As I have told in a previous blog I am a proud Dutch, but I do have my roots in Indonesia due to my father´s family. Indonesia is a real part of my family´s history, let me tell you why…
My father was born in Indonesia, which was a Dutch colony until 1949. He lived there during the WWII, while my grandfather died in a prisoner of war camp in Japan he stayed with my grandmother on Java.
After seventy years, my father decided to go back and he invited his children and partners to join him on this unforgettable trip to Indonesia for 3 weeks!
Image of my own collection: Semarang
The first 2 weeks we travelled with a driver, tour guide, my siblings and partners, through Java in search of our family roots. We tried to follow the places where my father has been living, following the memories of my grandmother´s diary. We visited the capital Jakarta and the cemetery where my grandfather still is buried. After Jakarta, Bandung, Yokyakarta, Semarang and Malang we ended visiting the famous Bromo volcano at 6 AM in the morning with a spectacular sunrise over the volcano.
Image of my own collection: Bromo volcano
As we travelled by minivan and by train we enjoyed the street life, food markets, busy roads and smiling people during thousands of kilometres of our journey. On the road we noticed that scooters are the main transport for the Indonesians, they transport everything from beds, animals, food or the whole family!
Image of my own collection: Indonesian transport
We were positively surprised when a Muslim tour guide took us to visit the enormous Buddhist temple of Borobudur, as both religions respect each other completely in this country without any issue.
And of course we enjoyed the fantastic Indonesian food, which in Holland is part of our national kitchen for decades. The flavours are very tasteful, spicy and lots of variants of dishes, especially for vegetarians.
The only thing we were missing, sometimes, was some alcohol as this is the largest Muslim country in the world. We ended up buying at the “black” market some bottles of whiskey so we could celebrate our fantastic trip in our hotel rooms…
After 2 intensive weeks, we had an emotional saying-goodbye with our driver and tour guide but the ferry to Bali was waiting for us!
Another paradise on earth we discovered when we drove through Bali. A peaceful and beautiful island, full with Hindi ceremonies, temples, rice fields, quiet villages and friendly people. We skipped the main touristic area of Seminyak and enjoyed some breathtaking sunsets, views and food with the locals.
Image of my own collection: Buddhist ceremony on Bali
I am very thankful my father took us to his birth place and to visit this beautiful country that my grandparents called home for many years. Of course I will go back to visit some of the other islands like Flores, Borneo, Lombok, Celebes and enjoy the friendly Indonesians and their tasteful food!
For now, Indonesia is more than ever in my heart and that will never change!
Keep travelling and till next time!