They say that the world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page. But we generally tend to overlook the fact that the country we live in is chapter one of the book. The first chapter of a book can either get you hooked, or regret ever reading the book in the first place. The book of the world is no different! Fortunately for us, our motherland, our first chapter, Sri Lanka, is a country like no other. This tiny island paradise is home to a variety of astonishing sights, rich history and amazing cultural heritage. Go ahead, read a few more pages from chapter one! Trust me; the chapter on Sri Lanka is much larger than you think…
The Kalutara Temple
On my quest to cover the coastal region of our beautiful island home, we’ve covered most of the south from Hikkaduwa to Dondra Head in Matara, as well as a few locations on the east; namely Paasikudah and ArugamBay. This travel entry is on a spontaneous trip to Ahungalla.
The Doha City Tour is a complementary tour package provided to all passengers who fly with Qatar Airways and have a transit of 8 hours or more at the Hamad International Airport. The tour is free and you don’t need to have visa to enter Qatar. Bear in mind that the tour departure times are fixed; this means that even though you have a transit time of 8 hours, eligibility for the tour depends on the departure time of your next flight.
There are times that you wake up on a Sunday morning and think to yourself, what do I do today? Do I take it easy and relax a little? Do I find a quiet spot and lose myself between the pages of a book? Or do I hit the road and go for a drive? It just so happens that on this particular Sunday morning, the last day of the year 2017, my wife and I decided that we should hit the road and go somewhere that we’ve never been before. Having decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Galle, our choices were somewhat limited, but, we unanimously picked Matara as the destination for the day.
They say, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” and the journey to Matara from Galle is a living testament to this statement.
What threw me off the most about spring time in Stockholm was the extended day time. I woke up at around 6:00 AM and the sun was already up, I went to sleep around 10:00 PM, the sun was still up! The first few days I had mini panic attacks thinking that I’ve overslept!
Excited for the second day of sightseeing, we had breakfast and made our way towards the Tram stop! From SicklaUdde we enjoyed a nice morning tram ride to Globen and walked to the Ericsson Globe. The Ericsson Globe originally known as the Ericsson Globe Arena is the largest hemispherical building in the world! It has a diameter of 110m and an inner height of 85m with a seating capacity for an audience of 16,000 for shows and 13,850 fans during Ice Hockey games. This iconic Stockholm landmark is home to SkyView, where you can get on a gondola that departs every 10 minutes and scale up the side of the globe to get a fantastic view of Stockholm. A Swedish work colleague who interned at an elevator company told me that the gondolas on the Globe are categorized as roller-coasters because of the curved track that they move on.
When I logged into Facebook this morning, I saw a memory from three years ago. The memory included a photograph taken at the Bandaranayaka International Airport during my first foreign trip! And it dawned on me that I’m yet to do a write up about my visit to Stockholm Sweden.
I, along with two work colleagues, traveled to Stockholm on a work assignment. But, we arrived in Stockholm three days prior to initial meeting with the clients, so that we would have an opportunity to do some sight seeing.
When we arrived in Sweden, we took the Arlanda express, and traveled from Stockholm Arlanda AirPort to Stockholm Central Station. Next, we took the subway to “Slussen”, followed by a short bus ride to “Henriksdal” where we settled into the apartment that would be our home for the next two weeks. After having a bite to eat, we walked around the neighborhood, and did some grocery shopping before hitting the sack.
I’ve never been interested in watching the Kandy Esala Perahara. That is, I didn’t take the time to sit in front of the Tele and watch the procession, but I always told my parents, that we should go and watch it live. My father, especially said, “If we are going to watch the Perahara we should get good seats, and good seats are expensive, we are better off watching at home, then you get to listen to the commentary”. Thus, it was quite evident that I, seeing the Perahara with my parents was a very unlikely outcome.
The Sri Dalada Maligawa, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relick
In 2014, after I took up Photography as a hobby, a colleague of mine said that he could get me a media pass to photograph the Perahara! Lo-and-behold I was seated right in front of the octagonal Patthirippuwa on the penultimate day of the Perahara. It was an amazing experience!!
Adam’s peak referred to as “Samanalakanda” (සමනළ කන්ද) is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall mountain located in central Sri Lanka. According to Buddhist belief it contains the sacred footprint or “Sri Paadaya”(ශ්රී පාදය) of the Buddha.
Illuminated path to Adam’s Peak
We began our journey after lunch on Saturday, 21st February 2015. As we approached Nallathanniya, the village at the foot of the mountain, there was a long line of buses and vans parked on either sides of the road hinting that a large crowd was visiting Adam’s Peak over the weekend. Our bus was stopped by the police and we were instructed to leave our bus at that point and take the public transport to Nallathanniya (roughly 5km away from that point) as there was heavy traffic. We arrived at the inn we had arranged dinner around 9 pm. After freshening up and having dinner, we began the hike to the peak around 11 pm. Our objective was to reach the peak by about 5:30 am on the 22nd to view the sunrise. Judging by the crowd, this was going to be quite a challenge.