Photographer's Note

Borobudur is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments of the world compared only with Ankor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar. It is located in the region of Central Java (the heart of Javanese culture) close to the most active volcano of the island, Mount Merapi and the badly "injured" by the last lethal earthquake, city of Yogyakarta. Borobudur has survived through the ages from the ashes of Merapi and so it did (with minor damages) from the last disaster.
In the walls of the eight levels of the gigantic stupa you can see 1460 richly decorated narrative pannels that that tell us the story of the life of Buddha and another 1212 decorative ones. You can also see 432 statues of Buddha in different positions.

*This photo was taken two days before the earthquake. It was a day with bad weather (lots of rain and heavy clouds) and I thought it was a lost day for photography until the sun appeared just before sunset at the hour that the monument was closing. This photo was take while two men of the security were "chasing" me.

**The day of the earthquake "found" me at 05:55 in the 8th floor of a hotel in Solo (Surakarta) around 80 km from the epicentre. At first i went to the window to see if Merapi had exploaded. After 30-40 seconds i started thinking "Hey man, how long is it going to last?". It lasted around 2 minutes. Given that we Greeks are pretty used to earthquakes, and seing that the Indonesias had remainded calm, i thought it was something very common. After one hour I checked out from the hotel as it was scheduled, went by car to Semarang (escorted by Mr. Adi, chief of tourism for the Central Java government), where i took the plain to Bandung (capital of West Java). There it was (around 6 hours later) that I realized the size of the disaster. I called to Mr. Adi and he told me that his mother's house had collapsed, but she was allright. While he was with me, he showed no sign of alarm.

I would like to express my sympathy to all Indonesians and my condolences to all those who lost their loved ones.

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Additional Photos by Hercules Milas (Cretense) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5327 W: 74 N: 16998] (68709)
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