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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Blangsinga and Tegenungan Waterfalls

On our way home from Saba to Songan, Kintamani we wanted to visit a new place. My husband mentioned that there are a waterfall close by. He said its called Tegenungan Waterfall.

I searched for it and found that it was quite close to another waterfall called Blangsinga Waterfall. I did not really checked it on the map.

My husband decided to take us to Blangsinga Waterfall. We arrived to the entrance and immediately went to the ticket box. It was relatively cheap, only 30 thousands rupiah for two adults and two children (under 12 years old).

First we took quite a steep stairs so I would advise visitor to really watch over their children. Not long after we took the stairs down we arrived to a heart-shaped wooden frame clearly prepared for visitors to take instagram-worthy pictures ๐Ÿ˜

We carried on after taking our pictures. My husband and the girls walked ahead of me as I stopped several times to take some pictures of the surrounding. The cool water splash and sound of the waterfall were really inviting.

After I reached the bottom of the stairs there was a lady who wanted to climb up. The guard stopped and asked for her ticket. She showed it and I heard him said “Sorry, if you want to climb here, you must pay for a ticket…if you dont wanna pay then you must take that route”. The guard signal for a stairs in another side of the river. It puzzled me…but I didnt ask for more information. I just assume that we must also take the route…although I can already see that there were so many more steps compared to the way we came down.

We then enjoyed the cool and fresh water of the river. Some visitors swim under the waterfall. Some prefer to take instagram-worthy pic by swinging in front of the waterfall.

We did not bring any clothes to swim so we just crossed the river. As we about to take the steps there were sign that says “good luck with the 165 steps”.

Wow…for a person who rarely exercise like myself…it is quite a put off..but my girls just went straight.

I took it bit by bit. I stopped several time. Finally, I arrived and immediately greeted by a sign that read Tegenungan Waterfall. It took me sometimes to realized that we have actually crossed to another territory.

I am still hoping that Blangsinga carpark is within walking distance. So we stopped in one of the shop by a drink and ask the lady the way to get back to Blangsinga. She said it was quite a walk. 4.1 kilometres to be exact. She said we better go back down and up to where we came ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ต

So apparently, the two waterfalls, to be honest I completely missed the Tegenungan waterfall on my way up because I was so busy catching my breath, were separated only by a river. But, on land it was 4.1km.

Turns out I misinterpret what happened earlier. Each waterfall sold separate ticket. You can enjoy the same sceneries as long as you come and go from the same place, which make more sense rather than my assumption ๐Ÿ˜‚

So moral of the story is

Dont assume, just ask whenever you are in doubt

But, I have no regret. I quite enjoyed having conquer the 165 steps!

Plus, I got this perfect shot of the waterfall from Tegenungan steps.

Why I did not have time to Blog in 2016

I have a confession to make. My blog activities were really minimum in 2016. Usually, by the end of the year WordPress will send me an email reporting my blog activities. But not this time. Perhaps my blog activities were so low that they could not gathered enough statistics to report to me *sigh*

Ever since I started this blog in 2009, 2016 was the second lowest year in terms of number of posts. Considering that the lowest was 2010, the year i had my second girl, it was pretty bad. When I left my administrative post in 2015, I thought that I would have more time to blog. But turns out the big chunk of time that I spent for administrative works, did not actually translate into time for blogging. So where did all the time go?

Here are my alibis.

Spend more time for the girls.ย Preparing breakfast, taking them to school, helping with home works (loads of them), taking them to extracurricular activities (painting classes, swimming lessons, competition etc). There were a period in August when we Indonesian have so many festivities. Yup, it is our Independence Day. So the entire month is filled with activities and fun competition. August 2016 was no different. The girls have various activities at their school and in the neighbourhood. There are two activities that really got me all busy. The first is fashion competition. Hita and I must wear a unique costume for the fashion show. Since it was unique I had an idea to make it from recycled stuffs. I spent almost a week making a top and skirt made out of fruit wrapping and shopping bags. It was really chaotic, but also fun. In the end, it was worth it, cause we ended up getting fourth place! The jury actually said that our costume was really unique but the theme was red and white, and I put some pink stuffs in it. That’s why we did not get higher scores. But, I did not really mind cause Hita was so happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Then, there is also decorating bicycle competition. This one was quite a challenge cause I have never had the experience to decorate a bicycle before ๐Ÿ˜€ In the end, I managed to put some stuffs so the girls can join the competition and they were happy!

