Look Down!

Wherever you go in Japan, you'll find these so-called manhole, and the cover made in cast iron are different in each area. Each region has its own beautiful design, some are even painted and have name! So whenever you visit Japan, don't forget to look down, because there's beauty below!


Last Days of Snow

Really cold drinks!
Last days of the frozen freeze...
farewell freezing frost!

Sapporo Once Again

Snow falls in Sapporo, and in the middle of the red district -which happens also the downtown- stands proud this old charming building that I've seen since the first day I arrived. I don't know what it is, and I only had a few minutes to take some snaps before people start offering me some photos of (pardon me) naked women. So here you are, some photos left of my trip to Japan. I posted these  to celebrate the spring that is coming, and the coming 15,000 hits of this blog (thank you! yes, thanks to you!)

I also saying farewell to picnik.com that soon moves to google+. It's been coloring my world during my first years of photography.. thank you picnik, I can't wait to see what's going to happen once you join google+. To give homage to it, I edited these photos once again, for the last time, using picnik.com


The Katangka Old Mosque - Gowa

The second oldest mosque in Indonesia, Al-Hilal (Katangka)  Mosque was build around 1603, during the reign of King Alauddin, the 1st moslem king of Gowa. Small it may seems, but its wall is 120cms thick, and it is actually the palatial mosque on its heyday.

Named after a giant tree that grown on that site before the mosque was built, it is believe that the remained easel of the mosque was made of that very katangka tree. There's not much info about this mosque, but once you get there, you can still feel the grandeur of this small mosque.

further story about the mosque, click here.

The Royal Cemetery

Still in the Gowa regency, I passed the Gowa Royal cemetery and decided to drop by. The tombs I visited was the oldest ones, including the tomb of national hero, the King that people of South Sulawesi really proud of, King Hasanuddin of Gowa. 

here lies the king that reign only for 20days.
he was crowned to replace his deceased brother,
and 20days later he had to go for war against Dutch
and died there
 The structures of the tombs are very unique. Some were built like a mausoleum but with a very low ceiling and door ( called Kobbang ), where inside laid the real tomb, in a very modest form. Some other tombs were built very high, it almost looks like a temple, with gravestones on top ( called Jirret Semu ).

on the left was the tomb of King Alauddin who brought Islam to Sulawesi
and on the right is the tomb of King Hasanuddin
who dedicated his life against Dutch and VOC

The tomb of King Hasanuddin, the XVI King of Gowa,
nicked Haanstjes van Het Oosten - Rooster from The East,
reigned as
Mallombasi Daeng Mattawang Karaeng Bontomangape Mohammad Bakir Tumenanga Ribulla Pangkaw
( 1629-1670 )

tomb of the XVIII King of Gowa, son of King Hasanuddin

Kingdom of Gowa

A humble place to be so-called a palace, Balla Lompoa is the perfect name for this building, that means big house. It's truly reflected the wisdom of the king and its people. 
Gowa is now a regency in South Sulawesi, and the palace complex is located around 15 kms from Makassar, in Sungguminasa.

The banquet hall
On the entrance stair, the roof was made so low it forces people to bow before they enter the Balla Lompoa. This is a message  that we must put ourself lower than others, and put a high respect to them.
Built relatively new circa 1930 using entirely ironwood after the old one was destroyed by Dutch -VOC, Balla Lompoa was renovated in 1980 and turned into museum, displaying the remnants of the palace. And what caught my sight? The glittery gilded and golden treasure, of course!

Illuminated  and hand-written Koran, circa XIV AD

Salokoa ( crown)
 Salokoa, the crown for the coronation of King of Gowa, is made entirely of gold, weighed almost 2kgs and decorated with 250pcs of jewels, used since the 1st King of Gowa.


Fort Rotterdam Makassar

Went to the Fort Rotterdam - Makassar this morning. Clear sky,  and beautiful building. Awesome. Felt almost like in Santorini :-D
For an overview about Makassar, Wikipedia provide you a good story, here.