Our second stop in Ambarawa was the Railway Museum. Built in 1873, it’s one of the only places in the world that still has an operational steam engine. The train now is just for tourists and runs a short, nine kilometer track to the next town and back. We had hoped to take a little ride, but we visited on Saturday not knowing that Sunday is the only day the train runs.
The museum has a long hall that lists historical facts about the railway in Indonesia with plenty of photos of past presidents and dignitaries on trains. There is also, of course, an abundance of vintage trains to play on and cabooses for posing.
Our friend Clark who works with us and also lives in our building joined us for the trip. He and Joel were nice enough to pose for me on the scales.
This family asked Clark if he would be in their photo and he happily obliged. One of the little girls started to cry and the man said, “She’s just crying because your nose is too pointy.” We got a good laugh out of that one.
We were also traveling with our friends Rene and Patricia who also happen to live in our building. Patricia’s mother and son Raymond live in Ambarawa and they met us at the Railway Museum. Patricia was the one who organized our tour at the prison and saved us with her Indonesian when the security guard attempted to turn us away. We were lucky to be able to travel with someone so much knowledge of the area!
As I mentioned before we were told that they only offer rides on Sundays, so we were a little surprised that we saw one of the trains out for a spin after we left. With the age of the steam engines, I assume it takes some time to get them oiled up for service and they probably need a dry run without the pressure of passengers.
On the way out we saw this petite, smiley woman selling jamu- Indonesian traditional medicine. I tried jamu once before and apparently my Indonesian palette isn’t mature enough to enjoy the ground herb concoction . I wasn’t in the market for any jamu, but the woman was nice enough to let me snap a quick portrait regardless.