Aviation, North America Trip, Trip Report, USA, Vacation

#2065 – 2017 Year End Trip (Part VIII: KLM KL 602 LAX-AMS in World Business Class)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2017 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class


Flight: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL602
Equipment: Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL named “City of Lima”
ATD: 14:22 PST (Runway 25R of LAX)
ATA: 08:56 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

Tom Bradley International Terminal

I arrived quite early at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport, but thankfully KLM’s check-in desks were already open. It was not long before I checked my luggage in and was handed my boarding pass.

Tom Bradley International Terminal

After clearing security, I went to the Korean Air Lounge because I thought I was flying a SkyTeam airline and the Korean Air Lounge was the only SkyTeam lounge at TBIT. However, the lounge attendant told me that because I was flying KLM’s business class today, I was actually welcomed at the OneWorld Business Class Lounge. I was probably given this information at check-in but somehow I had missed it, haha.

The OneWorld Lounge at TBIT
The OneWorld Lounge at TBIT

Initially I thought this was strange because OneWorld was one of SkyTeam’s rivals, but as it turned out at TBIT the OneWorld Business Class Lounge was generally regarded to be better than the Korean Air Lounge. The lounge was indeed nice, with good food and drink selection; and it was spacious!

The Flight

My flight today would be with this KLM’s Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL named “City of Lima”

Today’s flight would be operated by a KLM’s Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL named “City of Lima”. Long story short, upon boarding the plane via door L1 (a door exclusively for business class and economy comfort passengers), I was asked to turn left. A flight attendant welcomed me on board and took my coat off to stow it in the closet. Yep, a closet to story my coat! In economy, oh, well … . I then settled easily onto my very comfortable seat 1A at the nose of the Queen of the Skies.

Home for the next 10 hours flight on board KLM’s Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL

The flight attendant then served the pre-departure drink service, which I went for a glass of champagne. Then the amenity kit was distributed, which consisted of an eye mask, an ear plug, a pair of sock, a toothbrush and toothpaste, all in a cool Jan Taminiau poach. Oh, and btw, the seat was equipped with a KLM branded noise-cancelling headphone which was really good!

The mandatory World Business Class selfie on board a KLM’s Boeing 747

It felt like boarding went quickly today (or that time just generally went much faster when flying business class, haha 😆 ). Anyway, then the door was closed and the pushback started. As we were taxiing to runway 25R, the safety demo was played. Speaking of the demo, it made me realize that the AVOD IFE onboard this Boeing 747-400 was still of the older generation, though, even in business class.

During the safety demo. Behind those blue doors was the closet.

We took off from runway 25R and then turned around northeast towards Amsterdam, flying over the city of Los Angeles. I could see Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles clearly from my windows (yep, plural, as I had three of them all for myself, lol 😆 ). Not long after take-off, a warm towel service started, followed by a snack service which consisted of a bowl of nuts and some drinks, which I asked for another champagne, haha 🙈 .

The post-takeoff snack and champagne service.

The one thing one needs not to worry when flying business class is the space. The seat was very spacious! On my way to the airport, I actually worried about where I would put my camera and iPhone as I was wearing a sweater with no pocket. Oh boy what a silly thought this was, lol 😆 . Seat 1A on board this KLM’s Boeing 747-400 was also awesome because it was a window AND aisle seat at the same time. My favorite kind of seat! The seat was also great because it was a flat bed seat, i.e. it could be turned fully horizontal! 😀

Seat 1A in full flat bed mode
The flat bed seat selfie

About an hour into the flight, the (fine) three-course dinner service started with the flight attendant putting a white tablecloth onto my seat’s tray. The choices for appetizer were barbeque smoked salmon with balsamic glace or creamy mushroom soup. I mean, obviously I chose the former! Haha 😆 . I decided to accompany it with another glass of champagne (and water) 🙈. And indeed it was very delicious and the quantity was definitely on the generous side for an appetizer!

Barbeque smoked salmon with balsamic glace as the appetizer

There were three choices for the main course: agnolotti pasta, chicken tikka masala, or beef stew Provençale. I opted for the beef stew. As for the drink, I asked for KLM’s signature cocktail The Flying Dutchman (I probably should have ordered it during the snack service but I forgot 😛 ), which was great, btw!

Beef Stew Provençale as the main course

Then the dessert followed, which choices were a cheese plate, an apricot tartlet, or an apple pie. I chose the tartlet which was yummy! The flight attendant recommended me to pair the tartlet with the Lillypilly dessert wine; and I was really glad I followed his recommendation because it was really good!!

Apricot tartlet, fresh fruit, and a dessert wine as the dessert

A chocolate and tea/coffee service followed the dinner. It was such a generous dinner service that I actually felt really full after it. I don’t think I had ever felt that full after a meal service on a plane before that, haha. Anyway, I watched the Battle of the Sexes during dinner. It was such a great movie about an actual historical event in tennis, where Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in 1973.

As it turned out we had flown for about 4.5 hours by the time I finished the dinner and the movie. Damn, it was already almost half way! And so I decided to flatten my seat, put on the eye mask and blanket (which was way much nicer and much more comfortable than in economy), and tried to sleep.

It had been four and a half hours, time flew!
Trying to get some sleep in business class

I was able to “sleep” for almost three hours. Well, I did not go into  “deep sleep” state but it was still quite good, haha. It might have something to do with the dry air on board a Boeing 747-400. No matter how cool the plane was, it was still a 26 year old plane (PH-BFL first flew in 1991). I have noticed that newer generation planes tend to be more comfortable in terms of humidity on board. Thankfully KLM provided face moisturizer in the business class lavatories, which helped a lot!

The World Business Class lavatory

About two hours before arrival, the cabin light was turned on and a warm towel service commenced. It was followed with a breakfast service with choices of sweet potato strata, apple pie strata, or yoghurt with granola. I chose the apple pie strata and accompanied it with warm croissant and hot roll, hard-boiled egg, fruit, and cheese and ham. Oh, and coffee too, of course. It was good!

The breakfast service

Breakfast was immediately followed with the service I had been waiting for from this flight. A service which tipped me over to choose to fly directly to Amsterdam with KLM’s business class instead of via Paris with Air France’s business class (with their Boeing 777-300ER of course, not their Airbus A380-800 with those outdated business class seats!). Anyway, it was the legendary KLM Delft Blue house service!!

KLM’s legendary Delft Blue Houses service!!

A flight attendant came to the cabin with a tray full of the Delft Blue houses which contained Bols’ gin inside. Each World Business Class passenger could take one as a souvenir. As this was my first time ever, I chose the one with the house design I liked the most, which was house number 25, haha. Btw, this service is so exclusive that you can only get the house from flying KLM’s World Business Class! 😀

A KLM’s Delft Blue House

Not long after, we were already on approach to Schiphol Airport. Long story short, we landed at the Polderbaan. I was not complaining this time because this meant slightly longer time for me to enjoy my seat 1A on this flight! Haha 😆 .

Thanks for the amazing ride, PH-BFL!

PH-BFL parked at Gate F2 and here my amazing World Business Class flight with KLM ended. I disembarked from the plane, cleared immigration, took my luggage (I had to wait a little bit but not too long), and took the train back to Amsterdam.

And here, my two-week year end trip to California also officially ended.

THE END.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Year End Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class


Penerbangan: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL602
Pesawat: Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL bernama “City of Lima”
ATD: 14:22 PST (Runway 25R of LAX)
ATA: 08:56 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Aku tiba agak kepagian di Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) di Bandara Internasional Los Angeles, tetapi untungnya kios check-in-nya KLM sudah dibuka. Tidak membutuhkan waktu lama bagiku untuk memasukkan bagasi dan mendapatkan boarding pass.

