|Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia with 3 million people. It is known as the city of heroes because it was home to many of the nations fiercest independence fighters.
Today it is a very bustling, but rundown city. There are signs of its former glory in some of the Dutch Colonial style buildings. As one guide book said if Indonesia was a rich country “the old town would have been renovated into fashionable real estate”.
We started our day with a taxi ride to the House of Sampoerna, a clove cigarette factory. Clove cigarettes are very popular all over Indonesia We had a very nice young lady show us around the museum part and then upstairs to overlook the factory floor. There are over 2000 workers in a couple of buildings. The cigarettes are all made by hand
and the workers are paid on production. The whole area around the factory smells of cloves.
From there we walked to the Old Town. On the way we crossed the bridge where a British Brigadier was killed in the fight for independence. We wandered the streets towards the Mesjid Ampel, the most sacred mosque in Surabaya. The people were praying there so we could not go in. The mosque was surrounded by narrow alleyways forming a bazaar. There was also a covered souk with everything imaginable for sale.
After a few hours of wandering with our new English friends we decided to take a taxi back to the ship –
Taxis are metered and very cheap.
We are enjoying a nice quiet sea day with trivia and various other distractions to keep us occupied.
We have an overnight in Singapore and then set sail for the next part of the adventure.