Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 9 - The Sultans Palace, Water Palace and All the Shadow Puppets

I am ever so slowly making my way through ALL OF THE THINGS we did on holiday earlier this year - it was a pretty epic holiday, so it does take a while to blog about.

I think this day was one of my favourite days of the whole trip - so many interesting and exciting things to see and do!

We decided to begin by heading to the Sultans Palace - a piece of advice, if you are heading to the Sultans Palace you  will be approached by all kinds of people telling you they work at the palace and its shut and they can take you to another entrance and a batik studio and various other things - they are trying to scam you! Just keep heading straight for the palace.

The palace houses all kinds of amazing every day objects that belong to the Sultan and his family.

A chap who said he worked at the palace came along and asked if we would like to have our photo taken together and explained a few things to us, he then asked if we would be like to be taken to the Sultan's shadow puppet workshop.
I can admit it - I was 90% sure this was a scam and we were just being taken somewhere where people would pressure us to buy the puppets or something similar. However, it was 100% legitimate!

The people that create the puppets are paid by the Sultan to keep the craft alive and they  explained to use how they create the puppets by carving buffalo skins and then colouring them. We were able to see the craftspeople work and were even able to look at both the shadow puppets and other puppets and masks up close. It was an amazing experience.

After checking out the puppets we decided to head back to the Sultan's Palace for a final look around.

Our next stop of the day was to find the Water Castle and underground mosque - both of which are effectively in ruins now, but they would have been pretty impressive in their day.

This was our first view of the water castle, which is a large complex which includes a mosque amongst other things. The whole complex was badly damaged in a natural disaster (I can't remember if it was an earthquake or volcanic eruption). 

We decided to head to the underground mosque, which lead me to panic that I wouldn't be allowed to enter as I wasn't dressed appropriately for a mosque (I usually wear maxi dresses when I know I'm going to temples/mosques). It turns out though that there were no issues at all as any religious aspect to the mosque is long gone. We did however have trouble finding the entrance - but that was ok, as it gave us a chance to see some street art we may have missed out on otherwise.

We asked someone for directions and next minute it appeared we had a guide - which I guess is what happens in Indonesia when you only tell someone eight times you don't want a guide.

The mosque was amazing and originally was constructed with two levels so men and woman could worship in different places.

We followed up the mosque with the water castle itself with out "guide" still in tow (we eventually got rid of him and we didn't pay him for the tour we told him numerous times we did not want).

After all of this we decided it was time for a break and headed back to the hotel in anticipation of the shadow puppet show later that evening.

 It was fun to see the puppets in action, but some of the tourists attending were really inconsiderate! Standing up in the middle of the concert, talking loudly, getting close to the front of the stage to take photos! I've never seen people behave like that before, if you did that at a performance in New Zealand you would be asked to leave.

We stayed for the first hours of the two hour performance - it was fun, but the performance was two hours long and in Indonesian.

That was it - the  ninth day of our trip! One day I will learn how to relax on holiday.


Kura Carpenter said...

Was that a pool? Or a garden? I don't know but I want one!

Monsterchen said...

wooooow that is so impressive! i absolutely enjoyed the photos! and those puppets are amazing, small pieces of art!

Curtise said...

What beautiful places to visit. Those puppets are wonderful too. xxx

Wait Until The Sunset said...

I always love seeing your holiday snaps, you guys are like us, spend all holidays exploring and then come home needing a holiday because of your holidays! Keep the piccys coming! xx

Vix said...

Isn't that wonderful? What a fab post.
Those scam artists drive me mad, they're all over India, it makes you suspicious of genuine tour guides. xxx

Anonymous said...

Those puppets are spectacular! Just wow.