Thursday, August 22, 2013

Scenes from Sri Lanka

My friend Sara and I spent four days in Sri Lanka, before heading to our main vacation destination, India, just north of this teardrop of an island. We spent the majority of our time in and around Kandy -- namely, the Kandy Hills... and yes, it's as picturesque as it sounds. 

While strolling through the city, we stumbled upon a lovely temple right off the main street. I was simply taking it all in, enjoying the tranquility of the place, when a woman walked up and blessed me, dotting my forehead with a bindi made from a medley of spices: 

Batik Shopping. But, of course:

We took an "elephant bath" at the Millennium Elephant Foundation, then proceeded to ride around the area, barebacked (which I highly recommend... Not only is it one of the most exciting things ever, but riding on those seats atop an elephant can really harm the animal's vertebrae):

Inside the Temple of the Tooth Relic were oodles of playful monkeys:

Scenes around town:

One evening, we took in a Kandyan Traditional Dance Performance. It was followed by a nighttime showing of Sri Lankan men walking across hot coals and doing tricks with fire...:

Inside a Sri Lankan tea factory:

Sigiriya Rock, where a king built his palace at the peak in the 400s AD. It later became a Buddhist monastery, and now ancient ruins remain, as well as some beautiful cave paintings.

Taking the train back to Colombo: Quite an experience. We ate hoppers on leaf plates, and watched the numerous ballsy dudes hanging from the train...: 

Up next: INDIA!! A photographer's paradise...

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