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A world away in 5 weeks - India to Sri Lanka and back

A world away in 5 weeks - India to Sri Lanka and back

Old Mar 25th, 2021, 08:45 AM
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Chai! I'll bet they are great at tea production.

I've not met Gauri's daughter but Gauri is elegant, beautiful and classy.

That hotel definitely has a European feel.

Following!



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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 09:27 AM
  #222  
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jacketwatch - there are plenty of tea plantations - the weather is ideal for tea. Interestingly, though probably not at all surprising, the majority of workers are ethnic Indian Tamils, transported by the British to work the tea fields.

If you're interested in seeing the video of your neighbors dancing, just google the daughter's name and the charming video of both should come up. The mother does look elegant and the daughter is lovely, too.

Next up: the train ride!
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 09:56 AM
  #223  
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The Sri Lanka train ride through the hill country is considered one of the most scenic rides in the world -- and at a bargain price, too. Through Boutique Sri Lanka, the agency we worked with, I had reserved first class seats months before; but shortly before we were scheduled to leave, I was told that they were sold out. I was a little upset when I was told this, but honestly, it was not a big deal. This trip originates in Kandy, but we picked up the train in Nanu Oya, which is the start of the section of the trip which is said to be the most scenic part of the journey. It was built in 1864 to transport tea to the capital, but now, it's a very popular train ride for tourists and locals alike.

And we're off to Ella, the final stop of our journey by train. Our train arrived at the station about an hour after it was scheduled. It was somewhat cloudy when we left the station, but soon it became a misty, foggy journey through what felt, at times, like a primeval landscape, timeless without a sense of place. We saw a little of the green and lush countryside, but the surreal views were remarkable!

We're all about to go on a journey now - just think of this as the Twilight Zone episode!



Overview of the Nanu Oya train station


Train schedule


The train is finally here!






A Hindu Temple in the countryside






Where are we? Who are they?





Somewhere in time...


The mist


Lots of tunnels








We've arrived! And everyone is happy!


Ella, at last!


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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 12:32 PM
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Progol I have not seen them dance but have been I think two of her shows put on by her students. One show was sort of test which if passed would put the student close to getting professional credentials.

As you can well imagine it takes years of study.

We went to another Kathak show and as I discovered there is a controversy about classic vs. shall I say non classic Kathak styles.

I cant really say but all I know is I liked them both though the classic style seems to necessitate following certain steps to qualify.
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 02:03 PM
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I'm sure we went to the same tea plantation, progol!

Did you stay in NE? We stayed up in the hills in a old tea planter's mansion which was extraordinary but rather remote. It was so British that you could literally order anything for breakfast including bacon and eggs and tea was served on the lawn every afternoon at about 4pm. One morning we went down to NE itself and found that there is a botanical garden behind the bus garage, which was wonderful and included a rose garden but the next day we heard that there had been an invasion of huge hornets and some people were stung really badly. If you are ever there again I can recommend the little cafe at the garden entrance.

Interesting that you had problems with the train tickets. BSL said that they didn't book train tickets at all and we decided not to try to get them ourselves, which looking at your photos was clearly a mistake as it looks amazing.
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 05:04 PM
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jacketwatch - I don’t know about Kathak dance, though your neighbor sounds very impressive in her accomplishments!. I imagine there’s controversy whenever there are changes to a tradition, whether in dance or other cultural expressions, but I will say that mother and daughter look like they are having fun together! I can imagine that the mom must be very proud of her daughter, too.

annhig, no, we didn’t stay in NE. I had only a limited amount of time and had considered it, but ultimately decided to stay in Ella. I was glad we were able to stop in town for the quick visit, and I enjoyed driving through that part of the hill country.

I guess BSL was more amenable to buying train tickets by the time we arrived! I’m glad we were able to take the train, even though it was foggy for half the ride.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 12:07 PM
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Ella. We loved Ella, the laid-back, backpack-style town, and though I felt less of a sense of Sri Lankan culture, it was a wonderfully relaxed place to be.

We stayed 3 nights at the lovely 98 Acres, and from our large terrace, we had fantastic views of Little Adam’s Peak and the surrounding hills. Seeing the views and watching the changing weather patterns from our room was magical.

The weather was comfortable – the best weather of our time in Sri Lanka – and we took several good walks. We loved the hike up Little Adam’s Peak – the views from the top were superb. We actually attempted the walk twice; though it’s not a very long hike, it is a steady walk uphill, and with some health issues, I found I couldn’t complete it the first time I tried it. I was thrilled, though, on the second day when I was able to make it to the top!

We also walked to 9 Arch Bridge, also called the Bridge in the Sky, is a viaduct bridge, built by the British. While some people do like to time their walk to see the train go through, I was happy enough to see the structure and watch some of the more brazen folks hang over the side!

We also arranged to visit another tea factory through 98 Acres. We preferred the earlier visit, but it was a good way to spend a couple of hours. Since we had told our driver we didn’t need him that day, we had to arrange transportation back. We had quite a ride coming back to 98 acres in a tuk-tuk, whizzing around the hilly turns!



A hazy view of Little Adam's Peak


View from terrace at 98 Acres








Walking to Little Adam's Peak


Stairway up Little Adam's Peak


At the top


Ziplining - if you dare!