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Setelah melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti, aku berjalan ke Korean Air Lounge karena aku akan terbang dengan maskapai SkyTeam hari ini dan Korean Air Lounge adalah satu-satunya lounge SkyTeam di TBIT. Namun, resepsionisnya berkata bahwa karena aku terbang di kelas bisnis dengan KLM hari ini, aku diundang untuk menunggu di One World Business Class Lounge. Kalau nggak salah sebenarnya aku diberi-tahu ini juga ketika check-in sih tetapi aku lupa, haha.

OneWorld Lounge di TBIT
OneWorld Lounge di TBIT

Awalnya aku merasa ini cukup aneh karena OneWorld kan salah satu rivalnya SkyTeam, tetapi ternyata di TBIT OneWorld Business Class Lounge umumnya dipandang sebagai lounge yang lebih baik daripada Korean Air Lounge. Lounge-nya memang nyaman sih, dengan pilihan makanan dan minuman yang cukup lengkap; dan juga luas!

Penerbangannya

Penerbanganku hari ini adalah dengan Boeing 747-400nya KLM rego PH-BFL bernama “City of Lima” ini.

Penerbangan hari ini dioperasikan dengan pesawat Boeing 747-400nya KLM dengan rego PH-BFL bernama “City of Lima”. Singkat cerita, ketika aku naik ke pesawat melalui pintu L1 (pintu khusus untuk penumpang kelas bisnis dan economy comfort) dan aku diarahkan untuk berbelok ke arah kiri. Seorang pramugara menyambutku dan membantuku melepas mantel untuk kemudian disimpan di dalam kloset. Iya dong ada kloset buat menyimpan mantel! Di ekonomi mah boro-boro ya, haha 😆 . Aku kemudian duduk nyaman di kursi 1Aku di hidung Queen of the Skies ini.

Rumahku selama 10 jam ke depan di dalam Boeing 747-400nya KLM dengan rego PH-BFL

Pramugaranya kemudian membagikan layanan minuman sebelum keberangkatan, yang mana jelas aku memilih champagne, haha. Amenity kit juga kemudian dibagikan, yang berisi penutup mata, sumbat telinga, kaus kaki, sikat dan pasta gigi, semuanya disimpan di dalam poach Jan Taminiau yang keren. Oh, dan btw, di kursinya juga sudah tersedia noise-cancelling headphone bermerk KLM yang mana enak banget lho!

Selfie wajib World Business Class di dalam Boeing 747nya KLM.

Rasanya hari ini boarding berlangsung cepat loh (atau memang waktu yang berlalunya lebih cepat sih ketika terbang di kelas bisnis, haha 😆 ). Anyway, pintu kemudian ditutup dan pushback dimulai. Ketika taxiing ke landasan pacu 25R, video peragaan keselamatan dimainkan. Ngomongin peragaannya, ini membuatku sadar bahwa AVOD di pesawat Boeing 747-400 ini adalah tipe yang agak lama, bahkan di kelas bisnis.

Ketika video peragaan keselamatan dimainkan. Di balik pintu berwarna birunya itu adalah kloset untuk mantel.

Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 25R dan kemudian berbelok menuju timur laut ke arah Amsterdam, dengan melintasi langit di atas kota Los Angeles. Aku bisa melihat Santa Monica dan Downtown Los Angeles dengan jelas melalui jendela-jendelaku (iya, jamak soalnya aku mendapatkan tiga jendela untukku sendiri, haha 😆 ). Tak lama setelah lepas landas, layanan handuk hangat dibagikan, yang kemudian diikuti dengan layanan snack yang terdiri atas semangkuk kacang dan minuman, yang mana aku memilih champagne lagi, haha 🙈 .

Layanan snack dan champagne setelah lepas landas.

Satu hal yang tidak perlu dikhawatirkan ketika terbang dengan kelas bisnis adalah keleluasaan ruangan. Kursinya luas banget lho! Dalam perjalanan ke bandara, aku sempat sedikit khawatir bagaimana enaknya menyimpan kamera dan iPhone-ku di pesawat karena sweater-ku tidak memiliki kantong. Duh, kekhawatiran yang konyol banget ya, haha 😆 . Kursi 1A di Boeing 747-400nya KLM juga keren banget soalnya kursi ini adalah kursi jendela DAN lorong pada saat yang bersamaan. Jenis kursi favoritku ini! Kursi ini juga keren karena adalah kursi flat bed, sehingga bisa dibuat horizontal! 😀

Kursi 1A di mode flat bed
Selfie dulu di kursi flat bed-ku

Sekitar satu jam setelah berangkat, layanan makan malam three course disajikan yang dimulai dengan pramugara menjabarkan taplak meja putih di meja di kursiku. Pilihan untuk makanan pembuka hari ini adalah salmon asap barbeque dengan saus balsam atau sup jamur creamy. Aku jelas memilih yang pertama! Haha 😆 . Aku memutuskan untuk menemaninya dengan segelas champagne lagi (dan air) 🙈. Dan rasanya memang enak banget lho, dan kuantitasnya juga banyak untuk ukuran makanan pembuka!

Salmon asap barbeque dengan saus balsam sebagai makanan pembuka

Ada tiga pilihan untuk menu utama: pasta agnolotti, ayam tikka masala, atau beef stew Provençale. Aku memilih beef stew. Untuk minumannya, aku memilih cocktail spesialnya KLM, The Flying Dutchman (Seharusnya aku memesan cocktail ini untuk layanan snack tadi tetapi aku lupa, haha 😛 ), yang mana rasanya enak, btw!

Beef Stew Provençale sebagai menu utama.

Kemudian makan malam ditutup dengan pencuci mulut, yang mana pilihannya adalah sepiring keju, tartlet aprikot, atau pie apel. Aku memilih tartlet-nya yang mana rasanya juga enak banget! Pramugaranya menyarankanku untuk memasangkan tartlet-nya dengan anggur pencuci mulut Lillypilly; dan aku lega aku mengikuti sarannya karena memang enak dan cocok banget!!

Tartlet aprikot, buat segar, dan minuman anggur pencuci mulut untuk menutup makan malam hari ini.

Layanan coklat dan teh/kopi disajikan setelah makan malam selesai. Makan malam ini adalah makan malam yang oke banget dan aku merasa kenyang loh setelahnya. Rasanya belum pernah deh aku sekenyang itu setelah layanan makanan di suatu penerbangan, haha. Ngomong-ngomong, aku makan malam sambil menonton Battle of the Sexes. Menurutku film ini bagus, yang menceritakan suatu event historis di dunia tenis dimana Billie Jean King mengalahkan Bobby Riggs di tahun 1973.

Ternyata aku sudah terbang selama 4,5 jam ketika makan malam dan filmku selesai. Ah, kok tiba-tiba sudah hampir setengah jalan begini ya! Haha. Jadilah kemudian kursiku aku rebahkan horizontal, memasang penutup mata dan selimut (yang mana lebih bagus dan bahannya jauh lebih nyaman daripada selimut di kelas ekonomi), dan mencoba untuk tidur.

Sudah empat setengah jam, waktu cepat sekali berlalu!
Mencoba untuk tidur dengan nyaman di kelas bisnis.

Aku berhasil “tidur” selama hampir tiga jam. Tidurku tidak sampai fase tidur nyenyak sih tetapi masih lumayan lah, haha. Mungkin ini ada hubungannya dengan udara di dalam pesawat Boeing 747-400 yang kering banget. Nggak peduli seberapa keren pesawatnya, bagaimana pun pesawat ini kan sudah berumur 26 tahun ya (PH-BFL pertama kali terbang di tahun 1991). Aku perhatikan pesawat tipe lebih baru cenderung lebih nyaman dalam segi kelembaban udara di dalam kabin. Untungnya sih KLM menyediakan moisturizer untuk wajah di toilet kelas bisnis, yang mana sangat membantu!

