Archive for April 11th, 2020

April 11, 2020

My hotels in Indonesia!

So will need to tell you about my hotels experiences in Indonesia, basically Jakarta and Surabaya, my bases. Is it mundane to talk about hotels? Well, we tend to visit places and like to bring back memories of the things we see and do but hardly or briefly mentioned our hotels/lodgings! I like to bring back memories of my trips to Indonesia to talk about my hotels there. There are many posts on the country and its monuments and places to it even airports! Hope you enjoy it

First, let me give you Surabaya, a lot written on it in my previous posts; so here is the hotel always the same here.

There was always a shuttle to my home base hotel , in Surabaya , the usual have come here Somerset Hotel and Résidences, great place where by now many in front desk know me! Very centrally located and restaurant lane just a few blocks on foot from it. It is well located off the main highway for in and out quick which helps in traffic flooded Indonesia. The hotel is now under new owners and is call the Verwood Hotel & Serviced Residence.   There is a new Somerset to open in 2020 the Samator. Still located at  Jalan Raya Kupang Indah, Surabaya East Java.



It is a huge property with all the trimmings, and always book here, easy walking to a street of many restaurants and right near the main road taking me to my assignment. This hotel features a restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a bar/lounge. Good for family and enjoy the children’s pool, playground, and arcade/game room. Enjoy the fitness center and perks like free self parking and a free area shuttle. Free WiFi, LED TVs with cable channels on the 467 soundproofed guestrooms with 24-hour room service. Other amenities include coffee/tea makers and free bottled water. Superbe always for several years.


The Verwood hotel webpage on it is here in English: Verwood Hotel and Serviced Residence Surabaya

And now in Jakarta there are several hotels.

The  Hotel Santika Taman Mini Indonesia Indah at  Jl. Pintu 1, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, is connected to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII),(see post) one of Jakarta’s most popular amusement parks. Featuring a “miniature Indonesia,” the park showcases the rich cultural and natural diversity of this spectacular country. Located on the ground floor, Krakatau Restaurant offers the best in international, oriental and indonesian cuisine. Available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the Jali-Jali Lounge is open 24-hours a day. The plus was to walk across the street to the wonderful park as above.


The Hotel Santika offers an outdoor pool, 2 dining options, free Wi-Fi and free parking, and modern rooms with a flat-screen TV. The rooms are tastefully decorated, elegant interiors, wooden floors, a safe, tea and coffee facilities and a bathroom with a hot shower. The hotel offers a gym, a business center, a 24-hour reception and a concierge service.  Hotel Santika Taman Mini Indonesia Indah is a 20-minute drive from Cilandak Town Square’s dining and shopping mall, and 1.5 hours from Soekarno Hatta International Airport. 


The official Hotel Santika Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in English: My Santika on Hotel Santika Jakarta

Here, again I stayed at my most used hotel the Grand Kemang Hotel right in the entertainment center of Jakarta. You really don’t need a car staying here as all shopping, restos, bars to boot are walking distances. It has a wonderful Sparca restaurant. I must say for lodging was my best experience in Indonesia. Location is at Jl. Kemang Raya 2H Kebayoran Baru, Kemang.


The strategic position of the hotel, just 1 km from the city center, allows guests to easily and quickly reach many tourist sites. With the city’s main attractions including Kemang Street, Kemang Village, Wijaya Golf Course close to the property, guests will love this location. the establishment offers, among other things, 24-hour room service, free WiFi in all rooms, 24-hour reception, WiFi in public areas, valet parking. The hotel rooms have been furnished to the highest standards of comfort and ergonomics and some include the following amenities: flat screen TV, additional bathroom, additional WC, free instant coffee, free tea. The hotel offers an excellent variety of leisure facilities, including outdoor swimming pool, garden.


 Painting and art installations will spoil the eyes of visitors on various sides of the hotel. Now for the rooms, there are 203 in total. Some of them are the Junior Suite Room with an area of 48 m2 and an Executive Suite Room covering an area of 47m2 . Junior Suite Room in a spacious room, there is a bathroom with TV, minibar, refrigerator, sofas and tables for relaxing, dining together or talking with relatives. Meanwhile, to enjoy food and drinks, there is Sperta with a la carte menu and buffet, Sparca lounge, courtyard by the pool with Vibar. Great souvenirs and would love to come back here!

