Walking has been the usual way for me to get oriented with a new place. It gives me a better perspective on a place and familiarize myself with the landmarks near the place where I am staying. It’s also a great way to take a glimpse of the local’s everyday life. Like for Solo (or Surakarta), this city unraveled its unique character by seeing it on foot along the paved pedestrian walk of Jl Slamet Riyadi. The low-rise buildings, the less touristy crowd, a sit-back and relax atmosphere, amiable people and great showing of Javanese culture. After setting down my baggage at Cakra Homestay, I went out for an afternoon walk along Solo’s main avenue.
Jl Slamet Riyadi Creative Vibe
After a satisfying “Nasi Goreng” lunch at Kusuma Sari found on the corner-side, my first priority was to get a physical map I could bring around. I found out the Tourism Office was on the west end stretch of the main Jl Slamet Riyadi avenue so I decided to walk the stretch.
First thing I noticed while walking were some colorful graffiti on some buildings. It’s not as many as the ones in Yogyakarta but they look nice making the city more vibrant.
Easy Going and Amiable People
Among the passing bikes, public becak (pedicabs) and a few vehicles, I didn’t seem to notice a lot of people in a hurry. Many seem to like to socialize by the street-side eateries enjoying casual conversation over food. Most of the eateries only have some floor mats where diners would sit down for the snack. Some locals there even didn’t mind having their photos taken. They would even pose too.
The people at the Tourism Office just before the mall were very accommodating. They gave very good suggestions on where I should go during my few days stay. I walked back towards the east side of the road. Dropping by first at Danar Hadi Batik Museum which took me about an hour to tour.
Culinary Night Market
It was already late afternoon so I decided to go further to what they call the Culinary Night Market for dinner. It has a row of stalls selling a variety of meals. One I fancied had some quail eggs and mushrooms to grill. It was cheap, delicious and the place has a very cool atmosphere.
It was a pleasurable afternoon walk. I think a lot of city attractions in Solo are walkable if one is in the mood for it.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.