Toilet di kelas bisnis

Sekitar dua jam sebelum mendarat, lampu kabin dinyalakan kembali dan layanan handuk hangat kembali dibagikan. Sarapan kemudian dimulai dengan pilihan strata ubi manis, strata pie apel, atau yoghurt dengan granola. Aku memilih strata pie apel dan menemaninya dengan croissant dan roti roll hangat, telur rebus, buah-buahan, dan keju dan ham. Oh, dan tentu tidak lupa secangkir kopi ya. Enak!

Layanan sarapan.

Sarapan diikuti langsung oleh layanan yang sudah aku tunggu-tunggu sekali di penerbangan ini. Layanan yang membuatku memilih untuk terbang langsung ke Amsterdam dengan kelas bisnisnya KLM, bukannya via Paris dengan kelas bisnisnya Air France (dengan Boeing 777-300ERnya tentunya ya bukan dengan Airbus A380-800nya yang kelas bisnisnya ketinggalan zaman itu). Anyway, layanan ini adalah layanan legendaris rumah-rumahan keramik Delft Blue-nya KLM yang berisi minuman gin-nya Bols!!

Layanan legendaris rumah-rumahan Delft Blue-nya KLM!!

Seorang pramugari datang ke kabin membawa senampan penuh rumah-rumahan keramik Delft Blue yang cantik-cantik, dimana setiap penumpang Kelas Bisnis Dunia diperbolehkan mengambil satu. Karena ini adalah kali pertamaku, aku memilih rumah yang disainnya aku paling suka, yaitu rumah dengan nomor 25, haha. Btw, layanan ini eksklusif banget lho dimana kita hanya bisa mendapatkan rumah-rumahan ini dengan terbang di Kelas Bisnis Dunianya KLM! 😀

Sebuah rumah-rumahan Delft Blue-nya KLM.

Tak lama kemudian, pesawat mulai turun menuju Bandara Schiphol. Singkat cerita, kami mendarat di Polderbaan. Aku nggak komplain deh kali ini karena artinya aku jadi bisa duduk di kursi 1Aku sedikit lebih lama! Haha 😆 .

Terima kasih atas penerbangannya, PH-BFL!

PH-BFL parkir di Gate F2 dan di sini lah penerbangan Kelas Bisnis Duniaku yang asyik dengan KLM berakhir. Aku turun dari pesawat, melewati imigrasi, mengambil bagasiku (yang mana aku harus sedikit menunggu tapi nggak lama-lama banget), dan naik kereta untuk kembali ke Amsterdam.

Dan di sini, perjalanan dua mingguku ke California juga resmi berakhir.

SELESAI.

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North America Trip, USA, Vacation

#2062 – 2017 Year End Trip (Part VII: More of LA)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2017 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Downtown LA

While in LA, obviously I went to Downtown Los Angeles, arguably the “most modern” district of the big city. I went there twice, actually, both at around noon. My first visit was actually on the New Year’s Eve Day where the area around Grand Park was closed from traffic as it was being prepared for some New Year’s Eve events, which was somehow quite nice as it felt like a Car Free Day (Well, in a sense it actually was), haha. Now that I think about it, probably I should have stayed in Downtown LA instead of Hollywood, especially for the New Year’s Eve (See Part V). But well…

Grand Park

Anyway, I went to the Grand Park in Downtown LA, a nice big park stretching from the Los Angeles Music Hall to the Los Angeles City Hall. There were fountains and benches in the park, which also offered free wifi (haha); and so this was indeed a nice place to be under the Los Angeles’ amazing winter weather (See Part V). Nearby the park was the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which designed reminded me a lot of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. However, the building was closed when I was there…

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA

Not too far away from the Grand Park was Los Angeles’ Union Station, which (I assumed) was Los Angeles’ main railroad station. This station was located next to the Metro building, which outer layout was used in Star Trek: Voyager‘s episode: Future’s End (I probably really need to write a special post about this later 😛 ). Anyway, while the station building was beautiful (and looked more like a church than a train station to me 😛 ), it was surprisingly small for a main train station! I saw some of the trains there and most of them were operated by Metrolink with diesel locomotives.

Los Angeles’ Union Station with the Metro Building in the background.

Koreatown and Little Tokyo

While in Los Angeles, I decided to go to both the Koreatown and Little Tokyo, establishments which I thought were not as “common” anywhere in the world, at least when being compared to the Chinatown, haha.

I went to the Koreatown one afternoon after my brunch with the purpose of trying out Somi Somi which Arman recommended, haha. It turned out that I was too early as I arrived there at 11:45 while Somi Somi would just open at noon. Btw, I was surprised to see a Paris Baguette there! You know, Paris Baguette was a big bakery chain in South Korea; and so seeing one in LA reminded a lot of my trip to South Korea four years prior! I decided to go in and buy two beautiful pastries for the sake of nostalgia and also to kill some time before Somi Somi’s opening time, haha 😆 .

A Paris Baguette in Los Angeles

Anyway, at noon I went upstairs to Somi-Somi; and I became their first customer today, haha. I ordered a taiyaki with Nutella filling and matcha soft cream with Oreo sprinkles. And indeed it was good!! The serving size was quite big though that it took me awhile to finish it, haha.

The delicious Somi Somi taiyaki

The Koreatown itself was not that much interesting for a tourist, in my opinion, as it felt like it was a business district, haha. I walked along the Wilshire Boulevard from Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/Vermont, which was quite a long but nice walk (thanks to the weather) and great to immediately burn off the calories from the taiyaki, haha.

Little Tokyo in Los Angeles

I also went to Little Tokyo which was nearby the Union Station. There was a Japanese Village Plaza which I found cool as the buildings there were in Japanese architecture. Btw, I actually regretted that I went there when I was still full. There were several Japanese restaurants (including the ramen chain Hakata Ikkousha) which looked great!

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

While in Los Angeles, obviously I went to the famous Santa Monica beach; especially that it was relatively easy to reach with public transport with the new Metro Expo Line, haha.

Santa Monica selfie

The most famous attraction in Santa Monica was the Santa Monica Pier, which was a really big boardwalk with many stalls on it, and actually real attractions (like a roller coaster, merry-go-around, etc). I went there on a Saturday so it probably wasn’t surprising that it was very crowded. There were several restaurants on the boardwalk. I actually wanted to try one out (the Bubba Gump), but it looked too busy today, haha.

Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica

And so I went to the sidewalk, which was also very interesting. The original Hot Dog an a Stick stall was located there. I decided to try out one serving, which was delicious! Nearby the stall was the original Muscle Beach. The beach lived up to its name, though, as the reason for the name was because it was basically a public gym with many bodybuilding equipments! And not just the equipments, people actually used them even today when the outdoor temperature was quite cold! Haha…

The original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica

From the Muscle Beach, I felt quite hungry as it was late afternoon already. So I went back to the Ocean Avenue and had lunch at a taco restaurant. I decided to order a lobster taco with sangria because why not, haha 😆 . And indeed it was delicious!

Three lobster tacos and sangria

Santa Monica was more than just the beach and the pier, btw. The 3rd Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica was also very interesting. It was a promenade exclusively for pedestrians with many shops, cafes, and street performers. I actually stumbled upon it by accident as I was walking back from the beach to the metro station. I decided to enter the Santa Monica Place which was one end of the promenade because I had the time anyway. And I am really glad that I did.

