Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Semarang - Masjid Agung Jawa Tengah

As I had mentioned in the previous post, I loved walking when exploring new places. I believe you get to experience more when exploring cities with your legs. Therefore, on the last day of my stay in Semarang, I decided to embark on a journey to Masjid Agung Jawa Tengah. It was something of a spontaneous action, a snap of my brain to do it. I read about the mosque being one of the biggest in Central Java and that it has an observatory deck that you can go up to and see the whole of Semarang. And since I still have some times to spare before going back to the hotel to meet up with my friend, why not?

I was already out at Kota Lama, nearby the post office, when such impulsive decision was made. I approached the nearest Indonesian and he pointed me to the right direction. When asked how much time needed to walk there, he said too far, cannot walk. I brushed off the last remark and began my journey. Boy, was the man right about it.

So close, yet so far

Sweat was pouring out of my head as I was walking under the bright sun, crossing heavy traffics, watching the scenery changed from rows of shops to plains of paddies. Occasionally, I stopped and asked the locals to make sure I was on the right track and also to find out how much further. It seemed like a never ending stretch of ‘terus’ (go straight). Finally, after crossing the bridge, I saw the imposing mosque and obviously, there was still quite some distance to cover.

Pristine countryside

Another side of Semarang

After about an hour, I had finally arrived. Immediately, I went to the observatory deck (after all, it was my main objective) and paid Rp 5,000 (RM 1.50, more or less) to ascend the lift up. When the door opened, breezy wind greeted me, welcoming me with their embraces. My eyes were blessed with scenery so beautiful that all the walking was worth it. 

The observatory deck

The city of Semarang

Masjid Agung Jawa Tengah

I spent a good 10 to 20 minutes up there, taking in the sights while enjoying the refreshing breath of fresh air. I also had a good chat with a man from another district in Central Java who came to visit his brother in the mosque. When the time was up, I went back down and headed back to the main road, trying to catch a ride back. I was not going to do another hour of walking as I was already behind schedule. 

I did not enter the compound of the mosque as I was wearing shorts and did not want to be rude. After all, I noticed that I was the only person wearing shorts. I guessed shorts for observatory deck is ok but mosque, better not. 

It was a befitting ending to a wonderful adventure in Semarang. More photos to end the entry.

The mighty sun

I like this photo...

...and this...very serene

Kids playing football along the parking lot in the mosque

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