Archive for February, 2011

Feb 20 2011

Posted by under craft,Hobbies,knitting

Knitting…

While I  learned  to crochet when I was about 9 years old, I only managed to learn the basic knit and purl (of knitting) when I was an undergraduate (from a book)!

I notice that lately I’ve not blogged about these two activities. It doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped doing them, but it’s just that I couldn’t find the time to do so.

Come to think of it, I’ve produced quite a lot of small items that I either knitted or crocheted.

Let’s see some of the knitted items:

Booties:

And more booties:

And more:

The above pic shows how different yarn produce different size of booties, hence I have to increase/decrease accordingly. I’ve actually knitted their respective pairs too, and 2 more pairs (no pic).

From the yarns DH bought in Tibet, I knitted this:

and this:

From the chunky wool Saf bought in NZ for me soem time ago:

2 balls of the above and i got this:

From the wool I bought in Gold Coast some time ago I knitted two scarves at the same time (kiatsu yeah? :-) ):

One was given away, and I keep one.

Here’s the collection of scarves I managed to knit just in time for our Korean trip last Dec:

I also attempted to knit the diagonal stitch:

I used 2 strands of Nona acrylic yarns so that I could use the huge kntting needles.

I finished it as a baby blanket/throw:

I sure was happy when I got closer casting of the last 3 stitches:

For now I’ve stopped knitting for a while, though I already have in mind another project using the diagonal stitch above :-) .

Note: I’ve slipped all the lose threads :-)

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Feb 18 2011

Posted by under Family,Trips

Dieng Plateau, Java

Date: 6th February 2011

After the visit to Borobudur, we continued our day trip up into the highlands of Java, which is in the middle of Java island itself. Our destination was the Dieng Plateau.

On the way up, we passed by the town of Wonosobo.

Here’s a maintenance-free traffic officer:

The area is full of agricultural activities:

Vegetable crops:

They really utilize every piece of the fertile land:

We stopped at a popular lookout, to enjoy the breath-taking view:

Another shot:

They grow a lot of vegies like cabbage, cauliflower, and potatoes:

and a customary portrait :-) (for my Facebook profile pic) :

The brief stop cost us Rp2000 for parking!

Anyway, we continued our journey, and were finally greated by the main entrance:

Dieng plateau is 2000m above sea level – quite high, and it sure was cool that day!

There’s a huge map but we didn’t need to stop for it:

We continued the uphill drive, until we reached the next destination, Tasik Warna (Coloured Lake):

They told us that the water changes colour, depending on it’s temperature. That day it was green :-) :

A nearby map:

As it was getting late, we rushed to our final destination, “Kawah Sikidang”, with volcanic lake:

It was quite a walk from where we parked. Initially I just wanted to wait at the rest area near the car park, while DH, Aina & D walked towards the boiling water (crater?).

I however changed my mind, and went along (did the sulphur-smelling smoke entice me?):

It was quite a dangerous area, as indicated by the nearby signage:

Translation: Please do not go too near the crater.

The close-up view of the crater:

I wanted to have a pic taken at the spot, but as I was getting ready, the wind changed direction, and I was engulfed by the sulphuric-smoke:

It certainly got worse:

before it got better:

Here’s the view of our parking area (at the very far end) from the place of the crater (still more people coming):

And the local authority describes the area as peaceful, orderly, clean, cool, beautiful (those are the meaning of the words here):

A final look at the place from the carpark:

The experience here reminded me of the great time  I had with my great friends in Hakone (near Fujiyama) in 2004:

With our group photo (a bit off topic here, but I am feeling nostalgic) with Fuji-san in the background):

Hey people, I miss you all!!!

Now back to the topic of this blog, we didn’t visit other places since we had to rush back to Jogja :-( .

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Feb 13 2011

Posted by under Family,Trips

Borobudur (Finally!!)

Date: 6th February 2011

We left our hotel at 7am to visit Borobudur.

along the way, we came across a section where the main road was once closed due to “lahar dingin”:

You see, each time it rains heavily on the Merapi river, the downpour would bring down the  mountain the mud from Merapi top. The flow is normally huge enough to carry HUGE granite stones with them!

Some scenic parts before we reached Borobudur:

We were almost there:

And finally arrived:

3 adults tickets, 1 studentt icket and guide service:

Enjoy the complimentary drink first:

World Heritage Site, for sure:

Photo with Z, as we walked out of the Welcome Centre:

I still could not believe that I was actually there:

Some quick revision:

Borobudur has 9 levels, divided into 3 types:

  1. Kamadhatu (the world of desires)
  2. Rupadhatu (the world of forms)
  3. Arupadhatu (the formless world)

But before I continue, another group photo, as suggested by our guide, Pak Yanto:

And my signature jump:

We finally walked close to Borobudur:

And another pose (couldn’t seem to get enough of it):

A walk on the lower level of Borobudur:

Mount Merapi, as viewed from Borobudur:

Yanto told us the the upper  stone tablets tell the story of Buddha (from birth) while the lower tablets told the story of Princess Manohara:

The yellowish wall was due to the Dutch painting the tablets yellow:

Taking a breather before ascending to a higher level:

The entrances are very symmetrical:

Once we are on the Rupadhatu levels, there are only statues of Buddha (and no more tablets of stories):

The highest 3 levels, also known as Arupadhatu, representing the heaven, and are full of stupas:

Inside each stupa there’s a statue of Buddha. Only 2 of these stupas are opened to show the statue. Here’s one of them:

Since we are no longer allowed to go to the stupas’ level, we only admire them from the lover level:

As Yanto put it, it is crowded in “heaven”!

