I am a lucky girl. But ssshhh don’t tell anyone I admitted it.
You see, when we were in Malang, Indonesia we stayed in this beautiful hotel, the Tugu Malang Hotel. It was part museum, part resort. In the Lonely Planet guide for Indonesia it is actually listed as one of the sights in Malang. A truly beautiful hotel, each of the rooms is decked out in antiques that are from the owner’s collection. It’s rich, elegant and decadent. Opulent is a fitting adjective in this instance. It groans beneath the weight of its treasures, about to burst at the seams.
At the main road entrance to the restaurant is a lovely little store. Glass cabinets flank an antique cash register; little gems of prettiness nestle on red velvet, twinkling invitingly at you. And then, as I ran my finger over the keys of the cash register, they caught my eye. Jet black, bold, symmetrical, unique. I longed for them. But we were on holidays, surviving on a budget and I realised – sometimes you don’t get what you want.
|The antique cash register|
Sometimes... However, when I graduated from university earlier this year M presented me with a gift - the jet black, symmetrical, unique, blocky lava stone jewellery I had coveted in Malang. He had picked them up while I got a massage one day, smuggled them in to our luggage and then kept it secret. See what I mean about being a lucky girl?
|The lava rock jewellery|
They are so eye-catching, so original, so different. Indonesia is a particularly volcanic area, if you didn’t know already. The stone in this jewellery comes from Mount Bromo, the volcanic region located a few hours outside of Malang.
Mount Bromo is in fact one of three volcanoes that make up a super volcano in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, the others being Mount Batok (which is dormant) and Mount Semaru (which is particularly active and dangerous). The three volcanoes sit in the crater of another ancient and extinct volcano. It’s supposedly beautiful to watch the sun rise from a nearby lookout, and I’m sure it would be, but we missed out when we were there, waking at 3:30am only to be greeted by mist, sleet, wind and other miserableness. But we battled on.
From the lookout you can take a jeep to Mount Bromo, where you trek across the sand sea to the volcano, climb a couple hundred stairs up the side and then look deep in to the smoking crater. Yep, it’s pretty spectacular. A desolate and bleak landscape, kilometre after kilometre of sand travelling into the distance interminably, only broken by the graceful curve of a volcano and the lone Hindu temple, which exists like an lost island.
|Local man offering horse rides across the sand sea|
Absolutely breathtaking. And now I have a small piece of it, a simple little treasure, to wear that will ensure that I will always remember.