We are staying in Blitar in east Java for a week. We chose Blitar purely and simply because there is a Tugu Hotel here that we could afford to stay in for more than one night. We loved our experience of the Tugu Hotel in Malang so much that we wanted to it to last longer…but at a more affordable price. So we have decamped to its ‘poorer cousin’ in Blitar to enjoy the hotel, its afternoon teas and, as it turns out, its super-good internet.
Blitar isn’t on the tourist map as such, which makes you wonder why the hotel is here. When we arrived, we doubled the number of guests staying here – although others arrived, and departed, over the coming days.
Blitar’s main claim to fame is that the first president of Indonesia lived here as a child. His grave his here and a museum to him. Also, according to Wikipedia, the current Vice President of Indonesia and the Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian Military were both born in Blitar.
We’ve had a wander around the streets and we get waved at and smiled at wherever we go. Or just plain stared at, but I fear that could be due to my faux pas of wearing a shortish skirt in a predominantly Muslim country. I should have known better as we are out of the larger cities and town now.
We’ve been stopped a few times, particularly by younger people, and asked to have photos taken with us. We always say yes. You feel like a minor celeb.
The people here don’t mind you taking photos of them, or their children and seem pleased you show an interest. It’s an easy going town and it suits our needs right now which are to stay put for a few days and do admin, sort our luggage, decide where we go to next, book travel and
knob about on the internet write my blog.
Last night we were out and a lady with the most gorgeous smile I think I’ve even seen stopped us for a chat. She has invited us to her house and promised us that she will “take us anywhere and everywhere we like on her scooter”. A prospect I’m a little unsure about. At least they wear crash helmets here. She is going to call the hotel to leave a message for us. We’ll see if she does. I do hope so.