Serenity at the top


Views in every direction


We made it!



9 Arch Bridge

Approaching 9 Arch Bridge

Hanging with my buds at 9 Arch bridge



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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 12:15 PM
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98 Acres - a lovely place!



The cabins of 98 Acres, as seen from Little Adam's Peak


The terrace


The terrace




This is an extensive property, with paths and stairs throughout. You can call for a tuk-tuk to get around.


The swimming pool - it was too cool to take a dip but we did see some folks using it


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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 12:44 PM
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More lovely photos, progol. Not sure I'd fancy sitting on the edge of that bridge though.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
More lovely photos, progol. Not sure I'd fancy sitting on the edge of that bridge though.
Believe me, it wasnít either of us sitting on the edge of the bridge!

Glad youíre still enjoying the photos, annhig! Soon weíll be in Galle so Iím sure those photos will look familiar to you.
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Old Mar 31st, 2021, 01:28 AM
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Your photos take me right back to Ella ! Thank you 🙏
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Old Mar 31st, 2021, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sartoric View Post
Your photos take me right back to Ella ! Thank you 🙏
My pleasure! Iím so happy youíre still following and enjoying this! Soon to come: Galle!
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Old May 11th, 2021, 12:52 PM
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And I'm back! I am trying to finish this before another few months go by....

Leaving Ella....
With a little sadness, we left our little little paradise in Ella...



And on to Galle
and drove on to Galle. This was the longest drive between locations, and the heat and humidity were beginning to affect me. In the north, the weather was hot but fairly dry; here, it was very humid and hot, with very changeable weather over the next few days.

Galle Fort is a fortified city first founded by the Portuguese in 16th C, extensively developed by the Dutch in the 18th, and then taken over by the British at the 18th C. It's most important landmark is the preserved Dutch Fort, with its grand gateway and huge walls, surrounding the well-preserved colonial town. The architecture of the town consists of mostly Dutch-built buildings which have been turned into a busy tourist destination, with the many mansions and cottages occupied by boutique hotels, restaurants and shops.

Mango House
We arrived and the streets seemed very quiet, until later, when we ventured out and walked the walls. This is what is unique and very special here. But first, we had to find our hotel. We stayed in a charming small hotel, Mango House, a restored Dutch Colonial-style villa.



Arriving in Sri Lanka


Mango House entry


Mango House entry hall and shared space


Mango House garden





Last edited by progol; May 11th, 2021 at 01:06 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2021, 01:20 PM
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Dutch Fort Ramparts
Walking the ramparts is a delight, experiencing it with locals and tourists alike, especially in the changing light


Galle Lighthouse


Perfect wedding photography location!


Lighthouse, 2


Meera Mosque


Enjoy the walls, rain or shine!


Sultry night!


Making friends along the wall


Waiting for sundown -- not successfully!


Along the wall





Walk the walls in any weather!




Last edited by progol; May 11th, 2021 at 01:37 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2021, 03:09 PM
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Great pics. Thanks again. I see the bride wearing red. Hmmm. Is that typical there I wonder or is that a bridesmaid? Very pretty in any case.

Last edited by jacketwatch; May 11th, 2021 at 03:28 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2021, 02:14 AM
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I don’t know the significance of a red bridal dress, but I assumed it was a bride, but maybe someone else knows whether it is or not.

I’m glad you’re enjoying this still, jw!
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Old May 12th, 2021, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
I don’t know the significance of a red bridal dress, but I assumed it was a bride, but maybe someone else knows whether it is or not.

I’m glad you’re enjoying this still, jw!
You bet! BTW i looked, found this on pinterest.UK:
"In Sri Lankan tradition, brides wear a gold, cream, or red sari and wedding jewelry as well as a hair ornament."
Clearly thus was not a sari but red seems to be ok and in Asia red is considered as a good luck, auspicious color. Tiger Woods mom who is Thai encouraged to wear red for his Sunday round which is the round when the championship is decided. So yes it seems so.

Last edited by jacketwatch; May 12th, 2021 at 06:10 AM.
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Old May 12th, 2021, 12:12 PM
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I can almost feel the humidity in your pictures.

Our neighbour just left for Colombo yesterday to attend to a family situation.
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Old May 12th, 2021, 01:34 PM
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jw, I thought the red dress might be a wedding dress - a nice mix of tradition and modern!

ian, boy did it get humid! A wee bit too much so for my comfort, unfortunately. The last day I was totally done in. But the clouds do make dramatic images!
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Old May 12th, 2021, 02:17 PM
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<<ian, boy did it get humid! A wee bit too much so for my comfort, unfortunately. The last day I was totally done in. But the clouds do make dramatic images!>>

Yet more wonderful photos, Progok which bring back lots of memories for me. Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but there is a famous cricket ground just outside the fort in Galle. I cannot for one minute imagine how they play all day in that heat and humidity let alone for days on end. But we still loved Galle and it's one of the places in Sri Lanka I'd like to go back to. One of our most memorable encounters was when we were in a tea shop [where else in Sri Lanka has tea shops?] and the owner sat down with us and started to show us his album of pictures connected with the tsunami. What can you say? Our driver had told us about it as we drove along the south coast but this really brought home to us how devastating it was.
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