladara Tourist Train, Balekambang Park, Swiss-Belinn Saripetojo and De ‘Tjolomadoe. That notes would be a survey report which was needed by Marketing Conference Event Section to determine conference form in more detail.

Sharing the task with Rahadian in compiling the report, made it faster for us to complete it. It took one hour to make a detailed review of six destinations and the report was completed after I sent it via email to Mr. Dedi who is the Chair of Event Section who was of course still in Jakarta.

Hotel restaurant.
Breakfast on next day.
Third Day in Solo City.

Feeling exhausted after twenty-two hours from the time of my arrival in Solo, I fell asleep beside my laptop which was still on. Looked like that Rahadian let me soundly sleep until a few moments later he started to wake me up.

Mr. Donny….Wake up !. Let’s take another survey. We still have many places to visit! ”, He lightly said with a light smile.

How long have I been asleep, Rahadian?”, I nervously said.

One hour, Sir”.

Oh Gosh, it’s late. Let’s go! ”, I jumped out of bed.

Almost five o’clock….I decided to pack up to go to next destination. I would head east for two blocks. This destination is in Keprabon area and only one kilometer from the hotel where I stayed.

Let me show you that place !.

Designing Dinner at De’ Tjolomadoe

I said goodbye to Mr. Bekti, a marketing staff of Swiss-Belinn Saripetojo Hotel who had accompanied me to complete our survey to several important hotel rooms for the purposes of my company’s Marketing Conference.

But when we want to leave the lobby. Someone who named Treavy, vocalist of Artcoustic Band called Rahadian who was next to me.

A vocalist of Artcoustic Band want to held a meeting with us in this hotel, Sir“, Rahadian quietly said.

Yes, we can do a meeting with him in hotel lobby“, I decided.

Finally, I and Rahadian decided to wait for him in hotel lobby. We just wanted to lightly negotiate about the cost of renting an Artcoustic Band for a 2 hours show in Marketing Conference gala dinner later.

Fifteen minutes later, Treavy arrived. And we immediately negotiated and found an agreement in no less than 30 minutes. We discussed required sound system power, show cost, musical instruments which would be carried and show duration. Ourconversation seemed fast because we were pressed for time to do a lot of surveys that day.

After Treavy said goodbye, we immediately took an online taxi which had been waiting in parking area for 5 minutes.

De’ Tjolomadoe, Sir?”, the driver briefly said when I sat next to him.

How long, Sir?”

Thirty minutes, sir. The distance is far enough….Ten kilometers, Sir“, he replied while cheerfully smiling.

I understood that this historic sugar factory building was located outside Solo City, precisely in Karanganyar Regency. The black online taxi which I was riding was heading west. Sunlight reflecting onto asphalt roads made the city even hotter. The sun was perched overhead, 12:00 hours to be precise.

The road currents were slightly congested, and online taxi have choked up at some point. Slightly missed the estimated time, I arrived at the front gate of De’ Tjolomadoe.

De’ Tjolomadoe courtyard.
Front gate.

The exs-sugar factory building looked dashing from its court, its thick walls broadcast its sturdiness, its height was amazing and a chimney in the middle made it classic. More elegant with bright cream paint that still looked new. Understandably, after a long renovation, this building was inaugurated for use about six months before my arrival.

I started queueing at front gate. When it was my turn to entering the door, security guard handed me a pen.

It’s free promo Sir, just write your name in guest book, Okay!”, He politely ruled.

Yes, Sir“. I replied with a smile.

I entered the front hall which was called “Gilingan” Station. This “Gilingan” Station appeared to be the main area of this Sugar Factory Museum. Giant machines appeared in it. While the right side wall provided information about events which were held at De ‘Tjolomadoe such as David Foster & Friends concert, visitation of Mr. Jokowi Widodo (President of Republic of Indonesia), Habibie Festival and other events. De’ Tjolomadoe’s photos before and after its revitalization were also sequentially displayed.

“Gilingan”Station gate.
Giant machines in it.
Event informations.
“Karbonatasi” Station.
Handycraft Storefronts.

I started to go deeper. Entering the section which was titled as “Karbonatasi” Station with the appearance of smaller machines, combined with handicraft storefronts. Storefront display which amazed me was Batik display which were showed by Solomadoe and Omah Camera.

Turning at building corner, I found the third room which was the “Penguapan” Station. The giant tubes perfectly appeared and displayed on its steel legs. The existence of flower pots and art shops made this room more livelier.

I felt increasingly impatient to see the atmosphere in Food and Beverage section, because I have a unique event concept for Marketing Conference later. I planned to hold a dinner on the first day of conference at this Sugar Factory Museum if they could provide an available restaurant which could facilitate participant quota of 76 people.

