Blogs from Sri Lanka, Asia - page 8

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya December 10th 2013

Well, the travelblog web site is acting up, and the internet is hit and miss. so I will post the pics I had previously uploaded. Then I lost the internet again.... So, now it is our last day in Sri Lanka, and I will attempt to post this blog. Since this was multiple attempts, I've ended up posting a lot of pics! Tomorrow, we fly to Kuala Lumpur. It has been a great trip, and we definitely hope to return as we feel as though we only had a sample of this beautiful country! We spent 17 days and definitely saw a lot. From the Old Capital, Anuradhapura, we headed to the Central area of the country to Sigiriya to see the Lion Rock. The short story of this 1100ft rock, is the stepson kills his ... read more
Lion Rock
Entrance to the palace
Original stairway

Asia » Sri Lanka » Uva Province » Bandarawela December 10th 2013

Joined a group and trekked over the hills and tea plantations around this area. Interesting but also slightly unsettling experience because of my inexperience in dealing with the visible poverty. Took another train from Bandarawela to Idalgashinna and started the trek from there. The coutryside is really very beautiful - Sri Lanka is so lush. As we got higher you could see a mist creeping in and by the time we were walking through the plantations proper it was low visibility. You didn't know what you were going to run into next. The tea bushes are planted in neat rows on such steep slopes, you wonder how on earth the women have the nerve to pick them so high up. And it is the women who do all the picking - apparently they focus more on ... read more
Horton Plains
Tea Plantation
Tea Plantation

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy December 9th 2013

Note: if you double click on any of the pictures you will be transferred to the picture gallery where they will be enlarged to half page size. Tuesday 3rd December Kandy: the order of business for the day was to visit the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnewala about 45 minutes drive from Kandy. We went straight to the Orphanage and bought our tickets and were told that the elephants were down at the river having their morning bath, after which they would return for feeding. So we headed off across the road and down to the river bank where we sat in a nice restaurant overlooking the river, drinking delicious fresh fruit juice watching the elephants, large and small, wandering about in the shallow water. I was expecting to see them wallowing in the water and blowing ... read more
Hotel Suisse Entrance
Does my bum look big in this?
Puppy love elephant style

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy December 8th 2013

I love trains. To me it's the best way to travel. No traffic, beautiful views, colourful people. So civilised! I have yet to go to India and experience the trains there - I have been warned I might not hold such a romantic view afterwards but today's journey from Kandy to Bandarawela was one of the best I have been on so far. It takes six hours of climbing and circumnavigating the highland region until you come out above the valleys and can see miles of tea plantations, mountains and sweet little villages. The train itself was reasonably comfortable and the carriage next to me was full of one big happy family laughing and singing the whole way. We seem to have lost our ability to stay close to our families in the west, and I ... read more
Kandy
Kandy
Kandy

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Negombo December 7th 2013

We were on the home stretch now with 170 km to the finish line. We were planning on staying at a town called Puttalam, just along the coast, for the first day (a 75 km ride), but good roads and a tail wind allowed is to reach there by 9:30, which was a personal best for this trip (actually the best riding we had this trip was from Dumbulla to Puttalam). Ironically, the worst roads we had were around the two major cities of Colombo and Kandy. With the wind still behind us and Shauna, for the most part, recovered from her illness, we headed direct south for the town of Chilaw. As we cycled along the coast, we could see the predominance of Christian towns through the area -- something we really hadn't seen to ... read more
Trucks
Dried Fish
Little Boy

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy December 7th 2013

Kandy overwhelms me. I am not much of a city person anyway but I hadn't expected it to be quite so full on. I am sure there are loads of great places to see here, but I took refuge by the lake which is beautiful with a low white wall all the way around, a lovely old bath house to one side and a little island in the middle. At one 'corner' of the lake was a little jetty where I saw a monitor lizard lazing about in the sun (it isn't raining in Kandy!). I spent the rest of the afternoon slowly walking up the hill to the place where I am staying and there was plenty to see including a giant snake that appeared from nowhere and disappeared in to someone's garden. I have ... read more
Kandy
Kandy
Kandy

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy December 6th 2013

When Siddhartha Gautama finished his reincarnation cycles by a stomach poisoning, some 486 years before Christ did, his body was burnt with sandalwood along the river Chotta Gandak, in Kushinara, present state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is said, once cremation ceremony was over, eight relics from his body were distributed throughout the Buddhist world and were saved in temples and monuments built for that purpose. One of these relics was the left canine, which a monk handed to the king Brahmadatte. The relic was kept to be venerated in Dantapuri, Orissa. Eight centuries later, clashes in Kalinga kingdom recommended moving the relic to protect it. Prince Dhantha and his consort Princess Hemamali, hiding the tooth in her hairstyle, embarked at Tamralipti, in the mouth of the Ganges. Both landed in Lankapattama harbour, Sri Lanka, during ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya December 6th 2013

Today a trip to the most iconic place in Sri Lanka, and the image that made me want to go there the most, Sigiriya Rock. It's odd appearance is down to it being a volcanic plug of hardened lava, the rest of the volcano having long ago eroded away. That's how old it is! What it actually represents seems to be slightly disputed. I had a young guide who told me it always was a royal palace, but apparently there are new archaeological discoveries which suggest it was a monastery, and some of the palatial features were added much later. Who knows? Who cares - it's beautiful anyway. I also like that there is still so much to be discovered here by future generations, and there are places in the world where we don't have all ... read more
Sigiriya
Sigiriya
Sigiriya

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya December 5th 2013

Note: if you double click on any of the pictures you will be transferred to the picture gallery where they will be enlarged to half page size. Monday 2nd December: we checked out of the Heritance Hotel at 10am heading for Kandy via the World Heritage site of Sigiriya, an amazing palace complex perched on a rock outcrop and one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic places. It took only half an hour to arrive at the site as it's located across KandalamaLake from the Heritance Hotel. We stopped off at a Government Rest House for coffee before beginning the tour; then we went into the site where we met up with Reginold Dissanayaka (“Call me Reggie”) a professional guide recommended by Diya our driver. Reggie bought our tickets for us which provided further enlightenment for my ... read more
Sigiriya Aerial
A colourful welcome to Sigiriya
Ready to climb

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla December 5th 2013

Another bus journey today to Dambulla so stocked up at one of the local bakeries for breakfast/brunch/lunch. One of the best discoveries I've made so far in Sri Lanka is how good the bakeries are. You can live quite cheaply and quite happily on roti and samosas and the little pies. I have gone completely vegetarian - the meat and fish I've tried so far haven't really impressed me and the vegetables are so good. Every breakfast I've had dahl - I can't get too much of that! And I love the coconut sambal you add on top of your food - like a chilli garnish. It's all good. To drink the best thing are the king coconuts or thambili which are sold everywhere - they hack off the top, stick in a straw and charge ... read more
Dambulla Market
Dambulla Market
Dambulla Market




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