Since we finished touring the temple by 7.30am, we headed next to Mount Merapi. Mount Merapi, Borobudur, and Jogja City are equidistant from each other, so if you're visiting Borobudur, you can do Mount Merapi in the same day. Hikers aren't allowed on Mount Merapi since the eruption in 2010 that covered the whole city in ash. But you can tour the base of Mount Merapi in a jeep.
Danar Hadi Batik Solo
Visiting the Danar Hadi Batik Museum was really an eye opening experience. I learned a lot more about batik and got to see some amazing pieces. Photos are not allowed so we didn't take any, but we were so fascinated by the different types of batik from all around Indonesia that we didn't bother whipping out our phones anyway. We had a good guide who explained how to tell the difference between batik from Jogja and batik from Solo. The owner named the museum and shop "Danar Hadi" after his wife. He owns 10,000 pieces of batik and displays 1,000 of them in the museum. And he changes the batik around when he feels like it.There's also a restaurant next to the museum and the food's pretty good.
Next journey was to see the edelweiss flower. I knew about this flower just from one of my favorite childhood movie, “The Sound of Music”. Eager to see and touch the real flower, our group started walking to Tegal Alun. The track was quite difficult. There were many steep steps, Finally, after almost a 1.5hour journey, we arrived at a 80 hectare land filled with Edelweiss flower. Our group leader warned us not to bring the flowers home because it’s declared as a cultural heritage. So, the best thing to do besides exploring the area is taking pictures. Taking 10 to 20 pictures was not enough. Every corner, every flower we saw had unique details. I eventually got tired of taking pictures, and decided to sit on the ground and think about my journey. This was my first time hiking. It was the kind of hikes for which one had to be fully prepared. No basic facility such as tap water or toilet, no prepared food, and no access of heat or fire all of which made me feel very grateful to live in Jakarta despite how messy and chaotic it can be due to the traffic. The opportunity to meet people that are outside of my friend’s circle was very interesting. Listening to their stories and grasping their way of thinking about life was one of the most important experiences I had. Our group stayed in Tegal Alun for 1.5 hours. Before deciding to go back to our camp, our team leader took out a folded cloth from his pants pocket. Turns out it is Indonesian flag. He tied the flag to a long branch and then we gathered to take our group picture. Happy from the different poses we did for the pictures, then we decided to head back to the campsite. As I walked slowly, I decided to look at the whole area of Tegal Alun for the last time. At that exact moment, it struck me how I have never done something so great before.
Ndoro Donker Tea House
We passed by Ndoro Donker Tea House on the way to the next temple so we decided to stop by for a light meal and some tea of course. I didn't know there were tea plantations in Solo too, but I guess since this spot is at a higher altitude and the weather nice and cool, it's suitable for tea plantations.The tea house is a huge restaurant - I feel like I'm in someone's house with a large garden and front lawn. It overlooks some tea plantations. The perfect view to accompany your nice piping hot cuppa tea.
Candi Cetho Jenawi
Candi Ceto is located on top of a mountain and the journey to the temple is very enjoyable. As you get further away from the city the buildings get smaller and the air gets cleaner. When you start taking the winding mountain roads up, wind down your car windows and enjoy the cool breeze.
It was in the middle of the afternoon by now, but luckily we still had time (and energy) to visit Kampung Batik Kauman. By the time we got back to Solo city it was late in the afternoon. Thankfully we managed to catch the batik village while there was still some light. This is an entire village with many many shops selling batik. Solo is well known for their batik so I recommend visiting this place!