21 May 2011

Surabaya jaunt

Last week we all flew to Surabaya for a supposedly long weekend break. However it didnt really turn out to be a relaxing one - not for me or Emma, my new daughter in law who was with us. First the flight there was early in the morning - at 8.30 am, which meant that we had to leave the house about 5.15 am!  We arrived in Surabaya about mid morning - just nice we thought. But the journey from the airport to the city was horrendous - a mile long jam indeed awaited us just as we left the airport, on the way to Bromo, a mountain resort,  70 km west of Surabaya. Because of the congestion, the driver decided it would be better for us to have an early lunch since Bromo it seemed is not a town,nor even a village, but just a resort in the midst of acres of tea and other vegetation.
After a long journey along a narrow, bumpy, winding road that seemed more like a track used for jeeps we arrived at Bromo Cottages, a resort about 3000m above sea level. Mount Bromo is actually a volcano, an active one at that! The resort however is only about 2,000m above sea level but even then the temperature was fairly cool - very temperate, I'd say. Almost like an English spring!

Hydrangeas just outside our cottage

Lillies and roses on the slopes

Bromo Cottages itself is quite a surprise - a welcome one. The cottages are really single- roomed chalets and they are all on the hill slopes. So we had to climb down a few stairs to get to ours, which luckily is just next to my son's. Shasha my daughter and Yatie, our maid has another cottage closer to the main reception. There are flowers all over the slopes and around the cottages. Hydrangeas as big as plates bloom brightly beside our cottage and the roses are simply stunning. All around us we can see the mountains - green and verdant. Other cottages dot the hillside - these we were told later are workers' cottages. The hillside is heavily planted - all kinds of vegetables (temperate ones like cabbages, onions, potatoes, carrots etc) are grown here. There are also a lot of apple orchards but they were further down. We stopped at one on our way to Surabaya, the next day and I managed to take a few photos.

Apple trees
 Evening comes early in these parts and by 5pm the mists are rising and the clouds cover the sky. We stayed indoors after some tea, taken with Indonesian meatball soup - me to finish reading my book and Repin to tinker with his blackberry. There is very poor reception, but I'm not surprised.

That night we all retired early, not least because we were bushed by the journey, but also partly because there was nothing else to do! The next day was Sunday and the plan was to visit an apple farm and a waterfall, then on to the Safari Park. We ended up just doing the last one - there's nothing much one can do at an apple farm (its not picking season yet) and none of us were prepared to climb a rocky hillside to see the waterfall. At least the Safari park was interesting, though the animals, especially the lions, looked a little too thin for my liking. Pictures will be in the next write up.


naida said...

Lovely photos Kat! It sounds like you had quite the trip. The view at Bromo Cottages sounds lovely.

Amin said...

Beautiful post!