Having experienced the dire hygiene standards in Jakarta we thought it was probably best to book seats in an 'executive' carriage for our train journey to Yogyakarta. Quelle surprise! - it turned out to be just as grimy as the other carriages on the train. On the upside we had a TV to help pass the time which was just as well as the journey took an hour and a half longer than it should have. Yogyakarta is, thankfully, completely different to Jakarta. There is a really nice atmosphere here much quieter and more relaxed. The weather is still hard work - inexplicably hot and humid. It's still the rainy season here so thankfully we've had a couple of showers to help cool things down a bit. We've visited Borobudur and Prambanan, as well as the Water Palace and museum. Borobudur was fantastic The monument is stunning and so are the views from the top. It is surrounded by acres and acres of palm trees and mountains. In the distance we could see smoke billowing out of Gunung Merapi which is Indonesia's most dangerous volcanoes. Whilst we were at Borobudur we missed an earthquake back in town - the third this week. In contrast to Borobudur and Prambanan the palace and museum were remarkably unimpressive. There were a few shoddy displays of instruments, clothes and furniture and one ramshackle room with a dozen faded pictures of carriages - fascinating!, but bless them for trying. The Javanese people are great. We've befriended a couple of people from our hotel and another one further up the road. Most of our afternoons have been spent chatting to them about anything and everything. Last night we went with one friend, Indra, for a meal and then to a bar (a bit like TJ's) to watch a local band. We met some great people - including two Javanese Mod's with a passion for The Jam and Vespas. We ended up on the hotel roof drinking Javanese wine until 3am - great fun. We've had such a great time here and we'll be sad to leave but we're looking forward to a few weeks relaxing in Bali.
Next stop Kuta…