Sunday 24 October: Arriving at Yogyakarta's (pronounced Jog-Jakarta) fine art-deco station at 5:00am, I'm surprised to be served an early breakfast on arrival at Tiffa Losmen (guesthouse) - my home for the next few days. Settled in, I grab a map from the tourist office and head for the old Dutch barracks, Veredeburg Fort, now a museum of local Indonesian struggle for independence.
Monday 25: Now I have a full-day sightseeing. First is the kranton or Sultan's Palace completed in 1790 and still in use, then the secret Water Castle or Taman Sari meaning 'fragrant gardens' where sultans were once entertained, in their towered bedchamber, by females bathing in the pools below. The bird market nearby is the nearest I'm likely to get to caged females.
A British Foreign Office e-mail alert tells me:
On 25 October, a powerful 7.5 earthquake hit the Mentawai islands off the coast of Sumatra resulting in a tsunami which killed over 100 people.
My first choice route from Sumatra to Jakarta was via Padang and I had planned to spend a few days relaxing on the Mentawai islands while waiting for the ferry but Pelni had taken the ship out of service. This disaster is big news here taking up much television time.
Photos of Yogyakarta.