Day 5 – Exploring Surabaya On Silver Shadow

Friendly People, Surabaya
Nearly everyone who I encountered today in Surabaya extended a warm welcome, such as these two young people who greeted me as I entered the cruise terminal. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

This morning, Silver Shadow docked in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city. I was booked on the four-hour Surabaya City Sights tour and to get to the motorcoach I passed through the cruise terminal, where Silversea guests were warmly welcomed by smiling people, some in costumes; smiling security guards; and a musical performance.

As I have noted previously, I’ve rarely seen as many smiles as in Indonesia. The Indonesians seem to be exceptionally welcoming of Westerners.  I felt warmly received everywhere I went on this morning’s tour.

Outside the terminal, I boarded the motorcoach for our tour. Our guide, Edy, spoke English extremely well, and we were surprised when he revealed to us that he had learned to speak the language from watching television and from practicing. He told us a lot about Indonesia and about Java, the fact that there were five religions here, including Islam and Christianity, all tolerated. December 25 is a national holiday, for example. He explained that the Javanese language had only 20 letters in its alphabet, that there was no equivalent to the letter “f” in English, and that the Javanese had trouble pronouncing English words beginning with an “f,” pronouncing it as “ph” instead.

My day ended back on Silver Shadow with an Indian dinner, specially prepared by an Indian chef on board Silver Shadow and served by my butler Roland in my suite. The dishes were authentic Indian, so much so that Roland had asked the chef if he might make a little extra and set it aside so that Roland could enjoy it at the end of his shift. I hope he did.

I captured my day in photos, 30 of which I posted here. That’s 30,000 words if you believe that each is worth 1,000. Tomorrow, I’m up early for an 11-hour tour to the temple complex of Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — an exciting day behind me and one ahead.

Baruna Budaya
As we passed through the cruise terminal in Surabaya, we were serenaded by music. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Sampoerna Cigarette Factory Building
Our first stop: the Sampoerna Cigarette Factory. The stately Dutch colonial-style compound was built in 1862 and is now a preserved historical site. Previously used as an orphanage managed by the Dutch‚ it was purchased in 1932 by Liem Seeng Tee‚ the founder of Sampoerna‚ with the intent of it being used as Sampoerna’s first major clove cigarette production facility. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Sampoerna Cigarette Factory
As many as 3,000 workers are here on working days. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Sampoerna Cigarette Factory workers
We watched the process of women making clove digarettes by hand. The women can roll up to 350 cigarettes per hour. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Packaging of the Dji Sam Soe (meaning 234) Cigarette
Packaging of the Dji Sam Soe (meaning 234) cigarette. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Tobacco at Sampoerna Cigarette Factory
Tobacco like this is blended with cloves for the kretek (clove) cigarettes. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Cigarettes at Tobacco at Sampoerna Cigarette Factory
Cigarettes at the Sampoerna Cigarette Factory. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Vintage photos at the Sampoerna Cigarette Factory
Vintage photos at the Sampoerna Cigarette Factory. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Sampoerna Cigarette Factory
Another vintage photo at the Sampoerna Cigarette Factory, one of women applying stamps to the packaging. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Balinese cloves
Cloves are used for the kretek cigarettes. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Silver Shadow, Bali To Singapore
The security guard gave me two thumbs up and a huge smile when I was leaving. I asked if I could take a photo and he happily agreed, but this was the pose he struck photo after photo. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotal Majapahit
Our next stop, the Hotel Majapahit, operating on these grounds since 1910 © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotel Majapahit
A warm welcome to the Hotel Majapahit. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotel Majapahit
Behind the Reception Desk, the hotel as it appeared when originally built in 1910 by the Sarkies Brothers. Today, the hotel is a classic landmark featuring Dutch colonial architecture with immaculate landscaped gardens. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotel Majapahit
Touring the Hotel Majapahit. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotel Majapahit
View of the Presidential Suite, which spans two floors. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotel Majapahit
Master bedroom at the Hotel Majapahit. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotel Majapahit
A bathroom you might expect for paying $3,000 per night to stay in the 800-square-meter Presidential Suite. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Hotel Majapahit
One of the guests rooms in the Presidential Suite at the Hotel Majapahit. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Traditional Javanese Dance
Girls, perhaps 10 years to 12 years old, entertained us with a traditional dance while we enjoyed refreshments at the Hotel Majapahit. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Traditional Javanese Dance
I was on my knees when photographed with the dancers. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Javanese Chocolates
Our final stop was at the Mirota Handicrafts Center, where we found a selection of Indonesia batik, handicrafts, pottery and paintings. I was offered Javanese chocolate when I walked in. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Batik in Java
Batik handicraft in Surabaya. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Batik in Java
I got a chance to try the art of Batik myself. It’s not as easy as it looks. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Roland, the butler
Roland prepares the dining room table in my suite for dinner. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Suite 601 Silver Shadow
Dinner in my suite. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Indian dinner
Indian dishes served in my suite. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Jacuzzi Tub
Roland, my butler, and Arwin, my room attendant, had prepared a bath when I returned to my suite tonight — a soothing way to end a long, but exciting day. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

Silver Shadow, Bali To Singapore

Day 1Boarding Silver Shadow In Bali
Day 2Riding Elephants In Bali
Day 3Lombok, Indonesia
Day 4Probollingo, Indonesia
Day 5Surabaya, Indonesia
Day 6Borobudur, Indonesia
Day 7Semarang, Indonesia
Day 8Jakarta, Indonesia
Day 9Sea Day
Day 10Singapore
Day 11Disembarking In Singapore
Top Ten Highlights Of My Cruise