Besides Borobudur, Prambanan is the other temple that is a must see in Yogyakarta. I am not sure whether there are sunrise tours available, too, but we decided to make it a little family trip again: get some breakfast, take the car, drive to the temple, take photos, get back to the hotel and right into the pool.
That’s pretty much how the day played out, by the way, but I have to add that Oskar was a darn cranky and did not want to fall asleep until very late on the hour long drive to the site. I was sitting next to him and tried my best to get him to sleep, but boy did he give me a hard time! In the end he needed Maman, of course, and Lamia did her magic and eventually got him to sleep. This only happened a few minutes before we arrived at the temple parking lot, sp we conveniently waited until he had had 30 minutes of sleep. Our puzzled driver waited outside, smoking and likely telling funny stories about this payload to his fellow drivers.
Anyway: Oskar was in a much better mood after his nap which was good, because we were about to be blown away. Again.
Lamia put it right in her blog entry:
From the moment we arrived I had the feeling of being in one of the temples of an Indiana Jones’ movie.
Prambanan can hardly be described any better than that. The temple architecture makes you automatically think of adventure movies like that, where hidden levers in insanely decorated buildings open secret passageways where you pass by the bones of unlucky explorers who came before you. And at the end there is a treasure, of course.
What you find today in Prambanan is a shadow of what it once was, though. The crazy thing is, however, that even in this reduced state, after an earthquake in 2006 where much of the buildings collapsed and only the central could be rebuilt out of financial reasons, this place is still utterly stunning. What must it once have looked like…
Look at the temples back there. Doesn’t this feel like it’s out of this world?
I was more impressed by Prambanan than by Borobudur.
The renovation and rebuilding still continues.
You might have also seen on Twitter that I made friends here. The girls on that photo (which I also have blogged below) are sitting up there, waiting for friendly foreigners to pass by and talk to.
Their teacher later told me that he wants them to improve their English and gain confidence by talking to foreign tourists visiting the site. So they were asking me where I am from, why I am visiting, how long I am going to stay… and so on. Very cute.
And they all wanted to have a photo with me, which was sweet too, but after half a dozen times this gets a little tiring. Nevertheless, Tess took this one here of me in a sea of pink.
The temple site is vast and the different buildings are generously spaced out. Here’s a wider angle shot to show you how this looks like.
Naturally, temples like these develop a certain magic when changed into black and white.
Another panoramic shot:
And one in black and white…
But I don’t want to say that those buildings don’t look awesome in color, too:
But I really like black and white, so eat it up!
Here we are sitting on the stairs of the temple you’ve seen just above in color and in black and white, on the lower left in the previous collage:
Lamia, Oskar and Tess (but a different temple)…
Lamia and Oskar (again on a different temple)…
Just as Borobodur, Pramnaban is overrun by people and it takes some waiting to have them move out of the pictures. It takes patience, too, but it was still easier than in Borobodur because there is much more space. As a matter of course I also took photos where you intentionally see people walking around to give a better idea of how big things are.
A few last looks as we left the temple site:
And we were already outside of the site, when it hit me…
With this we returned to our car and to our hotel… tomorrow we’re flying back to Singapore.
But what a great vacation.
South-East Asia is simply amazing!