I arrived at a place where I was headed, namely “Ketelan” Station. The restaurant was called Street Food Festival. I went straight to operation manager and gave him the details of why I meant to visit. With various schemes and strategies, he finally decided that he could accommodate my plan. He was willing to add stools and cutlery for the D-day. He also didn’t hesitate to give me attractive discounts.

“Penguapan” Station.
“Ketelan” Station gate.
“Ketelan” Station.
Tjolo Koffie.
Street Food Festival.
Bye De’ Tjolomadoe.

Even an hour and a half I explored De’ Tjolomadoe and made sure the setting of one of the important events at that place. It was time to go to Amaris Hotel Sriwedari to do  check-in process and putted some items so that my steps didn’t get heavier.

Solo Paragon’s Latte: Adi Soemarmo International Airport’s DAMRI Bus

Mr. Donny, it’s been a long time since we met. Before you go to hotel, please, stop by for a moment at Solo Paragon. We can talk and drink coffee together!”, Mr. Arman short message while I was still in waiting room at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.

Mr. Arman….He is the husband of my client, a Bangladeshi who became an Indonesian citizen several years ago.

Who are you with in Solo, Sir?“, I replied to his short message.

I am with my second son, sir. I am waiting for your arrival, ok? ”He asked with a little forcefully.

Okay, Sir Arman”.

On 17:30 hours, finally, Citilink QG 126 perfectly landed at Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo. In the end, I really canceled on going straight to Grand Amira Hotel by Azana in Pasar Kliwon area. I decided to fulfill Mr. Arman’s coffee drinking invitation.

DAMRI taxi and bus ticket sales counter.
A corridor leads to parking area and DAMRI bus shelter.
DAMRI bus was waiting for me.

Oh yes….

Several years ago, before actively writing on this blog, I had landed at the same airport. It’s just that, at that time I was picked up by a friend with his car to city center. But this time, I would try a public transportation mode to downtown.

I slowly noticed that in the east of airport terminal building, there was a construction project for airport train station which was still half finished. “Finally Solo will have an airport train too“, I muttered. Salute with the development of Batik City*1.

Dark quickly acquired time, I canceled airport exploration. I prefered to immediately look for a counter which sell DAMRI bus tickets. I found that counter in hallway of eastern arrival hall, next to taxi ticket counter.

Get ready for downtown.
Ticket.
See you later Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

That afternoon the counter was quiet, even I only had one queue with a old woman. Behind me, there weren’t passengers waiting in line anymore. Based on information from counter staff, DAMRI bus would stop at its final destination in Tirtonadi Terminal. Towards Solo Paragon in Mangkubumen area, I was advised to stop at Solo Square, a shopping center in Laweyan area. Paid Rp. 25,000, I got a ticket to downtown. “The bus is waiting at its shelter, Sir” she told me.

I quickly walked down a corridor to airport parking area. Seen at the end of corridor, waiting for me a medium sized blue bus. I saw that old woman who was queuing in front of me had entered through the middle door. While the driver seemed to be waving at me to hurry up because bus was about to leave. Even though its seats weren’t full, the bus prioritized punctuality to immediately head to city which is about 15 km away.

The driver checked my ticket before I entered. I sat in the middle seat and soon bus slowly left airport. Riding along Adi Sumarmo Street, continued on Adi Sucipto Street and entered Slamet Riyadi Street. Passing several famous buildings such as De Tjolomadoe, Javenir and Purwosari Station.

Within 20 minutes, the bus started to stop at Solo Square shopping mall and I got off at the edge of Slamet Riyadi Street which is the city’s protocol road. I thought it would be better to have dinner before drinking coffee with Mr. Arman. Finally I stopped at street food stall, I sat down in an “angkringan*2” and ate some “cat rice*3” and some egg satay, shells satay and crackers. Enjoying ginger drink in angkringan was something I haven’t done for a long time. This habit wasn’t a matter of cheap price, but rather about taste and how to spend the night in Batik City.

Angkringan and cat rice.
Arrived at di Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences.

Mr. Donny, have you landed?“, Mr. Arman sent another short message.

Yes sir, I am only 4 km from your place. I’ll be there soon, sir. Wait yes!”, I briefly replied.

I immediately paid for my menu and ordered an online motorcycle taxi to Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences. Within 10 minutes, I arrived and headed straight to lobby.

Entering the lobby, I could see Mr. Arman and Rishan (her 9 years old son) waiting at the door. I shook his hand and lightly hugged then we spent until midnight just talking, sharing and enjoying a cup of latte.

Thank you Mr Arman.

Thank you Solo.

Note:

*1. Batik City is the other name for Solo City or Surakarta City.

*2. Angkringan is a street food stall typical of solo city.

*3. Cat rice in Indonesia is known as Nasi Kucing. Namely, rice packets which is its size is a fist.