Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Four days in Yogyakarta (Part 3)...


Unquestionably, the third day was the highlight of the trip. Pg Boy and I found ourselves awake at four in the morning. We had to get up at that time to be able to make it to Borobudur for the sunrise tour.

About an hour of driving, we reached the Manohara Hotel. It's the only hotel located situated within the Borobudur complex and is identified to be the center for Borobudur study. After getting our tickets, we were given sarongs to be worn since we were to set foot on holy ground. We were also given flashlights to light our path walking to the temple. Also waking up that morning was a group of Malaysians who looked like they were on a meditation trip, some Japanese and a number of other ang mohs.

Medi led the way from the hotel to Borobudur. At that point, I was already very excited and ready to be impressed by Borobudur. There was a change in the atmosphere. Maybe it was because four in the morning. Maybe it was because we were making our way to the largest Buddhist temple. I dunno. But there was something about that morning.

A few minutes of walking and the silhouette of Borobudur could already be seen. It was not as huge as I expected it to be, but nonetheless, I knew that it would be a sight to behold. We began with our ascent to the top of the temple. Since it was still dark, we could not yet see much of the reliefs on the wall. In hushed tones, Medi would stop every so often and point to a certain relief or a sculpture and tell the history behind it.

We climbed a bit further and to reach the top of the temple. It was still very dark. Medi gave a quick tour before leading us to the side where the sun would rise. At that point, everyone was already prepared and waiting for the sunrise. The large group of Malaysians sat cross-legged facing a certain direction and had their eyes closed in meditation. The other tourists were prepping their cameras. Others were finding a good location to capture photos. Minutes, an hour passed by and we weren't sure if the sun would greet us.

The day was starting and the impressive structures that were earlier clothed in darkness started to reveal themselves. The details on the reliefs, the familiar shapes of the stupas, the buddha sculptures, the panoramic landscape surrounding the landscape all began to unfold.

And just when I thought it wouldn't happen, Medi called us to tell us that the sun was rising. Though partly hidden by clouds, there was still a point when we saw the golden orb and its rays kissed our faces as we watched it.

Uhm, there was something spiritual about the experience. That morning definitely adds to one of my favorite sunrise experiences. It's one of those moments where I would understand why yoga practice has sun salutation. Really, really grateful to have experienced it.

From Borobudur, we drove to Kaliadem to hopefully catch a view of the majestic Merapi volcano. However, it was cloudy that day and the crater was nowhere to be seen. Oh well. The tour for the day concluded with a visit to the Sultan's Palace also known as the Kraton. I wasn't sure if we would be able to see the palace, because it wasn't included in our itinerary and because it was only open til 1230 in the afternoon.

I was really glad with how the day's trip went.

Up next (and last post on Yogya)... food.

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