FUN-travel: Slow Boat to Singapore – 16th Port – Semarang, Indonesia – Day 38

March 10, 2016 by  

Thursday, March 3rd – 16th Port – Semarang, Indonesia – Day 38

  • We Got Us a Convoy”…led by flashing blue lights, our tour buses barreled down the road. And why would we need a police escort you ask? Potential terrorist target? Heavens no! This was all so we could get to the temple on time.

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  • We needed them to clear the traffic so we could get to our destination in under three hours. Otherwise we didn’t go and that is “just plain bad for the economy.”
  • That would have meant no Borobudur…a Buddhist stupa and temple complex in Central Java. And the main reason we even took this trip in the first place….to see one of the world’s truly great ancient monuments and the single largest Buddhist structure anywhere on earth.

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  • At 1200 years old, the scale of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is incredible. Not to mention the remarkable attention to detail that went into the construction. Rumor has it (but who really knows) that it took over 75years to complete. Over 2 million stone blocks were hauled up the hill and the entire structure was created without using any mortar.

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  • Borobudur lay abandoned and hidden for centuries under layers of volcanic ash and thick jungle growth. Nobody knows for sure why it was abandoned. But one theory is that volcanic eruptions coupled with a powerful earthquake drove terrified locals away.

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  • In 1956 UNESCO began an assessment process for the full scale restoration of the monument. Beginning in 1968, a major plan to restore Borobudur was created. This huge project involved a complete overhaul and took 14 years. The unsteady foundations were stabilized, everything was meticulously cleaned, and a major drainage system installed.

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  • Borobudur measures an amazing 403 square feet and more than 100 feet high. We spent two hours climbing and exploring each of the four tiers. The central dome at the very top is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa. The entire temple is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.

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  • And just as we were ready to leave, a sonic boom burst of thunder cracked over head. It was the loudest we’d ever heard. Startled we looked up and all you could see were hundreds of dragonflies as they shot out of the trees. Then soft rain drops arrived and all we needed was a breeze to have instant AC.

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FUN-cocktail – French ’75 – Bombay Gin, fresh lemon sour, topped with sparkling wine and a twist of lemon.

  • More Crazy Clock Stuff! We had to turn them back one hour last night and then had to move it forward tonight.

Not so FF – A 7.4 earthquake hit in the ocean off Indonesia today and there was a tsunami warning. First a cyclone and now a tsunami! What the hell is going on? Your worst nightmares if you’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean!

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