The official Grand Kemang Hotel in English: Grand Kemang Hotel Jakarta

The Amaroossa Cosmo Hotel was right in front of an overpass highway along the whole front even if told is in the chic district of Cilandak. My first sampler was at  the hotel Andromeda Cafe, ok with a nice mini garden in the back but again that wall of highway, the other was the Bell Lounge but it was dull no action nobody there lol!!! Not a pleasant experience even if quiet and friendly staff. It is located at Jalan Pangeran Antasari No. 9 a-b, Cilandak, Cipete Selatan, Jakarta.


You have   98 guest rooms, all of which are decorated and designed to give you the right to enjoy the most important things offered by all major hotels: the perfect place for you to rest, relax in fantastic comfort where all the needs will be fulfilled and pampered. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, LCD TV, kitchen, living room, safe, hair dryer, telephone and mini-bar. Internet network can also be accessed free of charge in all areas of the hotel. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and restaurant to support your activities while in the hotel. You will also find other facilities such as laundry, free parking. You can drive about 20 minutes to Cilandak Town Square mall, while a trip to Soekarno Hatta International Airport takes 60 minutes from the hotel.

The Amaroossa Cosmo Hotel webpage in English: The Amaroossa Cosmo Hotel Jakarta

And my very last hotel in Jakarta and Indonesia was the Swiss Belinn Hotel Simantupang. And twice to boot on same trip with an incursion to Surabaya and back to Jakarta.  The first round was for five nights and then there is one night before heading back home. Both times at a new hotel experience, the Swiss Belinn Hotel Simantupang, was a great experience even if the breakfast choices were few to me. The rooms were great, modern clean and spacious, and the location was good.  It is located at Jalan R.A Kartini 32, Lebak Bulus, Cilandak, Lebak Bulus, Jakarta.


In the city center, Swiss-Belinn Simatupang at about a 40-minute drive from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, and located in the vibrant Simatupang area of Jakarta. The popular Pondok Indah Golf and Country Club and Pondok Indah Mall are both reachable within 7 minutes’ drive from the property. Gandaria City Mall is a 15-minute drive away. The hotel’s 159 comfortable and stylish rooms in 20 floors feature dedicated workspace, sitting area and floor-to-ceiling windows with city views. In-room amenities include air conditioning, LCD TV, IDD telephone, personal safe, desk, refrigerator and complimentary Wi-Fi access. For a luxurious, guests can choose to stay in the hotel’s opulent suites.


After a hectic day of sightseeing, guests can relax in the hot tub or feel refreshed with a dip in the outdoor pool. The concierge staff assists with ticket bookings and restaurant reservations. Other than this, it also offers luggage storage, parking, laundry and free Wi-Fi access. A hearty local meal can be enjoyed in the elegant setting of the in-house restaurant, Barelo. It also serves a wide range of international delicacies, and lip-smacking Indian food.

The anecdote was that driving back we got hit with a huge Jakarta traffic jam that in several years coming there never encounter. We decided to walk once saw the hotel on the distance from the road! and got to it first than our driver !! Always funny to tell the story!

The Swiss-Belinn Simatupang Hotel webpage in English: Swiss-Belinn Simatupang Jakarta

And voilà my hotel experience in exotic Indonesia. Plenty of good memories and still good friends, looking forward for another opportunity to be back. For now enjoy the Hotels of Indonesia. Hope you enjoy and can use the information.

And of course, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 11, 2020

Cuenca, the transports!!!

Never a minute without forgetting my Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha, Kingdom of Spain especially at the moment i write this post and the world events. We have many many memorable souvenirs of our trips there, we intend to continue the tradition of going by there in the future.

I have written many posts on Cuenca and the region and the country of course. However, even if i used the car most of the time, we do take public transports. Of course, we do , we live in Europe! And Cuenca was no difference, we took the bus!!! and it was another great souvenir. Let me tell you a bit more about the transports at Cuenca

Indeed ,the fastest way to get to Cuenca is by train, especially since the inauguration of the Madrid-Levante AVE line in 2010. Originating in Madrid, the AVE departs from Atocha station and takes just under an hour to reach Cuenca. Those trains also pass through Albacete, before reaching Valencia or Alicante. From Valencia the trip to Cuenca takes just under an hour. For its part, from Alicante it takes about an hour and a half.

