29: Indonesia > Sumatra Barat > Bukittinggi Afternoon

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Late afternoon, Friday 6th July 2007. After a short rest at the hotel, we explore downtown Bukittinggi, dominated by this clock tower in the town square.

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A gift from the Dutch Queen in 1926, when the town was called Fort de Kock. Note the ‘IIII’ instead of ‘IV’. The setting sun gives a yellowish hue.

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Aina surveys the square. The main shopping area is just to the right.img_1338.JPG

Nearby, horse-taxis are ready for hire – a common mode of local transport.img_1339.JPG

This travel agent serves virtually every major Indonesian airlines, but the nearest airport is in Padang, 2hrs away by road.img_1340.JPG

A view of the suburbs of Bukittinggi, at 3,000ft above sea level just south of the Equator, a cool pleasant home to more than 10,000 people, neighbour to volcanoes Mt Merapi (active, hidden in clouds below), Mt Singgalang (inactive) and Mt Sago (inactive).

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Predominantly Muslim Minangkabau Malays, where pointed roofs mix with metallic mosque domes.img_1345.JPG

A major shopping street next to the market.img_1348.JPG

In the market (bazaar, more like it) haggling is in progress. img_1350.JPG

A heaven for shoppers, no doubt.img_1352.JPG

Look-alikes?

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Sweet juicy salak fruits. Our favourite.img_1357.JPG

Popular local snacks called kripik, similar to chips. Made of stuff from rice, corn, wheat, yams, tapioca, even from fruits. Very munch-able.

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Odd-looking ants’ nests for sale. Maybe as medicine?
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Wherever we are, the town landmark is always with us. How comforting. We’ll never get lost.img_1359.JPG

I return to the clock tower as early evening visitors throng in. It’s the perfect place for people-watching, especially in the cool evening.

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A couple of pretty girls doing a self-portrait. One thing I notice here, there are hardly anybody wearing glasses. Damn good eyesight they have, or as Anas quips, they have good eyes because they never read. 🙂
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There, my models in action again, in front of Bung Hatta.
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In failing light I look for the old Dutch church I saw earlier.

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Then helpful Anas takes me to another. I have no clue when these churches were built, but considering there are very few Christians in the area, the churches are in very good shape.img_1406.JPG

The street is full of pointed roofs, and as dusk arrives, it is still full of activities. We have another nasi padang dinner, and retire to the hotel for a good rest, our first night in Sumatra. It has been a long day.img_1404.JPG

> TO BE CONTINUED …

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