We kicked off the day with a tour of Kraton Yogyakarta, the cultural hub of the city and the home to the Sultan and his family over generations. It was beautiful, I don’t think I have ever seen so much gold before. It also provided a really interesting history into Yogyakarta.
The next stop of the day was Taman Sari, AKA the Water Castle. This was historically used as a place for the Sultan to find wives but now it is only used for tourism. It looks quite rustic these days, but I can only imagine how grand it would have been back when it was used regularly.
Our next destination was something a bit different, I have always loved batik and was so excited when our guide offered us the chance to go and look at the behind of the scenes of how they are created. The detail is so intricate and I had no idea that it took to make one item ( I think it was around a month but don’t quote me) there are about 9 different steps, and each person is working on a different element. We found out that it is mainly older people that work on this, mostly due to having more patience than younger people, you really do need a lot of patience and a steady hand to do this. So of course I then wanted to buy myself a silk scarf, which took me at least half an hour to choose, the photos at the bottom show the scarf but unfortunately the lighting isn’t great!
So, the last part of the day turned out to be the exact opposite of how I thought it would. We knew what our itinerary was long before we left, so I knew there was a bike ride involved, which I was so excited about… there was me picturing a short jaunt through the city, not thinking it would be off-roading and full of hills to the point where your biked flipped back when you were approaching the hill… but it was… but luckily our guide had brought a friend a long who had a moped (maybe he could sense I’d struggle) so just when I thought I could not carry on, I heard the rev of the moped behind me and I did not waste a minute before hopping on! This actually worked out much better for me as I was able to take pictures along the way and not worry about falling off. It was a fantastic way to take in the views around us and seeing the rural villages. We ended up at Prambanan Temples, these were some of my favourite temples of the whole trip, especially as we got to watch the sunset here and the silhouette of the temples was breathtaking!