Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday and what with the wedding coming up and the cost of flights for four people, I decided to spend it in Bandung, a regional city some 120km from Jakarta to the east.

I managed to borow the schools car and driver for the weekend, so coffees all round we set off to Bandung on Friday afternoon. Not being used the traffic I was surprised once we passed Karwang how light it was and once we started to head towards Bandung from the split to Cirebon, the journey was fast and surprisingly pleasant.

We got to Bandung at around 6pm and was greeted by a lightning storm and some rain. The traffic once you enter the city was no better than Jakarta on a Friday night although despite missing the turn to the hotel twice, we arrived by 7pm.
The hotel was the Aston Tropicana, right slap bang in the Cihampelas area of the city, surrounded by factory outlets and the famous jean stores. It is also opposite Ci city Walk or something named very similar to that.
After a wander round and the futile search for beer in the area, we retired for the night as we had an early start the next morning.

Breakfast at the hotel was good and feeling full we bundled into the car and headed north into Lembang and towards the nearest volcano, Tangkuban Perahu. The trip into the hills and mountains of Java was simply beautiful and watching the morning sun burning the clouds off the mountains and from the valleys was lovely. The air was cool and fresh, which is lovely considering the filth I breathe in daily and the traffic very light.
The cost to go into the volcanic area was 70,000 idr for a car and 4 people and because I had my kitas I paid the same as the locals which was nice.

The views from the volcano into the steamjng crater were great and looking into Java even better, I could have stayed there all day. From there we went to the far too touristy place of Ciater for the hot springs. It was a nice place but too touristy for me although the hot water was good to be in.

The afternoon was spent in Paris van Java the largest mall in the city and it was fairly nice as the majority of the stores are underground and there were a lot of stores. They also have pizza e birra with good food and lots of cold cold beer which was needed.

We spent eating close to the hotel and we got some beers to take away from a restaurant.  Bandung recently outlawed the selling of alcohol from stores, shops,restaurants etc. And only fully licensed places can sell it. Thix was annoying because the last time I was there it was easy to get some.

Returning to the hotel room, we were presented with a cake by the hotel to wish me happy birthday which was a great thing and cheered me up no end.
It was a good weekend away from the city although I dont think I will return due to the traffic and lack of beer on sell. I am not an alcoholic but I do enjoy a bottle or 2 and being unable to find it was rather a shock, however I will return to Java when I can as that is just beautiful.

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