Charles Emile Benjamins: 2. SEMARANG 1901-1911 - Page 4

Travels on Java
Charles Emile made the following travels in Central and East Java.

Central Java

  1. In 1909 grandfather and his family made a trip to Ambarawa where he took images nos CEB 097-099 of the cogwheel train running from Semarang to Yogjakarta. The railway line Semarang-Yogjakarta, which was in operation from 1907 to 1977 was mainly established to bring produce from the plantations in the Yogyakarta area to Semarang for overseas shipment. Commodities included tobacco, coffee, tea, sugar and fire wood. The locomotives were mounted with cog wheels, as there were several mountainous stretches with steep slopes in the line. In 1977 the railway line Semarang Yogjakarta via Magelang was stopped as it was no longer viable. However the 12 km leg Ambarawa- Bedono was maintained for tourism. Today tourists can travel with the train from Ambarawa, the site of the Indonesian National Railway Museum to Bedono, a mountain resort at about 800 meter above sea, using one of the two original locomotives and passenger carriages from 1907, which are still operational. The locomotives still run on fire wood, as in 1907. The route of the original line was: Semarang, Kedungjati, Ambarawa, Magelang,Tegalsari, Sleman, Yogjakarta, Bantul.
  2. Trip to the Dieng plateau and Wonosobo
    Here Charles Emile visited the beautiful Bima candi-temple with grandmother standing in front of the candi: 090.  His photographs also include beautiful pictures of Wonosobo and surrounding mountains: Image 086.
  3. A trip to the Borobudur temple between Magalang and Yogjakarta: 068-081
    Image 068 shows Dr. Vogel seated in front of the temple. Dr Vogel was a friend and colleague,  who owned one of the first cars in Semarang: image 025. One may assume that he took Charles Emile and his spouse with his new car to see the Borobudur temple complex which at that time, 1907-1911, was under restoration by Theo van Erp, an army civil engineer.

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