We had all enjoyed the sight of sunrise over the rice paddies. But if we didn’t get a move on, the tourist hordes would descend upon us… for Borobudur Temple is a UNESCO world heritage centre, one of the most visited sites in the whole of Indonesia.
We drove on, leaving the twin volcanoes of Mt Merbabu (3145m), which last erupted in 1797, and Mt Merapi (2911m), smouldering in the morning mist.
Arriving at Borobudur, a local guide joined us to take us around and interpret for us what we were to see. However, I became a little doubtful about what he was telling us when he stopped at a Melaleuca or paperbark tree and told us that it was a Eucalyptus. And no… he didn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t a Eucalyptus. Certainly, the two plants belong to the same botanical family (Myrtaceae) and they do have similar volatile oils in their leaves. BUT, you can’t tell an Aussie that a paperbark is a gum tree! And since horticulture and Australian plants have been my career for many years… Oh, well.
All that aside, we walked on towards the temple, amazed as we had our first sighting of the various terraces that make up the giant structure. On the way to it, we walked through the gardens where there were many plants to enjoy and photograph.
One was an intriguing tree I’d never seen before (Maniltoa sp.).
The new leaves are pale as they are yet to start producing chlorophyll.
A tiny mushroom struggled to stay upright in the dewy grass.
…and just because I can’t resist, here’s another photo, same mushroom. This time it looks a little like a worker in the rice paddies with a cone hat!
Arachis sp. is a dense ground cover plant with striking yellow flowers. The peanuts we eat belong to the same genus.
A well maintained fountain in the well maintained grounds.
One of the gardeners with his barrow and broom.
We were getting closer, but the Temple was still quite a walk away.
A long path with a central garden lead the eye to the main stupa.
The list of “Don’ts” was quite long but very necessary due to the number of visitors.
Having read the rules, our next task was to venture up all those steps to explore this immense structure and discover why it attracts so many visitors every year. More anon.
All photographs copyright © DY of jtdytravels
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