The Cuenca AVE Train Station is located on the outskirts; by Avenida Cerro de Estrellas s/n going out towards the N420 direction Mota del Cuervo  at about 5 kms or 3 miles; to get to the city center you can use line 1 of the urban buses.


The main bus terminal at calle Fermin Caballero is in city center near the train station adif (normal trains not AVE) with buses to many cities including Toledo and Madrid! This city train station is at Calle Mariano Catalina 10 . The city of Cuenca on the bus terminal here (see line 1 and 2 as they pass by trains stations) City of Cuenca on the bus terminal and lines

Other bus companies that have lines from Madrid bus station call Madrid Sur, also knonw as Méndez Álvaro station to Cuenca are Avanzabus and Aisa, their links here:

Avanzabus: Avanzabus Madrid to Cuenca

AISA: AISA Madrid to Cuenca


The Cuenca-Fernando Zóbel AVE station is a high-speed train station on the outskirts of the city of Cuenca, administered by Adif, and inaugurated with the inaugural trip of the Madrid-Cuenca-Albacete high-speed line that entered service with the inauguration of the Madrid-Cuenca-Albacete / Valencia section of the Madrid / Castilla-La Mancha / Valencian Community / Region of Murcia high-speed line on December 18 from 2010.

The AVE Fernando Zobel station is here: Official ADIF AVE train station


ADIF provides rail service to the city along with the Cuenca station, located in the center of the city, and in which the Iberian gauge trains serve, connecting Cuenca with the towns of the province, towns of the East of Toledo, towns in the province of Valencia and the city of Valencia itself to the North Station. On the southeast façade of the station, with an area of 5,400 m², is the area made up of a public space plaza, the waiting stand for taxis and the docks for buses and for buses. Line 1 of the Cuenca urban bus connects the station with the city center.

The City of Cuenca regular train station here: Official ADIF city train station Cuenca


The Cuenca train station is located in the heart of the city. It exclusively offers medium-distance services, both stations AVE and City, are connected by line 12 of the urban bus, so if you want to travel from one to the other you should have no problem. Thus, it is possible to reach it from Madrid in 3 hours thanks to the regional train, with a daily frequency of 5 trains in both directions. To get to the historic center of the city, the main urban bus lines are 1 and 2. From the central station you can easily walk to Cuenca’s old town, bus line 1, with a stop in front of the station, which will take you will take the Plaza Mayor in half an hour

The Urban bus lines of Cuenca are here: Cuenca Urban Bus lines

Now our experience has been with Line 1 as this one takes you from the old town Plaza Mayor on a nice circular ride thru the city and into the two train stations and the bus terminal.  The ride is very nice clean buses , friendly service and very cheap 1.20€ for single ride! The Calle Alfonso VIII is very nice with an underground tunnel ,Puente de la  Trinidad bridge, the Plaza de la Constitucion, to reach the bus station Fermin Caballero! from here you thru some residential area towards the AVE train station outside city limits, and you come back into the city passing by the train/bus station again ; the Calle Colon has nice buildings to marvel at the architecture of yesteryear, the picturesque Plaza de la Trinidad , and the Calle San Juan takes you nearby the park Huécar back into Calle Alfonso VIII which is hilly taking you back to Plaza Mayor. A very nice ride who needs the tourist bus lol! the schedule of line 1 is here: Cuenca Urban bus on line 1


my sons

We ,also took Line 2 for shopping on city outskirts at Centro Comercial El Mirador. This is a circular line too, and takes you from the parking of the old castle , passing under the Arco de Bezudo (an arch ,marking limits of city) the old ruin castle passing by Plaza Mayor, and you get to see the main artery Avenida Castilla La Mancha, and the Plaza de Toros (bullfight arena) another big artery with govt building is the Avenida Reyes Catolicos and later the centro comercial El Mirador shopping center , and you can continue the ride passing pretty much the same streets as above and on Line 1 back to the parking for the old castle. The schedule for line 2 is here: Cuenca Urban Bus line 2


my wife RIP and boys

The Centro Comercial El Mirador we went to check out Carrefour for groceries for our rental house and had a beer at Cerveceria 100 Montaditos . The webpage for the shopping center is here: Centro comercial El Mirador Cuenca

A lovely town Unesco World Heritage Site and recommended for a visit. Of course, for its size the public transports are tops, for a escapade from Madrid not even need a car and that is major from me. Hope you enjoy the transports of Cuenca, in Castilla La Mancha, Kingdom of my Spain. 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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April 11, 2020

The Bitburger beer at Bitburg of course!

