Maldives – Indian Ocean Paradise

Maldives – Indian Ocean Paradise

Introduction We finally made it to the Maldives from Sri Lanka. From the Velana International Airport, we flew over many of the country’s islands. We landed on one island and switched to a boat. Once we were docked on our island, we took a golf cart through town, passing children playing soccer. We checked into our lodge, then hightailed it to the beach. We made it to a fabulous island for water-sports. There were no surprises until that night, when we saw the local women competing in a tug-of-war contest. We then realized…continue reading →
Sri Lanka – Part 4 – Colombo

Sri Lanka – Part 4 – Colombo

Introduction We were impressed by several interesting memorials and temples we saw in Colombo, including this lion statue in front of a stupa… …the Red Mosque… …the Hindu temples in Captain’s Garden… …and the statue of the first prime minister next to Independence Memorial Hall. The biggest surprise was learning about the work of Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most famous architect. Because of some unexplained gap in my education, I did not know about him and was amazed at the sophistication and artistry of his work, including the Buddhist Seema Malaka Temple. Our…continue reading →
Sri Lanka – Part 3 – Jaffna Peninsula

Sri Lanka – Part 3 – Jaffna Peninsula

Introduction We entered Jaffna not knowing what to expect. We found the central food market was lively despite decades of civil war… …the people on the streets were back to living normal lives… …and families were making pilgrimages to Hindu temples. However, what never ceases to amaze me is the psychedelic decorations at Hindu temples, including this nine-headed statue at Nagapooshani Temple. When I saw this, I immediately thought of Jimi Hendrix’s “Axis Bold As Love” album cover. Our Story This was the third leg of our journey in Sri Lanka in February…continue reading →
Sri Lanka – Part 2 – Cultural Triangle

Sri Lanka – Part 2 – Cultural Triangle

Introduction We explored the Cultural Triangle, the center of Sri Lanka history, where we saw Buddhist statues and wall paintings in Dambulla Cave… …the millennial-old ruins of Polonnaruwa… …the inner chamber of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy… …and the Elephant Wall in Anuradhapura. But it was not just cultural immersion. In between, we took breaks to cool off in the waterfalls of Sri Lanka with the locals. Our Story My wife Khadija and I, with our friends Peter and Caitlin, were in Sri Lanka for a week, mainly in tea country.…continue reading →
Sri Lanka – Part 1 – Tea Country & Gal Oya National Park

Sri Lanka – Part 1 – Tea Country & Gal Oya National Park

Introduction I knew a little about different ethnic groups living in Sri Lanka, including the Sinhalese, who are mostly Buddhist… …and the Tamils who are mostly Hindu… …and Muslims, many of whom are descendants from Arab traders. However, I did not know about the original inhabitants, the Veddas, until visiting the country and meeting them. Learning about them was typical of our time in Sri Lanka. Every day was a combination of exploration, education and enjoyment. Our Story I had just spent two incredible weeks at the 2019 Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India,…continue reading →