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Yogya from the air EINDHOVEN - It's not the world as I know it, an aerial view over the city. Normally I will only see cities from the roads I drive on by motorbike. It's much more cheap to do so, because using a helicopter to have a look in town is not for the average man. Still I had the chance to make some pictures from the window upon arriving in Yogyakarta in December last year. Since the airport is close to the city and the weather was clear, I made a handful of pictures.

Looking back on them I was almost forgotten that I made them, after five weeks of holiday I tend to forget what you did just a short moment back in time, but to help me out on this one someone invented the digital photo-camera. A helping hand in bringing back memories as soon as you find a computer. But it doesn't stop there. When I met some people -- which I had only spoken to by mail and on the forum on this website -- I had already forgotten about the aerial pictures.
Back home in Holland I left them on my computer for almost a month. At a certain moment I was scrambling pictures for a still to be made picture gallery, which I won't reveal here of course. I also noticed the aerial views of the central part of Yogyakarta. I took a look at one of the pictures and noticed Monumen Tugu. Another one revealed Jalan Sudirman and yet another one the old Ambarukmo Hotel and the building site right next to it. Ambarukmo Plaza is not finished yet for sure. I remembered visiting friends close there and searched for their house, but could not find it. I was there at night, taking the wrong way several times before I found them. I emailed it a few days ago.

She appreciated the fact that she could see her house, the sawah of her dad and her parents house. See what I did? Probably not much, but it's a good feeling that someone appreciates the pictures you make, even if it's only one and it's only related to a few people, because the rest doesn't know what the picture is about. But normally there are also things in images which are known by much more people. Some of those images, cut out from the big pictures are highlighted here.


Tugu monument from the sky.
Tugu monument from the sky.
A monument in downtown Yogyakarta, in the middle of the road on a crossing with traffic lights. Most people who have been in Yogyakarta will know what I mean with this. It doesn't look really remarkable, but if you want to take a close look you have to cross the street with all it's traffic, not something you will do for fun. Another option is to visit it in the late evening or early morning, when traffic density is much lower. This view from the sky is somewhat remote, but the pilot was trying to land while I was making some shots. That doesn't work together of course.


The old Ambarukmo hotel.
The old Ambarukmo hotel.
Located along Jl. Solo, at the eastern side of Yogyakarta, is the old Ambarukmo Hotel. The hotel hasn't been used as such for several years now, but the building is still there. The big sign on the roof has been removed in the last couple of months. What once was a hotel which showed the glory of the Suharto era, is now merely an empty building with a branch office of Garuda Indonesia. But maybe the future will bring new chances as they are constructing Yogya's biggest mall-to-be right next to it. Ambarukmo Plaza will be the biggest mall in the city and will be opened somewhere in 2006, as the story goes at the moment.

Police station

Police station in Lempuyangan.
Police station in Lempuyangan.
Just east of Jl. Malioboro is the city area of Lempuyangan, with it's own train station. Right next to it is a police station, overlooking a big traffic circle. While roads come from all directions, it is clear that the traffic doesn't go in all directions. Most of it will follow a straight line passing the roundabout at close to maximum speeds, passing the police station as well.

When driving around in this area, knowing I'm almost at Jl. Malioboro, I can get confused by the long detours you have to take to reach it at the end. Many streets in the center are one way or are blocked in the middle with big concrete blocks, painted white and black. This will leave you with little options about how to go somewhere. These blocks are about 30 centimeters high, not easy to go over with a motorbike, leaving alone all the traffic that will clog behind you. That's often not appreciated. Taking a shortcut over the pedestrian walk is only done when there is no police. Just follow the bikers in front of you. If they take the trotoar, you can probably do the same. Don't a the smartass being the first to start driving there, or be very sure there is no police waiting for you.

A piece of Yogya ring road

One of the most visible projects from the sky, but also from the ground, is the outer ring road that runs all around the city area. With a length of several dozen kilometers, this two-lane highway is a very good solution to the problematic traffic which Indonesia encounters more and more. However the ring road doesn't run through the city, it's quite easy to go from one side to the other if you are in a hurry. This piece of ring road, the eastern side, now has a flyover from the south towards Solo, the east. It's only one way, but at least you can cross a railroad crossing and a big junction without much problems. After that... get in line again!

A small mosque

A small mosque inside a kampung.
A small mosque inside a kampung.
If you didn't see one while on the ground in Indonesia, I suggest you take a close look at your pictures at least. I'm quite sure you will have captured one while you didn't even notice. Indeed, mesjid, mosques and musholla, praying rooms, are everywhere. Usually you will hear them a few times a day, but while travelling I usually only hear them once a day, in the early morning. After that I'm on my motorbike, driving around already, where the noise of the traffic is more loud than the noise of the mosque.. most of the times that is.

Parked trains

Train wagons parked outside the station.
Train wagons parked outside the station.
Yogya's main train station, Stasiun Tugu is located just off Jalan Malioboro, in the heart of the city, where most train stations are located. This is because the railroads were constructed to reach many people. When they were constructed, the cities weren't that big as they are today, causing them to be locked inside the city nowadays.
This picture is taken near Stasiun Lempuyangan, where the trains are parked for various reasons. Maybe these look outdated, but that doesn't mean they are not in use anymore. Most of them are still being used as ekonomi trains, but even the eksekutif trains aren't the most modern of the world. Hard to imagine that people can be on top as well, travelling the most cheap way from their home to the office, or the way back.

Posted in Travel @ 14 February 2005 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

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