Travels in Sri Lanka – Day 7

September 28, 2010

29th September 2010

Will make the long drive to Colombo for our flight home to the U.K..

It has been a remarkable trip to India and Sri Lanka and we have seen many different aspects of life both human and animal.  Our Travels have provided a fresh insight to the human condition.

Travels in Sri Lanka – Day 6

September 28, 2010

Planned to spend the whole day on the beach or by the pool but woke up to steady heavy rain.  Took a prolonged leisurely breakfast instead.

Travels in Sri Lanka – Day 5

September 28, 2010

27th September 2010

Checked out of the Grand Hotel at eight am and travelled through Tea Plantation country towards the beach resort of Beruwela.  On the way we stopped at the Tea Castle for a cup of tea.

It was a long winding journey down a long narrow road with many hairpin bends.  The views were spectacular; we passed by a number of waterfalls.

The drive was tiring and we did not arrive at our destination until six pm where we checked into the Riverina Hotel.

Travels in Sri Lanka – Day 4

September 26, 2010

26th September 2010

Left Kandy for the hill station of Nuwara Eliya.  On the way we visited a wood carving workshop

then a tea plantation.

We arrived at our destination at 3.15 and checked into the Grand Hotel for a one night stay.

Travels in Sri Lanka – Day 3

September 26, 2010

25th September 2010

I was unable to connect to the Internet at the Topaz Hotel so will try again at our next stop.  This morning we toured the Botanical Gardens in Kandy which are well set out and well worth a look.

In the evening we saw some Sri Lankan dancing performed by the Kandy Dancers.  This was followed by fire eating, and hot coal walking.

Then we visited the Temple of the Tooth where the sacred tooth of the Buddha is kept.

Travels in Sri Lanka – Day 2

September 26, 2010

24th September 2010

Left Colombo and headed for Kandy.  On the way we stopped at the Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary to see the bathing and feeding of the baby elephants.  The santary was established in 1975 to protect young wild elephants either lost or abandoned and is set in 25 acres of lush forest.

We then visited a Spice Farm before continuing to Kandy to check into a hilltop inn called the Topaz Hotel

Travels in Sri Lanka – Day 1

September 23, 2010

23rd September 2010

We arrived in Colombo late last night and spent the morning touring the city.  The city is in marked contrast to those we saw in India.  It is much cleaner and far less congested.  The pace of life is slower.  It seems safer but less exciting.  Still it is early days.  The Hindu and Buddhist shrines are striking and well worth seeing.

Travels in India – Day 8

September 23, 2010

22nd September 2010

Set out for Deli Airport.  Before Leaving Agra I donated a copy of my novel “Cogrill’s Mill” in memory of my forbears who sheltered their and as a thank you a thank you for building the wonderful Taj Mahal.  I left it hidden in my hotel room.  One day someone might find it and read the inscription in the front.

The Taj is truly an impressive piece of art and one of the wonders of the world.  It more than lives up to its reputation and ranks alongside Michelangelo’s David in its beauty.

The road to Dehli was crowded with lots of exciting things to see along the way.  As we neared the centre of the city it was in a bad state of repair.  I am afraid I do not see the Indian Government getting it ready for the Commonwealth Games.

Travels in India – Day 7

September 21, 2010

21th September 2010

Apart from our house, the Taj Mahal is reputed to be the most romantic place in the world and that is where I went with my lovely wife Helen today just after dawn.

Later in the morning we visited Agra Fort built by the Emperor Akbar between 1565 and 1573. It was here that Shar Jahan was imprisoned by his son and ended his days gazing from a balcony at the Taj Mahal which he built in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This place is also of great significance for the Jahans family as a number of members were living here during the Indian Mutiny.

Travels in India – Day 6

September 20, 2010

20th September 2010

Set out to journey to Agra and visited Fatpur Sikri.

I hope this blog is not too disjointed and there are not too many typing errors.  I am writing this as we travel and am not spending as much time over my drafts as normal.  I have taken hundreds of photos and have probably spent too much time sorting out which ones to post.  Thus I may have spent too much time on photographs and less on writing.

India has no social security so its people live hand to mouth.  I see beggars and street merchants all the time but don’t respond to them outside the coach otherwise we will be swamped.  Our guides show us merchandise they bring once they have boarded.  That’s okay and we have acquired some fine items to take home.  I wish I had the nerve to try some of the street food they cook up on the pavements.  It looks tasty but I have not the nerve.

Health and safety looks like it does not exist here.  The people move round the streets at great speed and there is much honking of car and motorbike horns.  But they do look out for each other and there is obviously much mutual respect of  other’s right of passage.  The wanderings of the sacred cows are said also to be traffic calming.

Our coach had a puncture on our journey today.  Fortunately we had an ex-army paratrooper as a member of our party and he helped the driver change the wheel.  This and problems with the air-condition system meant we were delayed by about an hour.

Fatpur Sikri is only a few miles from Agra so we were still able to take in a tour of this walled city built by Emperor Akbar in 1571 and the Mughal Capital for 14 years.  It’s architectureis striking and was well worth the visit.

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