Surabaya: City of Heroes

DSCF3104.JPGIsn’t ironic that I talk a lot about Bali and other places, but I have never wrote anything about the place that I currently live, Surabaya.

I tell you why. From the first time I came to Surabaya in 1994, I came to think of it as quite boring. Well, how can you blame me, I come from Bali where you can always find natural things for amusement. Surabaya, is a busy trade city. So, if you want to go to malls or shopping center then it is a good place. But other than that, its quite dull.

But as I started to live permanently in Surabaya in 2005, a lot has changed. Surabaya is now green and clean thanks to our mayor. But still, I have not really explore Surabaya.

Until when my then 8 years old niece who lives in Bali come to visit us. Then I got really excited to think how I can entertain her. I did not have the time to take her out of town…So, I ended taking her to the places around Surabaya.

Tugu Pahlawan

Surabaya is known as the City of Hero due to its courageous fight on 10th November 1945. In Indonesia it is commemorated as the National Hero Day. A monument is dedicated in remembrance of this fight.

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Surabaya Heroes Museum

Monumen Kapal Selam

It is located in the center of the City of Surabaya. Its actually a submarine turned into a museum. Very popular place for teachers to take their students for field trip.

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Submarine Museum

Patung Suro & Boyo

Located next to Monumen Kapal Selam is the iconic symbol of Surabaya: the Sura (Shark) and Baya (Crocodile).

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Iconic Shark & Crocodile

Taman Remaja

The title can be translated into Youth Park. That is why this place is commonly used to showcase child and youth talent. Ever since my two girls enter kindergarten I have been a regular visitor of this park since they usually joined various competition here. The park has several stages to host dancing, singing and other performance. But it also has many children ride.

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Wonorejo Mangrove Ecotourism

Here you can see one of the last mangrove forest in Surabaya. It basically provides means to increase awareness to preserve the ecosystems.

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Surabaya Carnival

If you wanna take your kids for a fun trip but do not want to brave the traffic to Batu, Malang then you can take them to Surabaya Carnival. There are a lot of rides and interesting exhibits that will keep them busy!

Taman Bungkul

Recently, Surabaya also has a lot of new park. One of the most famous park is Taman Bungkul. Situated in the center of the city, the park is very lively particularly on Sunday Morning. A lot of people and communities just gather in the park. There is children playground, skating place, etc. Another attraction is the culinary stalls around the park.

 

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Highs and Lows of 2014

Its the first day of 2015. As I started the year, cant help but to reflect on what has happened in 2014.

Work wise it has been quite a year. There are plenty of changes in the institution that kept us busy. Moreover, our faculty has additional responsibility as the organizer for our Institute’s 54th Anniversary. It was a huge task with so many drama for me. I will have to write an entire post about it later. But reflecting on it now I am so relieved that we finished the task with a generally good result and I learn so much invaluable lessons from it 😉

Personally, 2014 didn’t give me the chance to add more stamp on my passport nor did it give me the chance to set foot on another island in Indonesia. Still, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, UK, The Netherlands, Italy, France and USA for me. Sadly too, only Java, Bali and Madura in Indonesia so far…I know its pretty bad that I live in a country with over 13000 island, but I have only visited 3??!!! Cmon, this should be high on my new years resolution: see more of Indonesia!!!!!

In May, Hita celebrated her 4th Birthday, and it was the first time that she celebrated it in School. Here she is with her Blue Frozen Ombre Cake 😉

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But, its not all gloomy in the travel department. Though limited in Java and Bali, I managed to take the girls to visit more places. We went home in January. Then again in August. We went to visit Panglipuran, a village in Bangli, Bali that still preserved the traditional Balinese house. After that, we went to Bali Bird Park.

But, the high is immediately followed by low period for me. My body must be so tired that upon our return to Surabaya I got so ill and must be hospitalized. In the first two days the doctor thought that it was just digestive problem that lead to dehydration. After the third day he said that I also got dengue fever. I was so gutted since this was NOT my first case of dengue fever. But it was certainly the worst. I must spent 6 days in the hospital with over 10 needle shots :(( So here comes the second new year resolution. Quite simple: be healthy!! I have to really work hard on this since it has been my resolution in the past 3 years :’)

Luckily, I bounced back and then come December we have got another trip to Bali. This time it was for a conference, followed by holiday. It was my first experience to fly with the girls without their dad (he was the conference organizer so he left earlier). Thankfully, they were in their best behaviour 🙂 We stayed at Sanur Paradise Hotel. It was quite a pleasant stay. After the conference, we went to Bali Zoo where the girls got the chance to take photos with animal…and…rode an Elephant!

When we return a week later, the girls grand mom and cousin visited us in Surabaya. At that time I realized that we rarely explore Surabaya. So in the end we went to the Surabaya Heroes Monument, Monkasel Submarine Monument, Surabaya Night Carnival and Kenjeran Park. It was a really fun time for the girls.

Finally, during the christmas holiday we went to Purwodadi Garden. Unfortunately, we only had a very short time to explore as it started raining. Then we went to Taman Dayu Golf and Resort. The next morning, the girls enjoyed the water park. Before heading back to Surabaya we went up to the Pines Camping Ground. It was really interesting because the place actually rent out Tree Houses and Wooden houses. But I think it was not really fun during rainy season. Wish to rent one of the wooden house in the dry season 😉

Sadly, it was during this time that I first heard the news about AirAsia QZ8501. My deepest condolence to the relatives of the passengers. Hope they will have the strength during this difficult time.

 

Kelud volcanic ashes in Surabaya

Last nite Mount Kelud in East Java, Indonesia has erupted. It was about 130 kilometres from Surabaya but the effects can be felt here…

I woke up around 5AM oblivious to what has happened. But, as I opened the door I noticed that the flowers have withered. I thought it was strange since it has been raining heavily last nite…I went out to switch off the light and noticed that it was really dusty…

Then it downed on me that ashes fell from the sky. It was really really shocking to me. I have never experienced some thing like this before. Although Mount Kelud has erupted before, the affect were never felt as far as Surabaya…

Aint no sunshine on the horizon, view from Rectorate Building, ITS, Surabaya
Aint no sunshine on the horizon, view from Rectorate Building, ITS, Surabaya
Ashes covered the road
Ashes covered the road

The skies were grey…the ashes blanketed plants, cars and the roofs…and this is 130KM away. Cant imagine what it was in the affected area.

My thoughts and prayers goes out for those affected..