I finally managed to wake up this morning after a restless sleep; I was exhausted from all the walking I’ve done the past two days. I got ready and packed my bags, I then checked out of the hotel and had a taxi pick me up to take me to the train station. The procedure at the train station was the easiest I’ve encountered thus far on my travels; in no time I had a ticket to Bandung, I went to the platform, the train wa waiting there, I boarded it, and within fifteen minutes we were traveling south west to Bandung. As we left Jakarta, the train rode past some more poverty stricken areas; there were a number of houses that had had their roofs collapse and all that remained were the walls with a pile of rubbish in between them; there were also some very brown, dirty streams and litter covering parts of the water banks. We then entered the countryside which had more farmland, many rice paddies, jungle, and, in the distance, volcanoes which may or may not have been dormant. We also passed by a nice looking waterfall. Also, scattered throughout the land and the cities were many banana trees. After almost three hours, the train reached Bandung. I disembarked and walked to the hostel I booked with the night prior.
After checking in with the hostel, I dropped my bags off and went out to explore the city. I walked south along a busy road to the town center. Along the way were many food and merchandise stalls; once again, it felt as though we were not in the month of Ramadan as I observed many locals eating, drinking, and smoking. I soon came across a large park that had a soccer game in progress on its field and in the center of the park was a monument to the Bandung Lautan Api (“Bandung Sea of Fire”); the monument was two golden poles with flames on top of each, it commemorated a historic event in 1946, during the Indonesian National Revolution, when an ultimatum was given by the British commander in Bandung for the Indonesian combatants in Bandung to leave the city – in response, the southern part of Bandung was deliberately burned down in an act of defiance as the combatants retreated.
From the monument I walked north through more traffic and busy sidewalks. I then came across the Masjid Agung Bandung (a large mosque with two very tall minarets). I walked around the mosque, but did not enter since I believe a religious ceremony was underway. From the mosque, I headed back toward the hostel, passing by some buildings architecturally designed in the “colonial art deco” style; they looked like 1930s buildings with a slight southeast Asian influence. I then went to the Hyper Market, where the hostel is located, and ate at a steak restaurant done in an American West theme; all the staff were wearing jeans, plaid shirts, and cowboy hats. I had a couple beers, a chicken cordon bleu, and some fries. After that, I went back to the hostel to plan tomorrow’s adventure and get some much needed rest.