And so in conclusion, somehow I felt like Santa Monica was similar to Scheveningen in Den Haag! 😀

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Year End Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Downtown LA

Selagi di LA, jelas aku pergi ke Downtown Los Angeles yang mana mungkin adalah distrik “paling modern” dari kota besar ini. Aku pergi kesana dua kali, btw, dan keduanya adalah di siang hari. Kunjungan pertamaku adalah di hari malam Tahun Baru dimana area di sekitar Grand Park ditutup dari lalu lintas karena sedang dipersiapkan untuk beberapa acara Malam Tahun Baru. Ya rasanya seperti kayak Car Free Day gitu deh (Hmm, nggak cuma “kayak” sih tapi “memang” ya, haha). Kalau dipikir-pikir lagi sekarang, mungkin seharusnya aku menginap di Downtown LA ya bukannya Hollywood, terutama berkaitan dengan Malam Tahun Baru (baca bagian V). Ah, ya sudah lah…

Grand Park

Anyway, aku pergi ke Grand Park di Downtown LA, sebuah taman besar yang memanjang dari Los Angeles Music Hall ke Balai Kota Los Angeles. Ada beberapa air mancur dan bangku-bangku di tamannya, yang juga menyediakan wifi gratis loh (haha); jadi memang taman ini adalah tempat yang asyik apalagi dengan cuaca musim dingin Los Angeles yang seperti itu (baca bagian V). Di dekat tamannya berdiri Walt Disney Concert Hall, yang mana disainnya amat mengingatkanku dengan Museum Guggenheim di Bilbao. Tapi, gedungnya sedang ditutup ketika aku di sana…

Walt Disney Concert Hall di LA

Tidak terlalu jauh dari Grand Park, berdiri Stasiun Union-nya Los Angeles, yang mana (aku asumsikan) adalah stasiun kereta api utamanya Los Angeles. Stasiunnya berlokasi di samping gedung Metro, yang mana eksteriornya digunakan di episode Future’s End-nya Star Trek: Voyager (Sepertinya aku perlu deh nanti menulis posting khusus untuk ini 😛 ). Anyway, gedung stasiunnya sendiri indah kok (dan lebih nampak seperti gereja sih daripada stasiun kereta untukku, haha 😛 ), tetapi ternyata berukuran cenderung kecil untuk ukuran stasiun kereta utama! Aku juga melihat beberapa kereta di sana yang kebanyakan dioperasikan oleh Metrolink dengan lokomotif-lokomotif diesel.

Stasiun Union di Los Angeles dengan gedung Metro di latar belakangnya.

Koreatown dan Little Tokyo

Selagi di Los Angeles, aku juga mengunjungi Koreatown dan Little Tokyo, sebuah area yang aku rasa nggak banyak ada dimana-mana kan ya, setidaknya jika dibandingkan dengan Chinatown, haha.

Aku pergi ke Koreatown di siang hari setelah brunch dengan tujuan mencoba Somi Somi yang direkomendasikan Arman, haha. Ternyata waktu itu aku terlalu awal karena aku tiba jam 11:45 sementara Somi Somi-nya baru buka jam 12. Di sana aku dikejutkan dengan keberadaan Paris Baguette! Tahu kan, Paris Baguette adalah jaringan toko roti yang besar banget di Korea Selatan; jadi melihat cabangnya di LA mengingatkanku perjalananku ke Korea Selatan empat tahun sebelumnya! Aku memutuskan untuk membeli dua potong roti di sana untuk menunggu jam bukanya Somi Somi sekalian bernostalgia, haha 😆 .

Paris Baguette di Los Angeles

Anyway, kemudian jam 12 aku naik ke atas menuju Somi Somi; dan aku adalah pelanggan pertama mereka hari itu, haha. Aku mencoba taiyaki dengan isi Nutella dan soft cream rasa matcha dengan taburan Oreo. Dan rasanya memang enak lho!! Ukurannya agak besar juga sih sehingga aku membutuhkan waktu lama untuk menghabiskannya, haha.

Taiyaki Somi Somi yang enak banget

Koreatown-nya sendiri nggak terlalu menarik sih bagi turis, menurutku ya, karena sepertinya adalah area perkantoran, haha. Aku berjalan-kaki di sepanjang Wilshire Boulevard dari Wilshire/Western ke Wilshire/Vermont, yang mana cukup jauh tetapi enak kok jalannya (berkat cuacanya yang memang nyaman) dan adalah kegiatan yang bagus dan menyehatkan kan untuk langsung membakar kalori dari taiyaki-nya, haha.

Little Tokyo di Los Angeles

Aku juga pergi ke Little Tokyo yang lokasinya tidak jauh dari Stasiun Union. Di sana ada Japanese Village Plaza yang mana cukup keren karena bangunan-bangunannya berarsitektur Jepang. Btw, aku sedikit menyesal nih aku kesana ketika sedang tidak lapar. Ternyata di sana ada beberapa rumah makan Jepang yang nampak menarik lho (termasuk jaringan mie ramen Hakata Ikkousha)!

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Selagi di Los Angeles, jelas dong aku juga pergi ke Santa Monica yang terkenal itu; terutama juga karena cukup mudah untuk pergi kesana dengan memanfaatkan kereta Metro jalur Expo, haha.

Santa Monica selfie

Atraksi paling terkenal di Santai Monica adalah Santa Monica Pier-nya, yang mana adalah dermaga kayu besar dengan banyak kedai-kedai di atasnya, dan juga atraksi-atraksi beneran (seperti roller coaster, ferris wheel, carousel, dll). Waktu itu adalah hari Sabtu sehingga mungkin tidak mengherankan tempatnya ramai banget. Ada beberapa restoran juga di dermaganya. Sebenarnya aku ingin mencoba salah satunya sih (Bubba Gump), tetapi restorannya ramai banget hari ini, haha.

Hot Dog on a Stick di Santa Monica

Dan jadilah aku pergi ke area sidewalk-nya, yang mana juga menarik. Kedai Hot Dog an a Stick yang asli (yang pertama) juga berada di sana. Aku iseng membeli satu porsi hot dog-nya, yang mana ternyata memang enak! Di dekat kedainya terdapat Pantai Otot (Muscle Beach). Ternyata memang pantainya ini sesuai banget dengan namanya lho, karena alasan nama pantainya begini adalah karena pada dasarnya pantainya berupa gym umum/terbuka gitu dengan banyak alat-alat untuk fitness! Dan nggak cuma alat-alatnya doang, banyak banget pengunjung yang menggunakannya padahal hari itu cuaca di luar sedang lumayan dingin! Haha…

Muscle Beach yang asli di Santa Monica

Dari Muscle Beach, aku merasa lumayan lapar karena hari sudah mulai memasuki sore. Jadilah aku berjalan kembali ke Ocean Avenue dan makan siang di sebuah restoran taco. Aku memesan taco lobster dengan sangria, haha 😆 . Dan rasanya juga enak!

Tiga buah taco lobster dan sangria

Santa Monica ternyata bukan hanya sekedar pantai dan dermaganya saja. Di Downtown Santa Monica juga terdapat 3rd Street Promenade yang mana sangat menarik. Tempat ini adalah jalan khusus untuk pejalan-kaki dengan banyak toko-toko, kafe, dan juga street performers. Sebenarnya hanya kebetulan banget saja aku bisa mampir di sana. Waktu itu aku sedang berjalan kembali ke stasiun metro dari arah pantai. Aku memutuskan untuk mampir di Santa Monica Place, sebuah mall kecil gitu, yang ternyata merupakan satu ujung dari promenade-nya. Dan aku lega aku memutuskan untuk mampir karena aku jadi melihat promenade yang seru ini.

Jadi kesimpulannya, kalau dipikir-pikir lagi Santa Monica ini lumayan mirip seperti Scheveningen di Den Haag! 😀

BERSAMBUNG…

North America Trip, USA, Vacation

#2060 – 2017 Year End Trip (Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2017 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Hollywood

The Hollywood Boulevard

Arguably the most famous district of Los Angeles, I stayed at a motel in Hollywood so I had quite some time to explore it, haha. The “main” area of Hollywood was the long Hollywood Boulevard which middle strecth (between its intersection with Highland and Vine street, approximately) was the area where the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame was located. Unsurprisingly, this was the busiest (with tourists) area as well, haha 😛 .

