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Fascinating Java and the East Indies

During August, 2016 I wanted to learn more about Indonesia, which is not just Bali as many Australians seem to think. We travelled to Makassar in Sulawesi, Ambon one of the Spice Islands in the East Indies and Surabaya, a large city in Java.

David and I visited an old Dutch Fort in Makassar via the local way of travel. It was interesting, but I would not go out of my way to visit it.

We went to the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Ambon where several hundred Australian soldiers are buried. Apparently Australian soldiers were sent to Ambon to defend Indonesia and Australia from the Japanese ambush. Unfortunately they were unprepared and it was a fateful and ill-planned mission as many Australian soldiers died. The grounds of the Cemetery are manicured and it is beautifully kept. Walking around reading some of the memorials on the graves was an emotional experience. Some young Moslem women wanting a photograph cheered me up. We spent probably one and a half hours there.

We visited a market in Ambon on a very hot day. Our last stop was a couple of days in Surabaya, one of the largest cities in Java.

In Surabaya, we noticed a man on the street mending motor-bike tubes and another mending jeans with an old treadle sewing machine. We also undertook a city tour.