Memories of Java. Pictures in the Mind.

Mid 1990s. Flew from Singapore to Jakarta. From Jakarta headed straight out by comfortable train to Bandung. Couldn’t sit with my lady on the train and her sister, so I sat opposite a young local man who chatted to me. He told me to put away the copy of Schindler’s List, which I was reading, at least whilst in public.Then he mused upon the fact of how wonderful snow must be. I didn’t want to disabuse him of this line of thought.

Then we got down to the nub of his conversation. Upon my return t the UK he wanted me to send him a copy of Mayfair or Penthouse. I dutifully took down his address. Dutifully put it in my pocket, and dutifully lost it. So I  never sent the material. Hope he wasn’t too disappointed.

Bandung hailed into view. Checked in to a cheap hostel and went for a stroll with the girls. Smiley faces everywhere, people arm in arm, arms around shoulders, men too. The girls felt safe. Nice atmosphere. Remember a barber’s shop. Men in a row having their hair cut by barbers in a row.  The barbers stood out as they wore surgical masks and gloves. Strange. Ate the most delicious sweet pancake type of food. Served from a small glass topped hand cart. We became obsessed, couldn’t get enough of our food fix.

Next destination Yogyakarta for a soupçon of culture.

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Cycling, Himmler’s Bunker and Salad

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In a shady forest just outside Pozezdrze lies a huge slab of reinforced concrete. This fractured gigiantic block is testament to the cruely and barbarity of humans. For this was the bunker of the snappily Hugo Boss dressed Heinrich Himmler when he was in close attendance to Hitler, up the road in the Wolf’s Lair. An attempt to destroy the bunker failed, only fracturing the block.IMG_1145

There are two entrances on the left as you look down this corridor,  which lead into the the interior of the facility. The material for the bunker, built in 1941, was delivered via a single gauge rail line. The line is now defunct, but as you can see below, it makes a beautiful cycle path through the forest.Out of such political and racial ugliness, comes such beauty.IMG_1160 (2)

At the end of the cycle path lies the village of Ogonki, which is home to the Ognisty Ptak  restaurant. The Phoenix. Full of history, drained of energy we stopped off for a tasty chicken, mozarella and tomato salad with super strength coffee as an accompaniment. Very comfortable surroundings, with a view giving out onto a small lake and the food was inexpensive and tasty. Then back on the bike to finish the 30km for the day.

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