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was indeed really cool with a lot of stars of Hollywood names! Many I did not know but I recognized a lot of others as well! Btw, I just realized that not only people could make their way to the stars, but also some fictional characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Shrek! Haha 😆

Neil Patrick Harris’ star
Bugs Bunny’s star

There were a lot of shops, restaurants, cafes, museums, and tour operators along the boulevard. So indeed it was very lively! There were also a lot of people dressed up in (Hollywood) costumes (like Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Captain America, etc) whom you could take a photo with (but I assumed in exchange for money). Also there were some men handing out CDs, which I ignored because it looked so shady and I felt like there was a high possibility it could be a scam, haha.

People in costumes

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign was located on the Hollywood hill, which was not anywhere close to the Hollywood Boulevard at all, haha 😆 . From my research prior to the trip, I saw a suggestion to look at the sign from the Griffith Observatory. Griffith Observatory was in my list to visit anyway, so I definitely gave it a go, haha…

The Hollywood sign from Griffith Observatory

As it turned out, Griffith Observatory was also still too far away from the sign. I mean, for the photo above I needed to zoom in my camera, haha. Unfortunately, this meant it was impossible to get a good self picture with the sign from Griffith.

Unfortunately, I did not get any closer to the sign than this one. I found it rather tricky and difficult to get closer to it (See Part V); and so I guess this sign is for the next time I am around in Los Angeles then, haha…

Anyway, speaking of the Griffith Observatory …

Griffith Observatory

At the Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory was a very famous site in Los Angeles, and it has been used as a setting of many movies and TV series. While perhaps most famous recently as a setting of La La Land, I was also very eager to go there because it was used as a setting in a Star Trek: Voyager‘s episode: Future’s End (I actually did a mini Future’s End Tour in Los Angeles. Perhaps I will write about it in a later post 😛 ).

I really liked this observatory that I actually went twice there! Haha 😆 . Both times I used the LADOT bus service from Sunset/Vermont Metro station, which only cost $0.50 one way and free wifi was provided!

The Griffith Observatory

Anyway, my first visit was in the evening. And indeed it was very beautiful, but also very crowded, haha 😆 . There was a balcony behind the observatory overlooking the city of Los Angeles. The view was especially magnicient especially with those evening lights!

The Griffith Observatory and Los Angeles

Of course I also entered the observatory, which was free of charge (Except if you wanted to see the program in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium)! There were really cool (space-related, obviously) exhibits inside which I thoroughly enjoyed. I could measure my weight in other extraterrestial objects (I was less than 4.5 kg in Pluto, haha 😛 ) and there were even rocks originating from meteorites! It was so cool that those rocks that were sitting in front of my eyes were not from Earth!

These rocks did not originate from Earth!

What I found amazing was that people could also use the telescope at the Observatory for FREE!! But exactly because it was for free, of course the telescope became hugely popular and so a really, really, really long line of people wanting to try it out was formed, especially that the sky was clear tonight, haha 😆 . I decided to pass.

The sundial at Griffith Observatory

My second visit was in the afternoon because, obviously, I would like to see the Observatory under the daylight too! (Beside, Star Trek: Voyager’s Future’s End scene at Griffith took place in an afternoon, haha 😆 ). Again, it was quite a busy afternoon at the observatory as well. Visiting it in the afternoon actually provided me the opportunity to see out more stuffs at display there, though, for instance the sundial just behind the Astronomers Monument.

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Year End Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Hollywood

Hollywood Boulevard

Mungkin adalah distrik paling terkenal di Los Angeles, aku menginap di sebuah motel di Hollywood sehingga aku lumayan memiliki banyak kesempatan untuk menjelajahinya, haha. Area “utama”-nya Hollywood berada di sepanjang Hollywood Boulevard yang panjang itu yang mana bagian tengahnya (di antara perempatan dengan Jalan Highland dan Vine, kurang lebih) adalah area Hollywood Walk of Fame yang terkenal banget itu. Tak mengherankan, area ini juga area yang paling ramai (dengan turis), haha 😛 .

Hollywood Walk of Fame memang keren banget lho soalnya dipenuhi dengan nama-nama Hollywood! Banyak sih yang aku nggak tahu (haha) tetapi aku mengenali lumayan banyak juga! Btw, aku baru tahu bahwa ternyata yang namanya bisa dituliskan di sana bukan hanya orang saja loh, tetapi juga beberapa karakter fiksional seperti Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, dan Shrek! Haha 😆

Bintangnya Neil Patrick Harris
Bintangnya Bugs Bunny

Ada banyak toko, restoran, cafe, museum, dan operator tur di sepanjang boulevard-nya. Jadi memang areanya terasa hidup sekali! Banyak juga orang-orang yang mengenakan kostum (ala Hollywood), seperti Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Captain America, dll gitu lah yang mana kita bisa foto-foto bersama (tetapi jelas kayaknya harus bayar). Ada pula beberapa orang yang membagi-bagikan CD, yang mana tidak aku hiraukan karena nampak mencurigakan dan aku merasa kok kayaknya kemungkinannya akan scam besar gitu, haha.

Orang-orang dengan kostum

Tanda Tulisan Hollywood

Tanda Tulisan Hollywood berada di Bukit Hollywood, yang mana lokasinya jauh dari Hollywood Boulevard, haha 😆 . Dari risetku sebelum perjalanan ini, aku mendapatkan info untuk melihat tandanya dari Griffith Observatory. Karena toh Griffith Observatory juga berada dalam daftar untuk aku kunjungi, ya jelas aku ke sana lah ya, haha…

Tanda tulisan Hollywood dari Griffith Observatory

Ternyata, Griffith Observatory pun masih terlalu jauh dari tandanya. Maksudku, fotoku di atas itu aku ambil dengan menggunakan fitur zoom-in di kameraku loh. Sayangnya, ini berarti tidak mungkin juga untuk kita mendapatkan foto bersama tandanya dari Griffith.

Sayangnya, aku tidak sempat untuk pergi ke tempat lain yang lebih dekat dengan tandanya dari ini. Aku merasa transportasinya agak ribet dan sulit untuk ke sana (Baca Bagian V); dan jadi aku rasa tanda ini adalah untuk perjalananku selanjutnya ke Los Angeles dah, haha…

Anyway, ngomongin Griffith Observatory …

Griffith Observatory

Di Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory adalah tempat yang terkenal di Los Angeles, dan tempat ini sering digunakan untuk syuting film atau acara TV Hollywood gitu. Walaupun mungkin akhir-akhir paling terkenal karena digunakan sebagai salah satu setting-nya La La Land, aku juga amat bersemangat untuk pergi ke sana karena tempat ini digunakan sebagai salah satu setting dari episode Future’s End-nya Star Trek: Voyager (Sebenarnya aku sempat pergi dalam petualangan mini Future’s End di Los Angeles. Mungkin ini akan aku ceritakan nanti-nanti 😛 ).

Aku amat menyukai observatorium ini sampai-sampai aku pergi dua kali loh ke sana! Haha 😆 . Di keduanya aku menggunakan layanan bus LADOT dari stasiun Metro Sunset/Vermont, yang mana harga tiketnya hanyalah $0.50 sekali jalan dan busnya dilengkapi dengan wifi gratis!

Griffith Observatory

Anyway, kunjungan pertamaku adalah di malam hari. Dan memang tempatnya kece banget loh, tetapi juga ramai, haha 😆 . Ada balkon di bagian belakang observatoriumnya yang menghadap ke arah kota Los Angeles. Pemandangannya keren banget terutama dengan lampu-lampunya!

Griffith Observatory dan Los Angeles

Tentu saja aku juga masuk ke dalam observatoriumnya, yang mana tidak dikenakan biaya (Kecuali kalau mau menonton acara di Planetarium Samuel Oschin)! Ada beberapa pameran (yang berhubungan dengan luar angkasa, tentunya) di dalamnya yang sangat aku nikmati. Aku bisa mengukur berat badanku di beberapa obyek luar angkasa (Berat badanku di Pluto bahkan nggak sampai 4,5 kg loh, haha 😛 ) dan ada juga beberapa batu dari meteorit! Keren aja bagiku melihat batu-batu di depan mataku sendiri yang mana asalnya bukan dari planet Bumi!

