Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sri Lanka Part I

The last few weeks can be summarized pretty much by the routine of get up, go to school, homework/errands, watch Doctor Who, go to bed and then start over again.  We did have a wonderful break in October with a trip to Sri Lanka that we've been waiting to report.  I hope we can remember the details.

Our trip started with a quick flight to to Madurai and then to Colombo.  Our scheduled pick up didn't show but it worked out well as we ended up finding another service to provide a driver for the whole trip.  We piled in the car and headed to our Hotel Elephant Bay in Pinnawala just in time to see the bats flying over the nearby river at dusk.

Our first day started with breakfast along the river where the Elephants came out to bathe.  We then hopped in the car for a drive further into the hill country to Sri Lanka's ancient capital of Kandy.  We had a nice stop at the botanical gardens along the way where N became the expedition leader.

The highlight of Kandy was the Temple of the Tooth, a Buddhist temple that holds a relic of one of the Buddha's teeth.   M was a little frustrated at the attention she received by wearing shorts and having to buy a sarong before entering the temple.  We purchased some beautiful lotus blossoms and the kids placed them around the many spots of worship throughout the temple complex.

We finished the day with a viewing of some traditional dances which built well to a climax from the cobra-monkey dance battle, to fire eaters, and finally some fire walking.  Really, they do that.  But probably just for us tourists.
The view from our hotel balcony.  As we ate breakfast the elephants marched out for morning baths of the water and dirt variety. 

We were surprised at just how adept the elephants were at piling dirt into large piles on their backs.

N and H found a nice place to watch the elephants.

A roadside stop for the very green view on the way to Kandy.
One of our favorite stops in the botanical gardens was the orchid house.

N was the proud navigator for the botanical gardens.

Funny thing is, I think we went straight here.  Right into the forest.

Sleeping fruit bats

We didn't feel too comfortable taking a lot of pictures in the Temple of the Tooth.  We never found the tooth.

A stupa near the main temple site.  We always like the ones that seem to get a little less care and attention.

In front of the Temple of the Tooth

She was so mad. SO mad.

Lotus flowers for sale outside the temple complex.

Fire walkers in Kandy. 

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