Week 5. My favorite holiday. Road trip to Berastagi part 1.

Hehe… My week 5 post is not right on time, again. 

Better late than never, right 😄.

Anyway, I was about to write our vacation in Langkawi as my favourite holiday but it was actually a honeymoon getaway. So, no… holiday and honeymoon should be different, right? 

I decide to write about our recent family road trip to Berastagi. For the sake of documenting it 😄. We were on the road for a week, starting from Thursday, April 26th to Wednesday, May 3rd 😁. Quite long, hah. The trip included several visits to relatives’ houses.

Thursday.

The trip started. I woke up at 4.30am, packed our bags, cleaned the house, prepared meals and snacks, showered, prayed subuh, and got everything ready by 6.30am. We even had breakfast before departing just to save a bit of time on the road later. K was the last thing we brought into the car. He was still sleeping, which was good for us… not to be bothered by the toddler while getting ready 😄. It was all right according to the plan. We hit the road by 7.15am. But wait, we forgot to turn off the water pump machine so we drove back home to do that. We actually hit the road at 7.30am.

Road trip troops. Ups, toddler is not in the car seat 😂. Guilty as charged.

The trip was okay. Nothing really bothered. K enjoyed the trip, no fuss at all. We brought his books and toys so he played with them along the way. We sang together when he got bored. Sometimes he sat on my lap and we pretended there was Burqa Avenger spying on us on the road…haha. Burqa Avenger is a Pakistani animated television series that K kinda like. 

We stopped quite frequently in several gas stations, just to have a bit of rest, and also to have K go pee. He is diaper free now but we have to make sure he pees every 3-4 hours. Other than that, we stopped in Lhokseumawe for lunch and in Kuala Simpang for early dinner. It took all 13 hours to get to Pangkalan Brandan, our first destination. We arrived at 8.30pm at my in laws’ house, bang Ijal and kak Asni. K and I prepared ourselves to sleep right away while my husband catched up with his brother until a bit later.

Friday-Saturday

We spent two days here in Brandan. Two months ago, Kak Asni had quite a terrible accident that caused her right hand to be amputated. My husband had visited her twice when she was in the hospital in Medan, but at the time she was still in a state of coma. That’s why we decided to see her again as part of our trip, to give a bit of company to the family.

She is doing well, obviously a lot better than before. She was already practicing to do stuff like preparing breakfast and some minor cleaning with her left hand. Though her moves are considerably slower than usual, overall her improvement is amazing. We are so happy for her and the family. 

There was not so much to see in Brandan. Apart from being with our relatives, we only went for city sight seeing and tried some good food recommended by Kak Asni. We tried noodle soup Tanjung Pura, which was really yummy. The soup is thick and very tasty. I think they made their own noodle that make it even more special. If you pass by the eastern coast of North Sumatera-Aceh, it’s worth stopping by the restaurant. I couldn’t remember the name but it’s located right in the heart of Tanjung Pura market. Just see the most crowd noodle kiosk… That would be it. 

Pangkalan Brandan is a small city. It’s part of Langkat District, North Sumatera. The city was once famous for the oil. Indeed, almost all areas along the eastern coast of North Sumatera-Aceh were oil rich, but Brandan was the first oil explored in Indonesia. The quality of the city is not very satisfying. There is not much left from a city that, once, was one of the main supporters of Indonesia’s development. Pertamina housing complex is degrading in both quantity and quality. There are only around 40 households living in the complex (back in the 90s there were about 2,500 households), including my brother in law who is currently waiting for transfer. Houses are collapsing, lots of them are destroyed by Pertamina to avoid taxes. Parks are abandoned, including the golf course. Pity, really. I hope the government would acquisite the lands for better uses.

Sunday

We left Brandan for Medan on Sunday. To Medan, it only took 3 more hours. We actually planned to go straight to Berastagi that day but it was a long weekend season we couldn’t book any hotel. You know, with toddler, you can’t just go and stay at random places which might be uncomfortable. So, yeah… We stayed over night in Medan at my another in law’s house and headed Berastagi the next day.

My husband’s sister lives in Jakarta, so no food whatsoever was available in the house…haha. We spent the whole day in Centre Point mall, had lovely lunch at Nelayan and stomach-full dinner at Sederhana Padang Food, then headed back home to have early rest. 

K loves the dimsums here. This is the second pot, not the last one 😎😎

Monday

We were already on the road at 6.30am. As usual, K was still sleeping. The road was great, traffic free!! We arrived around 8.30am and had breakfast at H. Ngadimin’s wajik and pecal. The place was full packed of people, mostly of those who had stayed for the weekend and ready to go back. No wonder it’s always crowd, the food was great with good prices. 

Then, we went to Lumbini park. This is where the great Pagoda located. I would say this is a must visit place in Berastagi. The park is really nice with pathways full of flowers and trees. Super clean. They don’t allow any food and drinks from outside and provide food stall instead for people to snack (only in there), all to keep the place litter free. 😍😍😍. Despite the pretty park, the most special is the landmark itself, the Pagoda. It’s the replica of Shwedagon pagoda in Myanmar and the second highest pagoda outside Myanmar.

Posing in front of the pagoda. The pagoda park consists of 1 main pagoda, 8 small pagoda, 1 ashoka pillar, and 4 sakyamuni budha statues made from the green jade of Myanmar.

K and abi walking through the pathways. Dad was happy to see beautiful scenery and fresh air. K was not enjoying that much, haha.

Still an hour before check-in time, we decided to have a look at the fruits and flowers market in the heart of Berastagi city. The place was not very organized and clean, and smelly of horses 😥. I wish our government had handled tourism area like this more seriously, especially because Berastagi is very close to Danau Toba, one of the main tourism destinations in Indonesia. Just behind the market, there is Taman Mejuah-juah, a small okay park with nothing inside. Pity… Since we had to pay for entrance and get an unattractive park, haha. Not expensive, but I thought the retribution should be used, at least to maintain it. Compared to Lumbini park, which was free by the way, Mejuah-juah is… I don’t even know the right word to explain how different they were.

At Mejuah-juah park. Not a well maintained park with broken playground equipments.

Yeay.. finally ride the cart 😍😍

Anyway, K had fun in here because there were horses everywhere 😁. We rode a horse cart. It was a bit rainy that we didn’t allow him to ride the horse. K was happy… This was all he had wanted from he whole trip, hahaha.

Tired. We finally checked in the hotel.

-to be continued-

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