Jane F.

 Articles by this Author

Jakarta - The Capital of Indonesia

Jakarta, the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia is a city of Contradictions; Mansions and chalets stand together, beggars, guides, hawkers hover outside the gleaming offices on the main road, the wealthy and the starving, the pious and the practical, the conventional and contemporary all co-exist in perfect harmony like the well oiled machinery of one of the many metro minis that adorn the road, all prevailing together in this hustling metropolitan. The diversity extends to the Javanese people as well where a variety of diverse ethnic and cultural groups have come together over a period of thousands of years to stain the country in the rich colors of their individual heritage.

Belgrade - the White Fortress

Belgrade is an award winning city. Literally. It has been awarded the Legion of Honor, the War Cross, Karadorde's Star with Swords, and the Order of National Hero. It is a mosaic built by centuries of overlapping civilizations. It is the capital and the largest city of Serbia, and is situated in South-Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It lies at the point where the river Sava merges into the Danube.

The Earthy Tones of Siena

Art students would recognize this city instantly by the earthy color pigment that they use. Burnt sienna comes from clay from this region and can be seen in old stone buildings of the city. Siena in the region of Tuscany, Italy is surrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti. Nestled among three hills, the city is connected by winding alleyways and steep steps. Famed for the Palio, it is also home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe. The city is a tourist haven and a market for the wine and marble produced in the area.

Siena is said to be founded as early as the third century B.C., when the Etruscans founded what the Romans called Saena, a small castle at the top of the highest hill in town, now called ‘Castelvecchio’. Legend says that twins Senio and Ascanio, fed by a she-wolf, founded the city and named it in honor of Senio, favorite of the gods.

Sardinia - The Playground of the Rich and Famous

Sardinia is often regarded as the playground of the rich due to the location of the famous glamorous beaches of Costa Smeralda on the island of Sardinia which are populated by the world’s jet set during the summer months of July and August. However, there is much more that this island offers to a tourist other than gorgeous beaches and turquoise waters. Sardinia is the second largest in the Mediterranean. The novelist D.H. Lawrence visited this wild and wonderful island in 1912 and remarked that Sardinia is lost between Africa and Europe and belongs to none. He was inspired by the rugged landscape and the island’s 1800 kilometer coastline to write his novel ‘the Sea and Sardinia.

Bandung - Cool Weather and Factory Outlets

Bandung, located in Indonesia is the capital of the West Java province and is located 180 kms to the south east of the Jakarta the capital of Indonesia. The ‘City of Flowers’ as Bandung is often referred to is a popular weekend get away for the residents of Jakarta who come here to shop at the numerous factory outlet shops that dot the city and enjoy the relatively cooler weather of Bandung. Bandung is located at an elevation of 768 meters above sea level on a plateau in the Parahayangan Mountains. The terrain of Bandung is volcanic in nature and it has in its northern part an active volcano called Tangkuban Perahu Volcano. The city of Bandung is situated in the center of the Bandung Basin which is located on an ancient volcano called Mount Sunda. The basin has the Citarum River flowing through it with one of its tributaries the Cikapundung running through Bandung and dividing the city into north and south. The fertile soil created by volcanic activity in the northern part of the city as well as alluvial deposits of the river in the south eastern part of the city have made the area around Bandung suitable for the cultivation of tea, coffee, tobacco, rice and other tropical fruit.

Bali - A Hindu Enclave in Muslim Indonesia

Bali is a gorgeous island with azure seas, white sand beaches, teaming jungles and volcanic peaks in Indonesia. It is located east of the island of Java and west of the island of Lombok. This island paradise has recently been a target of the Al Qaeda network through its local arm the Jemaah Islamiah. The attack in October 2002 at Paddy’s Bar and the disco Sari Club at Kuta beach paralyzed the burgeoning tourist industry in Bali. Barely had the island recovered from these devastating attacks when there were more attacks in October 2005. The victims in both these attacks were Indonesians themselves as well as foreigners. The majority of the victims were Australian tourists who flock to Bali due to its close proximity and its excellent surfing facilities. Though travel warnings continue to be issued by many governments this Island which is famous for its always smiling gentle inhabitants continues to attract visitors in droves. Bali has something for all, the back packer, the surfer, the spa lover as well as the well heeled isolation seeker.