- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
I left the hostel very early and headed straight to the Kraton, the royal palace. As soon as I had crossed the gateway, I was impressed by the calm atmosphere and the silence which contrasted with the hustle and bustle of the street. I was lucky to attend a demonstration of wayang kulit, the Indonesian shadow puppet theatre, in the main courtyard. I was impressed by the puppeteer's dexterity, but it was the ceremonial gamelan music that moved me the most.
In the afternoon, I lazed under the trees in Sriwadari Park before setting out to discover the night market of Ngarsopuro. Coloured lights, spicy smells, the laughter of children and amplified music for the "Saturday Night Fever of Solo".
It was in this family atmosphere that I attended the weekly representation of Wayang Orang theatre. The room was half empty, people came and went, eating and laughing, the building was a little run-down but the actors/dancers enthralled me with their scenes from the Ramayana set to the rhythm of the gamelan. The actors' costumes were magnificent and their makeup was very elaborate.