Yes I am staying in Germany and specifically in Bitburg a bit north of Trier and further north from our home base in Konz-Oberemmel. The festival of wine there also had a round stand serving the bitburg beer and we like it too. Therefore, I look up the location and saw that was not far from our base and you know it the road warrior put the pedal to the metal and got there.

Here is a bit on the story of the Bitburg brewery and some photos of our memorable visit with an anecdote. The text below is mostly from translated German text with google lol!! Our trip to the brewery turn out the only tour was in German! so heck we were there for the beer so had to skip the history as do not speak German ok: Anyway it is still a memorable visit trip of our family and this language incidence! Hoping it gives you the full story and do come and visit, even in German !!!


Bitburger Brauerei Th. Simon GmbH or Bitburger Holding is base in Bitburg. The company’s flagship brand is Bitburger, a low-fermentation German lager (pils) brewed in Bitburg since 1817. The founder was Johann Peter Wallenborn and still is a family run private company as well as been one of Germany’s best known beer brand.


The history is as follows, and I like it.

In 1877, the brewery’s annual output was also more than 1,000 hectoliters for the first time. In 1879 the “art winery” was completed, in which the beer could be cooled with natural ice all year round. The sales area expanded with the first railway line in the region, which was opened between Trier and Cologne. Since it was then possible to brew bottom-fermented beer, the production of the top-fermented beer was discontinued because it had poor transport stability. In 1880, the Bitburger beer was also bottled for the first time and sealed with corks. In 1893, the world exhibition took place in Chicago, at which Bitburger was also represented. The brewery first produced a beer based on the Pilsen brewing method in 1883.

In 1907 Theobald Simons sons Josef and Bertrand became partners of the brewery. Two years later, the first deep well on the grounds of the Bitburger brewery was put into operation since then, the water required for brewing has been obtained from the “Triasmulde” below the city. When the railway between Erdorf and Bitburg opened in 1910, the brewery was able to expand its sales. The first truck was purchased in 1914.

A judgment of the Reichsgericht in 1913 allowed the brewery to offer the Pils under the name “Original-Simonbräu-Deutsch-Pilsener”. Due to the judgment of the Reichsgericht at that time, the term Pils was permitted in Germany as a denomination. It wasn’t until 1919 that the brewery was able to brew a full-fledged Pilsener according to a well-known recipe and start production again since the outbreak of  WWI. In 1921, a brewery laboratory was set up to test the beer for quality and durability.In order to further improve the clarification of the beer, Bertrand Simon developed the so-called “Simon-Späner” in 1928, with which the maturing beer was clarified with the help of metal shavings.  With Theobald Simon, Hanns Simon and Bert Simon, the three sons of Bertrand Simon, the fifth generation finally took over the family business in 1935. Large parts of Bitburg and the brewery were destroyed during  WWII, especially in 1944. In 1945, after the cooling system was repaired, the first brew of thin beer was prepared. Four years later, the bottles were closed with a crown cap for the first time.

This was followed in the early 1950s by the introduction of the well-known 0.33 liter Steinie reusable bottle. In 2002, the Bitburg brewing group registered the term STUBBI for the bottle shape name as a word mark. In 1958 a new brewhouse was built in the same place where Johann Peter Wallenborn founded his home brewery in 1817. In 1975 the management passed to the sixth generation of the family. At the end of the 1980s, the Schultheis brewery in Weißenthurm and the associated Coblenzer cloister brewery in Koblenz-Metternich were taken over. Both companies were continued for some time and then abandoned. Only the Kandi-Malz brand from the Schultheiss brewery has survived to this day. In 1990 an in-house experimental brewery was founded, which to this day tests new systems and processes, examines raw materials and develops and tests products. This experimental brewery is known today as Craftwerk Brewing. With the introduction of new varieties such as “Drive” or Bitburger non-alcoholic in 2004) and “Light” 1992, Bitburger became an umbrella brand. From this point on, the Bitburger brewery became Germany’s most popular draft beer brand.