Batu-batu ini tidak berasal dari Bumi loh!

Yang aku rasa juga menarik banget adalah pengunjung bisa menggunakan teleskop di observatoriumnya dengan GRATIS!! Tetapi justru karena gratis ini, sebagai akibatnya teleskopnya, yang pada dasarnya memang sudah populer banget, menjadi ramai banget yang mana antrian untuk menggunakannya juga sangat amat panjang sekali, apalagi malam ini langit juga sedang cerah, haha 😆 . Ya sudah deh aku memutuskan untuk melewatkannya malam ini.

Jam matahari di Griffith Observatory

Kunjungan kedua kesanaku adalah di siang hari, karena jelas aku ingin melihat observatoriumnya di bawah sinar matahari juga! (Di samping itu, adegannya Satr Trek: Voyager Future’s End di sana juga terjadi di siang hari sih, haha 😆 ). Lagi, siang itu observatoriumnya sangat sibuk. Mengunjunginya di siang hari juga seru karena aku bisa menggunakan beberapa benda di sana yang hanya bisa digunakan di siang hari, misalnya jam matahari di sebelah Monumen Astronomers.

BERSAMBUNG…

North America Trip, USA, Vacation

#2055 – 2017 Year End Trip (Part IV: The City of San Francisco)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2017 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

San Francisco

San Francisco

Before the trip when I thought of San Francisco, I thought of a big city. Well, it turned that especially for American standard, this was wrong! Even Bandung was actually larger than San Francisco!

While this might sound positive in the sense that theoretically most part of the city was within walking distance, actually there was a third dimension to be considered here: elevation. San Francisco was very hilly, even there were hills in the city center (See, for instance, the Lombard Street in Part II). So to get around, utilizing our own feet was not the best way, IMO, haha.

Hilly San Francisco

In this trip, I tried to rely as much as possible to public transport (even later in LA, in Part V). And the San Francisco public transport was quite sufficient for that.

The Public Transport and Clipper Card

The public transport in San Francisco (and the Bay Area) was run by several different companies. Luckily, there was the “Clipper Card” which could be used in all of them, including the BART train which provided train service to San Francisco International Airport. It worked by charging the card with some credit and tapping it before every ride.

A BART train at San Francisco International Airport

I bought my card at San Francisco International Airport when I had just arrived from Amsterdam. You could ask the Information Desk where you could buy one. There was a $3 non-refundable cost for each card but to me it was well worth it even when only considering the practicality! Also, with the card I got a $0.25 discount from each single ride with a MUNI vehicle (the normal price was $2.75) which was valid for 90 minutes. So I liked it indeed.

The Clipper Card

Anyway, speaking of public transport, the most popular (and touristy) one was definitely the cable cars which crossed the hills of San Francisco. They were packed with tourists in most of my time there! I mean, the lines just to ride one were just so long! The cable cars were operated by MUNI but had a special fare. Instead of $2.75, a single ride fare was $7! Yep, they were that popular! The price was literally 2.5 times more expensive than other modes of transport yet they were that busy! Haha. I didn’t ride a single one when I was there, btw; even when my hotel was close to one of the stops. You know, I just couldn’t stand the crazy line! 😛

A San Francisco’s cable car

Instead, my favorite mode of transport there was the streetcars! They had regular fare ($2.75, which I only needed to pay $2.50 with the Clipper Card), not as busy as the cable cars, and they all had classic look and cute colors! Hahaha 😆 .

A San Francisco’s street car
A San Francisco’s street car

My favorite line was the historical line F which went around the hills and connected Fisherman’s Wharf and Embarcadero with the Market Street in the city center.

Beside those classic modes of transport, regular buses and subways also ran throughout the city.

Bus 76X to Golden Gate Bridge

The Living Cost

I had a few trips to some supermarkets while I was in San Francisco. And there, somehow I felt like the price of everything was generally quite expensive. Even I did not remember New York to be this expensive when I went there two years ago!

But you know, maybe I did not remember it correctly so I kept it to myself. This was until Noni (Nyonyasepatu) asked me if I also felt that San Francisco was expensive! Lol 😆 . We agreed that San Francisco was, indeed, an expensive city!

San Francisco

During the course of the trip, I also heard from a few locals that indeed the living cost had surged a lot. You see, the booming economy (driven by the Silicon Valley nearby) and the relatively small size of the city resulted in demand that was always on top of supply, thus pushing the living cost up.

The Food

Speaking of food, I felt like San Francisco (and California in general) had wide varieties of food from all over the world, and especially East Asia! Having said that, there was one particular dish which I would like to try out: the clam chowder. I immediately had the chance to try one out for brunch when I was in Pier 39.

Clam chowder

And … the soup was great!! However, the bread tasted really strange to me, hahaha 😆

I also noticed that, somehow, I had quite some Japanese food in San Francisco. I had a yakitori (this was actually my first meal there, lol 😆 ), a pork ramen, and a bento! They were good, even though I felt like the original one in Asia was still better. But I was not complaining at all.

A salad and Cheetos from the supermarket for dinner

Speaking of eating out, most restaurants were closed on Christmas day in San Francisco. However, a lot of people would still like to eat out. And this resulted in unbelievably long queues at those few restaurants that were open! That evening, I had to resort to supermarket stuffs because I did not want to queue for a long time just for a Burger King, for instance, haha. Even then, I was not the only one with this idea because the supermarkets were also busier than the other days!

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Year End Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

San Francisco

San Francisco

Sebelum berangkat jika aku berpikir akan San Francisco, aku akan membayangkan kota yang besar. Ternyata, apalagi untuk standar Amerika, ini salah loh! Bahkan Bandung pun sebenarnya lebih besar daripada San Francisco!

Walaupun mungkin ini berita baik dimana secara teori kebanyakan tempat di kotanya bisa ditempuh dengan berjalan-kaki, sebenarnya ada dimensi ketiga yang harus dipertimbangkan di sini: ketinggian. San Francisco adalah kota yang amat berbukit-bukit, dimana ada beberapa bukit di pusat kotanya (Lihat, misalnya, Jalan Lombard di posting bagian II). Jadilah untuk berkeliling kota, aku rasa mengandalkan kaki sendiri bukan lah cara yang paling efisien, haha.

San Francisco yang amat berbukit-bukit.

Di perjalanan ini, aku mencoba untuk mengandalkan transportasi umum semaksimal mungkin (termasuk di LA, di bagian V). Dan menurutku sih transportasi umum di San Francisco lumayan memadai untuk itu.

Transportasi Umum dan Kartu Clipper

Transportasi umum di San Francisco (dan Bay Area) dikelola oleh beberapa perusahaan yang berbeda. Untungnya, ada “Kartu Clipper” yang bisa digunakan di semuanya, termasuk juga kereta BART yang jaringannya terhubung ke Bandara Internasional San Francisco. Kita bisa menggunakan kartunya dengan cara mengisi credit ke dalamnya dan menempelkannya ke mesin sebelum setiap perjalanan.

Sebuah kereta BART di Bandara Internasional San Francisco.

Kartuku aku beli di Bandara Internasional San Francisco ketika aku tiba dari Amsterdam. Lokasinya bisa ditanyakan di meja informasi kok. Ada biaya non-refundable $3 untuk kartunya tetapi menurutku sih ini worth it banget bahkan hanya dengan mempertimbangkan kepraktisannya! Juga, dengan kartunya aku mendapatkan diskon $0,25 dari setiap perjalanan dengan kendaraan yang dioperasikan oleh MUNI (tarif normalnya $2,75) yang juga berlaku selama 90 menit. Iya, aku memang suka kartu ini.

