The Catholic Cathedral was similar to most I have been in. The design of the spires is slightly reminiscent of La Sagrada Familia in Spain.
We wondered around some markets and saw what life was like on the streets.
Then I left the real world and returned to the hotel for a typical Javanese meal.
The following day, Bob ended up having a little time to explore Jakarta. We visited the National Monument - a process that took way more time than we were prepared for! They had just one tiny extremely slow elevator to transport visitors up and down the tower, and stairs were not an option. From the top of the tower, we could see the mosque and cathedral, the Presidential Palace, and a general view of the city.
On Saturday morning, we met up with someone conducting a free walking tour of Kotu Tua or Old Batavia - the historical Dutch area of the Jakarta. During the 17th - 19th centuries, this was the capital of the Dutch West Indies and a very strategic location for the spice trade industry. It was known as "The Jewel of Asia" by European sailors. Unfortunately, much of that grand city has been demolished and only remnants can be seen today. When Indonesia gained it's Independence in 1950, this area was deserted and it was not until 2005 that a revitalization plan began.
Our tour began an the Kota Train Station first built in 1887 and designed by a Dutch architect. It was historically, and still is an important hub for transportation. Next to the station is the Mandiri Museum which exhibits a collection of items related to banking activities from the colonial era. Next to it is the Bank Museum which showcases beautiful Dutch architecture and stained glass windows (and some cute Indonesian children walking through the courtyard).
From there, our group of about 10 crammed into a small "bajaj" and drove to the Port of Sunda Kelapa. This port was used extensively as a stopping point along the thriving East Indies spice route. Today only "Pinisi", small wooden traditional two-masted sailing ships are allowed into the small harbor. Many brides visit this picturesque site to take wedding photographs.
From the port we walked to a maritime museum located where the spice and trade merchandise warehouses once were. I love the intricately carved Javanese Building and the gigantic ceramic pottery! But first, I've included some photos of what we saw along our walk.
From there we walked along the river to Fatahillah Square, where many of the Dutch buildings have been restored and now house various museums.
The museum also displayed various puppets from around the world.
Before returning to our hotel, we stopped at a couple of malls so that I could look for my souvenir silver charm. I actually found one that resembles a puppet! But the strangest mall I've ever been in was the huge Thamrin City Mall, which was completely filled with Muslim apparel and a clientele to match.
That was enough of Jakarta for Bob and I, and we boarded a Saturday afternoon flight to Yogyakarta in central Java where we hoped for a little more adventure.