In May 2005, with the launch of the “Bit Sun” product, the brand portfolio was expanded to include the “Bit” umbrella brand and an additional cyclist was introduced. In 2006 the range was expanded again with “Bit Passion”, followed in 2007 by “Bit Copa” a mixed beer drink with the taste of lime and cachaça. In addition, the “Kandi Malt” soft drink is produced. In 2010 followed with “Bitburger Cola” and “Bitburger Radler” other beer mix drinks. Both are mixed drinks that remained in the range. Three years later there was the second new edition of the alcohol-free line and two other alcohol-free products. The alcohol-free product range was further expanded by the introduction of the “Bitburger barrel shower”. 2017 was the company’s 200th anniversary. On this occasion, the limited anniversary beer “Bitburger 1817” was sold.

The brewery is in Bitburg at the locations Bitburg-North now administration and Bitburg-South the brewery with a total area of around 232,000 m², as well as five own wells with a depth of up to 300 meters and a total capacity of up to 800 m³ per hour. The brewery has a total output of around four million hectoliters of beer. There are about 900 representations in Germany and abroad. Bitburger is now sold in 60 countries and sold in around 50,000 restaurants. The main export regions are Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA.


Some webpages to help you enjoy your visit here are

Official Bitburger beers site in English: Official Bitburger beers

Tourist office of Eifel Bitburg area on the brewery in English: Tourist office Eifel Bitburg on the brewery

Tourist office of Trier and Luxembourg region on the brewery in English: Lux Trier tourist office on Bitburger beer

There you go a nice introduction to German beers which luckily we can get here now! Hope you enjoy the tour and the beers ::) Bitburger was a trip and a memorable souvenir for my family

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 11, 2020

The Roman bridge at Trier!

Well here is a perfect example of what I am talking about; so much to see and so slow to write! I have been to Trier several times over the years and written many posts on the city but amazing left this unique architectural and historical gem hidden! Of course, Trier is the oldest city in Germany!

And they do have a Roman bridge! Let me tell you a bit more on it.

There is a stone Roman bridge built in 45 AD replacing an older wooden one and still the oldest bridge in Germany still working.  The Roman bridge also, call the Moselle bridge because it goes over the Moselle river in Trier is the oldest bridge in Germany as well. The oldest stilts dates from the 2C AC.


The existence of a first wooden Roman bridge over the Moselle is attested from 17 BC. It was a bridge on stilts. The first masonry bridge was built in 45 AC, a little downstream from the current location of the bridge. The upper end of the piles founding the piers is still visible at low water. The piers of the current stone bridge were laid between 144 and 152 AC. The new Roman bridge is the third erected at this location since the city’s foundation.

The piles, made of basalt blocks and blue stone, could be founded on the bottom of the river thanks to a cofferdam made of caulked sheet piles. The stacks have upstream spouts to better divide the water streams during floods and the ice during breakups. In Roman times, these massive piers supported only a simple frame in reinforced frame with tie rods, each span functioning in a way like a crutch bridge. This bridge could properly take the weight of a pavement 10 meters wide. Since, in normal times, this causeway overlooked the Moselle river by some 14 meters, it was not necessary to fold up the masts of downstream boats. Upstream of the bridge, the boats had to be restrained by hauling cables because of the strength of the current.

The bridge was mined in 1689 by the French army, but the vaults were rebuilt in 1716-1718. It was on this occasion that a crucifix and a statue of Saint Nicholas were erected on the fifth pile from the west. The western gate of the bridge was dismantled in 1806, then the eastern gate in 1869. The bridge was widened in 1931 and now includes a cantilevered pedestrian crossing. It was by this bridge, which remained intact, that on the morning of March 2, 1945 the Americans were able to reach the western districts of Trier. For some unspecified reason, the Nazis had given up blowing up this bridge.

Here is the tourist office of Trier on the Roman bridge in English: Tourist office of Trier on the Roman bridge

A nice ending indeed and so well that we enjoy it today , an architecturally and historical Roman bridge gem right in the same oldest city of Germany, Trier! Hope you have enjoy the story.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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