Kartu Clipper

Anyway, ngomongin transportasi umum, jenisnya yang paling populer (dan turistik banget) adalah cable cars yang menyeberangi bukit-bukitnya San Francisco itu. Cable cars ini selalu penuh dengan turis ketika aku di sana! Bahkan, antrian untuk naiknya aja juga panjang banget loh! Walaupun cable cars-nya dioperasikan oleh MUNI, tarif khusus dipasang untuk mode transportasi ini. Bukannya $2,75, tarif satu kali jalannya dipatok $7! Iya loh, seterkenal itu memang! Bahkan ketika tarifnya sudah dipatok 2,5 kali lipat dari mode-mode transportasi lain, tapi masih ramai banget! Haha. Aku nggak naik satu pun sih ketika aku disana, walaupun sebenarnya hotelku berlokasi dekat dengan salah satu pemberhentiannya. Ya soalnya malas sih melihat antriannya yang gila-gilaan itu! Haha 😛

Sebuah cable car di San Francisco

Nah, mode transportasi favoritku justru adalah streetcars-nya! Tarifnya dipatok reguler ($2,75, yang mana aku hanya perlu membayar $2,50 dengan Kartu Clipper), tidak seramai cable cars, dan disainnya kece klasik dengan warna-warna yang lucu gitu! Hahaha 😆

Sebuah street car di San Francisco
Sebuah street car di San Francisco

Jalur favoritku adalah jalur bersejarah F yang memutar mengelilingi bukit-bukitnya dan menghubungkan Fisherman’s Wharf dan Embarcadero dengan Market Street di pusat kota.

Di samping mode-mode transportasi klasik itu, ada banyak pula bus reguler dan subway di kotanya.

Bus 76X menuju Jembatan Golden Gate

Biaya Hidup

Cukup sering aku mampir di supermarket selama di San Francisco. Dan di sana, aku merasa harga-harganya kok cenderung mahal ya. Bahkan, seingatku New York pun nggak segitunya deh mahalnya ketika aku pergi ke sana dua tahun yang lalu!

Ya tapi ini kan mungkin perasaanku aja ya sehingga bisa jadi salah. Jadilah pikiran ini aku simpan sendiri. Sampai Noni (Nyonyasepatu) bertanya kepadaku apakah aku juga merasa San Francisco itu mahal! Haha 😆 . Dan kami setuju bahwa San Francisco itu memang beneran kota yang mahal!

San Francisco

Di perjalanan ini, aku dengar dari beberapa orang yang tinggal di sana bahwa memang biaya hidup di sana memang menanjak naik banget. Jadi kemajuan ekonomi (yang kebanyakan dimotori oleh keberadaan Silicon Valley di dekat sana) dan ukuran kotanya yang relatif kecil membuat permintaan selalu berada di atas penawaran, sehingga otomatis biaya apa-apa juga naik.

Makanan

Ngomongin makanan, aku merasa San Francisco (dan California pada umumnya sih) memiliki keberagaman makanan yang luas banget dari seluruh dunia, terutama Asia Timur! Walaupun begitu, ada satu masakan lokal yang ingin banget aku cobain: clam chowder. Aku langsung mendapatkan kesempatan untuk mencobanya untuk brunch ketika aku berada di Pier 39.

Clam chowder

Dan … supnya memang enak banget!! Tapii, rasa rotinya itu aneh banget untukku, hahaha 😆

Aku juga perhatikan bahwa aku cukup banyak makan masakan Jepang di San Francisco. Aku makan yakitori (bahkan ini adalah makanan pertamaku di sana, haha 😆 ), ramen babi, dan bento! Semuanya enak sih, walaupun masih enak yang aslinya di Asia, haha. Tetapi aku nggak komplain kok dalam hal rasa.

Salad dan Cheetos dari supermarket untuk makan malam.

Ngomongin makan di luar, kebanyakan restoran di San Francisco tutup dong di hari Natal. Masalahnya, masih banyak banget orang yang ingin makan di luar hari itu. Sebagai akibatnya, terbentuklah antrian yang panjangnya gila-gilaan di sedikit restoran yang memilih buka hari itu! Malam itu, aku memutuskan untuk makan makanan supermarket aja soalnya aku ogah antri lama bahkan untuk Burger King doang, haha. Walaupun begitu, ternyata bukan aku saja lho yang memiliki ide ini karena supermarketnya lebih ramai daripada di waktu-waktu lain!

BERSAMBUNG…

Miscellaneous, Random Things

#2039 – Happy New Year From LA!

ENGLISH

I would like to say: HAPPY NEW YEAR from Los Angeles!! :mrgreen: Let us wish 2018 to be a great year for all of us!! 🙂

The year 2017 has been a big year for me, where I officially got my PhD degree and I also bought my own apartment. So yeah, I am grateful for 2017 and cannot wait for 2018 which hopefully is going to be even better!

Anyway, I started 2017 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and now ended it in Los Angeles, California. The two places being fifteen time zones apart, this means officially 2017 beat 2015 in terms of my longest non-leap year ever, at 365 days and 15 hours!

This is all I have for now! Ciao! 😀

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/leonardo-dicaprio-drinking-fireworks-GCLlQnV7wzKLu

BAHASA INDONESIA

Aku ingin mengucapkan: SELAMAT TAHUN BARU dari Los Angeles!! :mrgreen: Mudah-mudahan tahun 2018 ini menjadi tahun yang baik bagi kita semua ya!! 🙂

Tahun 2017 kemarin adalah tahun yang besar bagiku, dimana resmi aku mendapatkan gelar doktoral (PhD)-ku dan juga aku membeli apartemenku sendiri. Jadi ya, aku merasa bersyukur dengan tahun 2017ku dan berharap mudah-mudahan tahun 2018 akan menjadi lebih seru lagi!

Anyway, tahun 2017 aku mulai di Yogyakarta dan kini aku akhiri di Los Angeles, California. Karena kedua tempat ini terpaut jarak lima belas zona waktu, artinya resmi sudah 2017 mengalahkan 2015 dalam hal tahun non-kabisat terpanjangku, yang mana adalah 365 hari dan 15 jam!

Haha, ya sudah deh, segini dulu yang bisa aku tulis sekarang! Ciao! 😀

General Life, Life in Holland, Zilko's Life

#2031 – Wintery December

ENGLISH

December 2017, so far, has been really wintery. Perhaps it is the most wintery December of the past three or four years in the Netherlands!

When it was snowing hard in Amsterdam

You know, it all started last weekend when it snowed for the first time this winter. The last time it snowed in December was way back in 2012 if I am not mistaken! And then the snow went overboard over the weekend which messed my weekend trip to London up, haha. It was still snowing quite hard in Amsterdam on Monday. In fact, that day the KNMI (the Dutch meteorological body) issued a red snow warning! Things have started to go back to “normal winter” since then, thankfully.

Aside from the snow, the Christmas vibe has also been getting stronger and stronger now. The Amsterdam Light Festival has officially started and so the city looks really cool now in the evening with all the pretty lights! A few big Christmas trees are also erected in several squares across the city, for instance at the famous Dam Square.

The Christmas tree at Amsterdam’s Dam Square

Also at the office, a lot of my colleagues brought a lot of cakes and cookies and desserts and those sweet stuffs everyday to celebrate the festive season! Oh wow the temptation was indeed super strong this week! I really needed super strong self control so that I did not consume too much of those evil sweet things! Lol 😛 I also got my hair cut this afternoon and upon leaving, I was given a bottle of white wine as a Christmas gift! 😀

Speaking of this week, finally I had the time to start going back to they gym again! I found it interesting btw that after being absent for only about three and a half weeks, I did feel like my body had “weakened” a little bit. The weight which I used to lift with little to no problem posed a bit of a challenge this week, haha! Oh well…

Anyway, so yeah it has been festive here in Amsterdam nowadays!

Amsterdam Light Festival

BAHASA INDONESIA

Desember 2017, sejauh ini, sudah berasa banget nih musim dinginnya. Mungkin ini adalah Desember yang paling “musim dingin” di Belanda dalam tiga atau empat tahun belakangan!