I decided to go down Borobudur, and rest my legs. I admire the complex again from below:

I was later approached by a group of local students, who were there (every Sunday), to practicetheir English, with the supervision of a guide:

I think it was a brilliant idea, because apart from being able to practice their English, they also get to gain more knowledge and confidence!

When we were leaving the Borobudur, there were so many toots trying to sell their products that we had to really really rush to the Welcome Centre. I think this last leg of the walks was the most tiring and unattractive section of our walks round the Borobudur complex!

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Feb 12 2011

Posted by under Family,Trips,Uncategorized

The Merapi Slope (Or Whatever that was left of it)

DH has written a nice blog entry on it here.

To read more about Mount Merapi click here

Date: Saturday, 5th February 2011

After the visit to Prambanan Temple, our next destination was Kaliadem, or whatever that’s left of it. Before the October 2010 eruption of Merapi, Kaliadem was a popular and well known destination. That day we were going to see what’s left of Kaliadem now..

We were told that due to the rain from the previous day, the main road to our destination could be closed due to the mud flow from  the top of Merapi. Our driver of the day, Pak Gyanto knew the area well, so he took us via some detour, passing through some farming villages:

We even came across some road-clearing work (trying to remove the “lahar dingin”, as the local call them):

We also came across some “snake fruit” trees:

The fruits, known to us as buah salak, are the favourite of our family!

As we were getting closer to our destination, wecame across several motivating banners, like this one:

When we got closer, there was no more fertile ground, except for this:

Really reminded me of the Malay proverb “Padang Jarak Padang Tekukur”:

What’s left of what used to be a house:

too sad to do my jump:

More devastation:

I wonder whose house (or maybe a few houses) this used to be:

Another angle of the same spot, with Jogja in the far background:

Merapi was too shy that day:

Can you imagine that this used to be a fertile area, with packed villages?:

It was the volcanic lava that did it, it was only its “smoke”

Sad eh?

We came across local people trying to rebuild their home while others just sat around the area where their homes used to stand.. A few of them resorted to selling some tidbits and drinks to the visitors to the site.

It was too much to swallow for me. Soon we left the place. On our way down hill, we stopped to buy some of the locak snake fruits, the famous  salak pondoh, as the local call them.

At Rp6000/kg (abt RM2.00) it was definitely a bargain :-) .

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Feb 11 2011

Posted by under Family,Trips

Prambanan Temple

Date: 5th February 2011

The plan was to visit Java’s (hence Indonesia’s) oldest Hindu Temple, the Prambanan Temple.

Tickets for tourists  (Aina managed to get student’s rate):

The huge signage that greeted us:

Soon after we entered the temple compound, I showed Z that it is on the World Heritage list :-) :

Before we moved further on, we studied the map first:

The entrance to the temple was quite impressive, lined with sweet smelling flower hedges that I couldn’t refuse this shot:

I was excited that I tried to imitate the Apsara dancer (from Angkor Wat), but hey it looks so funny ya?

The white small flowers right behind me are the local jasmines, which we Malaysians call melur, while the Indons call Melati!

Even Z and Aina couldn’t resist a photo shot, while I walked on with our guide:

The temple ground was indeed very impressive:

The 3 main temples are those dedicated to Brahma (the Creator), Shiva (the Destroyer) and Vishnu (The Keeper). Surprisingly Shiva was given the centre position and the tallest/biggest temple, hence supersedes Brahma!

The 2006 earth quake damaged the temples quite badly that visitors could only see the temples from a platform constructed in front of the temples. That day I climbed up the platform to get this shot taken:

While Brahma’s and Vishnu’s temples were opened for viewing, Shiva’s temple was still closed for maintenance :-( .

There are also a lot of rocks from the ruins waiting to be put together (like a huge jigsaw puzzle):

As I looked east, I could see that Mount Merapi was partially hidden that day:

I couldn’t resist doing my trademark jump:

A final view (from the east) as we left the temple complex:

Very majestic, don’t you agree?

After spending over 1 hour in the temple ground, our guide lead us to the museum (while waiting for the local train to take us a ride to see the other 3 (less known) temples.

Here’s a pic of the temple when the Dutch first found the temple ruins:

We took this train to see the other 3 temples:

The 3 other temples are Bubrah, Lumpung and Sewu. Interestingly these 3 temples are Buddhist temples while Prambanan is a Hindu’s.

Sewu Temple:

The train stopped for 5 minutes in front of Sewu Temple, but by then I was too lazy (read: tired) to get off for any photo shoot.

We ended our temple visit for the day after spending over 2 hours there!

Next destination: Kaliadem (the recently devastated area, due too Merapi eruption in October 2010)

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Feb 10 2011

Posted by under Family,Trips

KL-> Solo -> Jogja

Date: 4th February 2011

We left  LCCT on Friday morning, and arrived at Solo Adi Soemarmo Airport at 12 noon local time.

This is the old airport building:

As the plane moved closer to the new terminal (which reminded me of Pengkalan Chepa Airport):

The real destination was not really Solo. We wanted to go to Jogja, but at the time DH booked the tix, it was cheaper to fly via Solo :-) .

From the airport, we took a pre-booked taxi to our hotel in Jogja. It was a 1.5 hour ride.

The hotel is strategic, being in the Malioboro suburb, and connected to the Malioboro Mall.

The view from our hotel:

After checking-in, we didn’t waste our time to try the local delicacy our favourite, ‘Es Teler 77″ at the next door Malioboro Mall:

Z ordered Es Teler but I opted for Es Alpukat (avocado with chocolate).

I had not recovered from my coughing but was very confident the “Jamu Batuk” (cough tradional medicine) that I was taking would take care of that :- ) . Unfortunately it did not :-(

We didn’t do much after our (best forgotten) lunch, and the wonderful Es-es. Z and I spent some time at the mall before we went back to our rooms.

to be continued…

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