Mom the Baker. Ever since I was little, I love making stuffs ranging from art work, drawing, sewing and baking. I tried my luck with baking, but lack of tools made it difficult to try out the recipes. Last year we renovated the kitchen, and my husband kindly bought me the stove that comes with an oven. Its a dream come true!! I also came across a really good websiteย http://www.justtryandtaste.com that gave a very detailed step-by-step guide into baking. I tried many many recipes from simple Maizena Cookies, Muffins, doughnuts, pancakes, various cakes (banana cakes mostly). Most of the trials turn out surprisingly good (YAY!). My only problem so far is pastries ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I tried to make apple pies, and could not make it work. I really enjoyed myself with this new hobby. Especially because my two girls always earnestly encourage me. Not just cheering, but also finish all the cakes that I made. At one point I even tried Pizza haha…My final frontier was making bread…starting from scratch…making the dough, hand kneading and all…what an exercise…totally worth it.

Lots and lots of Badminton Cheering. 2016 was an important year for Badminton. There were Thomas and Uber Cup and most importantly Rio Olympic Games. I am lucky that I have a cable TV that always show the Badminton Super Series games…almost every month there are Badminton games on TV….and I am such an avid fan so I cant stop watching!!! I am over the moon with the fact that Owi and Butet won the one and only Olympic Gold for Indonesia.

Travelling.ย Toward year end, we had an opportunity to travel to Phuket via Kuala Lumpur. It was the girls first experience to travel abroad. I was quite worried in the beginning because we took a very early flight 5.00AM. So the girls need to be awake at 3.00AM. Thankfully, they were really enthusiastic and happy. We got the chance to see Petronas tower in KL. Then, in Phuket the girls enjoyed playing in Garden Beach. In our last day, we took a day tour to Phi Phi Island. My husband and the girls enjoyed it so much. I got sea sick on half of the tour so I did not really enjoy it that much. But, sea sickness aside, I am happy to see the girls happy face ๐Ÿ™‚

All in all, it was a good year. I just need to be able to write simple posts every time I have an idea and not thinking too much about what to write.

Hope 2017 will bring better posts!

Counting Cities of the World I’ve Visited

Came across this interesting post about Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/minube/the-top-50-cities-to-see_b_5547308.html

 

…and began counting…

I have visited:

London, Paris, Rome, San Fransisco, Bangkok, Singapore
Technically, I have also touched down in Schipol, Amsterdam and Narita, Tokyo ^^…Well, I know, that’s cheating.
Okay, so, that’s 6 out of 50
Hope to see more ๐Ÿ™‚

Missing my Homeland – BALI

Temple at Balinese Home
Temple at Balinese Home

Last week, just as I prepared myself for a holiday to my homeland in Bali, I suddenly started humming and recalling so many songs that have been written about home…

“Been around the world,there’s no place like home” East Seventeen

“Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home
Mmmmmmmm” Michael Buble

“Well I’m going home,Back to the place where I belong, And where your love has always been enough for me” Daughtry

And of course the big ballads “Home Sweet Home” from Motley Crue

You know I’m a dreamer
But my heart’s of gold
I had to run away high
So I wouldn’t come home low
Just when things went right
It doesn’t mean they were always wrong
Just take this song, and you’ll never feel
Left all alone

Take me to your heart
Feel me in your bones
Just one more night
And I’m comin’ off this
Long & winding road

I’m on my way
I’m on my way
Home sweet home…
Tonight, tonight
I’m on my way
I’m on my way
Home sweet home…

I guess home and our feelings about it have been the source of inspiration for so many artists ๐Ÿ˜€

There is an expression that says “Home is where your heart is” which I think means that your home is where you lived with the people you love. By this definition, my home is in Surabaya because me, my husband and two girls currently lived there. But, deep in my heart I always miss my homeland, BALI. Most of our family still lived in Bali. I also miss the landscape, the environment, the culture, and the food ^^

I miss the familiar trees like Kamboja and Coconut trees mixed in between people homes.

A popular flower tree in Balinese homes
A popular flower tree in Balinese homes

All of these element have changed since my childhood. But, thankfully, I still can find one of my favorite food: Jukut Undis..it’s a kind of soup made from black soybean. It’s really spicy and tasty. Yummy!!! try it if you visit Bali. Unlike many traditional Balinese food that have gone national even international like Betutu, Plecing Kangkung I’m pretty sure you can only find it in Bali ๐Ÿ™‚

Undis - traditional Balinese Soup made of Black Soybean
Undis – traditional Balinese Soup made of Black Soybean