Ketika bersalju lebat di Amsterdam

Semuanya dimulai akhir pekan yang lalu dimana untuk pertama kalinya salju turun musim dingin ini. Terakhir kali bersalju di bulan Desember adalah di tahun 2012 loh kalau nggak salah! Dan kemudian saljunya terus turun dengan lebay di sepanjang akhir pekan itu sampai-sampai mengacaukan perjalanan akhir pekanku ke London, haha. Di hari Senin, salju masih turun dengan lebatnya di Amsterdam. Bahkan, hari itu KNMI (badan meteorologinya Belanda) mengeluarkan peringatan salju level merah! Setelah hari itu, cuaca mulai kembali ke cuaca musim dingin sebagaimana biasanya, untungnya.

Di samping salju, suasana Natal juga sudah semakin terasa lebih kuat sekarang. Festival Lampu Amsterdam (Amsterdam Light Festival) juga sudah resmi dimulai sehingga kotanya nampak kece sekarang di malam hari dengan semua hiasan lampunya! Beberapa pohon Natal besar juga sudah dipasang di beberapa lapangan utama di seluruh penjuru kota, seperti misalnya di Lapangan Dam yang terkenal itu.

Pohon Natal di Lapangan Dam (Dam Square) di Amsterdam

Belum lagi di kantor ada banyak kolega yang membawa kue-kue yang manis-manis ke kantor setiap hari untuk merayakan suasana ini! Ya gimana ini godaannya kok banyak bener gini ya! Aku benar-benar membutuhkan kontrol diri yang kuat nih supaya nggak terlalu banyak ngemil yang manis-manis itu! Hahaha 😛 Aku juga potong rambut siang ini dan ketika akan pulang, aku bahkan diberikan sebotol white wine sebagai hadiah Natal loh! 😀

Ngomongin minggu ini, akhirnya aku ada waktu juga nih untuk kembali ke gym! Aku rasa menarik juga dimana aku absen hanya selama tiga setengah minggu tetapi terasa sekali tubuhku kok kayak sudah sedikit “melemah”, haha. Beban yang biasanya bisa aku angkat tanpa masalah jadi terasa sedikit lebih berat nih minggu ini, haha!

Anyway, jadi ya memang di Amsterdam akhir-akhir suasananya sungguh meriah!

Amsterdam Light Festival
EuroTrip, Vacation, Weekend Trip

#1875 – 2016 Year End Trip (Part VIII: A Weekend In Amsterdam)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2016 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Amsterdam to Rome to Shanghai
3. Part II: Shanghai to Bali
4. Part III: Bali
5. Part IV: Yogyakarta
6. Part V: The Food in Yogyakarta
7. Part VI: Yogyakarta to Bali to Shanghai
8. Part VII: Shanghai to Paris to Amsterdam
9. Part VIII: A Weekend in Amsterdam

***

I found it quite funny that my first weekend trip of 2017 was to: Amsterdam! Haha 😆

From Schiphol Airport, my friend and I took a Sprinter train towards Amsterdam Centraal. From there, we went to our hotel nearby, checked-in, and left our luggage in our room.

5 PM during winter solstice
Hello, Amsterdam!

For some reason, I did not feel that tired, despite having just spent 36+ hours flying non-stop from Yogyakarta to Amsterdam via Bali, Shanghai, and Paris! Haha 😆 .

Then, I took my friend to sightsee of the most (in)famous areas of Amsterdam. You know what that is, I am sure, haha 😛 . We had a mini dinner at an Asian restaurant, before going back to the hotel.

Warm noodles and roasted duck
Warm noodles and roasted duck

We checked-out right after our complimentary breakfast the next morning. My friend’s Garuda Indonesia flight to Jakarta was scheduled to leave in the late afternoon so we had the whole morning to tour Amsterdam.

We walked along the Damrak until we reached Rembrandtplein, then walked towards the Heineken Museum. From there, we took the tram towards Museumplein to go to the “I Amsterdam” tourist trap 😛 .

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

I took my friend to an Albert Heijn for him to buy some stroopwafels for gift, before having lunch at an Argentinian restaurant. The steak was okay, even though unfortunately the chimichurri sauce was not ready yet.

Then, it was already time for my friend to go to Schiphol. So we took my bag at the hotel and went to Schiphol. We parted there, as he had to go to Gate G to catch his flight. I took the train to go to Delft and here, my year end vacation to Indonesia officially ended.

THE END.

Bonus:

  1. It was always nice to meet an old friend, as we caught up a lot and talked over many different things. From stupid unimportant ones to the more serious life matters, lol 😆 . So in this sense, too bad we only had less than 24 hours to meet!
  2. Amsterdam on Sunday was, surprisingly, serene and relatively quiet (except in the super touristy area, of course). This swifted my perception a little bit.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2016 Year End Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Amsterdam to Rome to Shanghai
3. Part II: Shanghai to Bali
4. Part III: Bali
5. Part IV: Yogyakarta
6. Part V: The Food in Yogyakarta
7. Part VI: Yogyakarta to Bali to Shanghai
8. Part VII: Shanghai to Paris to Amsterdam
9. Part VIII: A Weekend in Amsterdam

***

Lucu rasanya bahwa tujuan pertama perjalanan akhir pekan 2017 adalah: Amsterdam! Haha 😆

Dari Bandara Schiphol, aku dan temanku menaiki kereta Sprinter menuju Amsterdam Centraal. Dari sana, kami pergi ke hotel kami di dekat stasiun, check-in, dan kemudian menaruh barang bawaan kami di kamar.

5 PM during winter solstice
Halo, Amsterdam!

Entah mengapai, aku tidak merasa lelah loh, padahal baru saja aku menghabiskan 36 jam lebih terbang non-stop dari Yogyakarta ke Amsterdam via Bali, Shanghai, dan Paris! Haha 😆 .

Lalu, aku membawa temanku untuk melihat-lihat sebuah area di Amsterdam yang “terkenal” itu, haha. Tahu lah ya apa, haha 😛 . Kemudian, kami makan malam di sebuah rumah makan Asia, sebelum kembali ke hotel.

Warm noodles and roasted duck
Mie hangat dan bebek panggang

Kami check-out setelah sarapan di hotel keesokan paginya. Penerbangan Garuda Indonesianya temanku ke Jakarta dijadwalkan berangkat di sore hari sehingga sepagian itu kami bisa jalan-jalan di Amsterdam.

Kami berjalan menyusuri Damrak hingga mencapai Rembrandtplein, dan kemudian berjalan-kaki menuju Museum Heineken. Dari sana, kami menaiki tram menuju Museumplein untuk pergi ke tourist trap tulisan “I Amsterdam” itu 😛 .

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Aku mengantarkan temanku ke sebuah Albert Heijn untuknya membeli beberapa stroopwafels untuk oleh-oleh, sebelum makan siang di sebuah restoran Argentina. Steak-nya enak sih, tetapi sayangnya saus chimichurrinya masih belum siap.

Lalu, sudah waktunya untuk temanku pergi ke Schiphol. Kami mengambil tasku di hotel dan pergi ke bandara. Kami berpisah di sana, dimana ia harus masuk ke Gerbang G untuk mengejar penerbangannya. Aku menaiki kereta kembali ke Delft dan, di sini, perjalanan akhir tahunku ke Indonesia resmi berakhir.

SELESAI. 

Bonus:

  1. Selalu seru rasanya bisa bertemu teman lama, dimana kami catch up dan banyak ngobrol tentang berbagai macam hal. Mulai dari yang sangat amat nggak penting sampai pembicaraan mengenai kehidupan, haha 😆 . Jadi dari sudut pandang itu, agak sedih juga kami hanya bisa bertemu kurang dari 24 jam.
  2. Amsterdam di hari Minggu itu, ternyata, terasa tenang dan damai (eh, kecuali di area yang turistik banget ya). Ini sedikit menggeser persepsiku akan kota ini deh.