Semarang and Solo, Here We Go! (Part 1)

*Now Playing: Eva Celia – Reason*

It’s a super late post, but better late than never right? I feel kind of having no blogging time lately. Yes, living as a full-time employee has successfully registered me into the club of people who sticks with almost-the-same-activity-each-and-every-day. Go to the office – back home on lunch time (and watch FRIENDS) – back to office – head to the gym/ do part time job/read a book – watch FRIENDS until late night. So yea, FRIENDS is a must.

Other routine activity you do as member of the club is, you will desperately look at the calendar everyday just to find out when the next public holiday will come. I got some days off about a month ago, on Raya holiday to be exact. Some friends and I decided to visit Semarang, Central Java. It was a quite impulsive trip without proper preparation and the tickets were already in high season. Who cares, I will still pick the option to go on an impulsive trip than just to have my ass sit back at home on a long holiday. Nope!

Day-1

We flew away to Semarang.

Day-2

The day was begun with a nice breakfast at Soto Kletuk Pak Made. They served it in a small bowl of chicken broth and shredded chicken, vegetables, and kletuk (dry fried diced cassava) on top. Different with Jakarta’s, here you have to eat the soto (soup) and rice in the same bowl. My mouth was drawn in delicacy. The other thing I love is the side dishes: tempe goreng (fried tempeh) and perkedel (fried-mashed potato).

Next stop was Lumpia Goreng (fried springroll), but different with Vietnamese’s this one is deep fried, and more oily. Moreover, it contains so much rebung (bamboo sprout), which makes it a bit stinky. We had it at one of the most well-known one, Lumpia Mataram Kp. Baris.

What did we do after eating Lumpia Mataram? We ate again! It was holiday, so don’t blame me on eating way too much. I swear I gained no weight on my last holiday :p  So, we had Tahu Gimbal for the third meal (in 2 hour-time lol). Tahu gimbal contains tahu goreng (Indonesian fried tofu), kol (chopped cabbage), tauge (bean sprouts), telur rebus (shredded boiled eggs), lontong (rice cake), and of course the gimbal itself, bakwan udang goreng tepung (fried bakwan with flour coating shrimp). My favorite thing is the peanut sauce on top of it all. The savory and sweet taste mixed just right on my mouth. Omagah!

↑↑ CLICK CLICK ↑↑ Left to right: Soto Kletuk Pak Made - Lumpia Goreng - Lumpia Goreng - Tahu Petis
↑↑ CLICK CLICK ↑↑ Left to right: Soto Kletuk Pak Made – Lumpia Goreng – Lumpia Goreng – Tahu Gimbal

After having three meals in a row, we visited Lawang Sewu. It skipped my heart a bit knowing that we would visit one of the haunted buildings in Asia. Lawang Sewu is originated from Javanese language, lawang means doors, and sewu means a thousand. Yep, it consists with some buildings and has thousand doors in it. In the earlier years, the buildings were operated as governmental building. What’s the scary thing about that? Well, it has an underground prison in one of the buildings. Tourists can go downstairs with the local guides, but WE DIDN’T! Because it was closed to public on that day (yay or nay?). We just strolled around the building and the courtyard. There was a local music group performing keroncong songs, who attracted the visitors a lot.

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We headed to Kawasan Kota Lama afterwards. If you’re looking for any instagrammable place in Semarang. I suggest you to come here. The area contains beautiful rustic colonial buildings. I felt like I bumped into the earlier years. We started the walk from Gereja Blenduk and walked down the road. We explored the whole area and walked by the bank across Stasiun Tawang. It was so hot in the afternoon, but it was worth-the-walk, my eyes were pleased by the beautiful details. We ended it up in a local bistro, called Spiegel Bistro, a nice place to hang out, to talk and share some laugh. You might want to check this place if you come to Semarang, the place is just right in the heart of Kawasan Kota Lama.

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After having some rest at the hotel (yes, we couldn’t feel our legs anymore, it was a long walk guysss), we had dinner at Waroeng Semawis, a China town in Semarang. It’s usually only open on weekend. If you have no idea what to eat, don’t worry, Waroeng Semawis has so many food stalls with their variety to please your tummy. Chinese, Indonesian, Javanese, Korean, Japanese, you name it! Your experience in Waroeng Semawis won’t complete without the local people who sing karaoke. It was so funny to see the elders sing old songs and move their hips a bit.

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↑↑ CLICK CLICK ↑↑ left to right: Karaoke Post, Pisang Plenet (squeezed banana), Mochi Ice Cream, Pork Satay Booth, Fortune Teller Booth.
↑↑ CLICK CLICK ↑↑ left to right: Karaoke Post, Pisang Plenet (squeezed banana), Mochi Ice Cream, Pork Satay Booth, Fortune Teller Booth.

Day-3

We went to Solo by a local travel service. It was a one-day-trip only, we didn’t really plan to go there, so with limited information about Solo, we just did a quick trip to explore the places. We stopped by Keraton Solo, the must-visit place if you’re in town. It was so hot that day, but once we got into the Keraton, it felt so breezy, maybe it’s because the Keraton has so many trees inside. The place for visitors is not as big as Keraton Yogyakarta, but the ambience is the same. Once you stepped in, you can see the historical buildings and have yourself to explore the local heritage. Listening to the local guide about the story just had successfully pleased me, learning about history always pinches my curiosity. I’ve been to Yogyakarta before and learned about the history, I know that there’s a connection between Keraton Yogyakarta and Keraton Solo, and coming to this place got me excited, because I have my story continued.

The visit was continued with a light Batik shopping at Pusat Grosir Solo. We tried to find some at Pasar Klewer before, but got nothing. The PGS is located at Alun – Alun Utara. Coming to Solo won’t complete if you don’t taste the local food. WE DIDN’T COMPLETE THE MISSION :’( we wished we could eat timlo, but the restaurant was closed, and we didn’t get to taste the other local food area. I couldn’t explore it all because our time in Solo was running out, we didn’t know where to go, and the driver will pick us up to go back to Semarang again. I promise myself I will get back to Solo someday. Wait for me, food!! Just wait!

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(to be continued…)

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