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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Travel Tuesday - Sri Lanka 3

 Today I'm linking up with Helene for my Travel Tuesday story!

Let me tell you about an adventure that I had to Sri Lanka!  My parents, Ramesh and I went back in 2010!  Rams if from here, and came to the states for college and hadn't been back was about time!

It took us 21 hours to get there and 4 different airports; 
Minneapolis - Chicago - Abu Dahbi - Sri Lanka!
The 21 hours was LONG but so worth it.  Here is what we did:

Ram's dad was a GM for a Resort in a town called Unawatuna.  It is a little resort town on the southern tip of the country (right next to Galle - check out the map). 

So we headed there... to the Unawatuna Beach Resort - UBR.
 Let me tell you, this place is beautiful!  The beach we stayed on was rated one of the top 10 in the world a few years ago and I couldn't agree more.  During the first few days, we slept, sat on the beach, did some swimming, ate some FRESH lobster and Sri Lankan cuisine and relaxed!  It was darn near perfect!

Restaurant at UBR...right on the beach
another view from the restaurant

After a few days of doing nothing but relaxing we headed on a 11 day tour of the country.  We had a guide and a driver that made things a lot easier (people there drive like it's their last day on earth).  

 Here we stayed at a hotel that over looks what some people say is the eight wonder of the world, Sigiriya.  The hotel was one of the first certified green hotels that is built between two rocks so the wildlife can roam freely throughout the property.  

Kandalama hotel
Monkey chillin' outside of our balcony
pool at the hotel
                          While in Kandalama (3 days) we went to the following places:

    Sigiriyia - an ancient rock fortress and palace situated in central Sri Lanka.  Was built around 477 AD!

hike to the top
From the top of Sigiriya

                     Polonnaruwa -  a medieval capital established in the 11th Century AD

    Anuradhapura - this is where one of the largest Dagabas is found.  A Dagaba is a dome shaped memorial that contains relics of Lord Buddha or a Buddhist saint.  They are built brick by brick in order to protect the relic inside. 
 We also went and saw the Bodhi tree.  This is the tree where Buddha sat during his Enlightenment...this is the oldest verified specimen of the original sapling that Buddha sat under.
a Dagaba - tallest in the world
Bohdi tree held up by gold pillars
carving in Polonnaruwa

 Kandy -
Kandy has been a center of the Buddhist faith since the 17th century.  Here is where you find the "Temple of the Tooth".  It is believed to house the left upper canine tooth of Buddha.  It is enshrined in a series of nested jeweled reliquaries and only brought out for special occasions where is is paraded around on the back of an elephant!

Rams at the Tooth Relic Temple
Tooth Relic - you can see where it is housed in the center of the picture.

                                                                Nuwara Eliya:
       This is  tea country.  In this area you can find the tea leaves that make Lipton tea!  We toured a tea factory and stayed in a hotel that used to be a tea factory.  It is the high country, so it was a little chilly there!

At the Glenloch tea plantation
Rams and I in the tea Country
My parents and I during the drive

                                           Tissamaharama (say that 10 times fast)
We went on a safari!  It was super neat, saw some elephants, wild boar, eagles, water buffalo and more!  
On our safari we also stopped Yala beach...this is one of the places that was hit hardest by the Indian ocean Tsunami.  There was a memorial there for a group of Japanese tourists who lost their life at this spot.  

Tsunami memorial 
Rams and the parents 

Also, while is Tissamaharama I got locked in a bathroom!  It was traumatic, hot and just plain awful!  After an eternity hour my dad finally broke the door open! My dad and husband still laugh at this - I still get anxiety!

trying to get me out of the bathroom

After the 11 day tour we came back for our final week at the UBR.  We got to meet Ramesh's  friends, and his extended family.

Ramesh's family - don't mind my weird smile
My dad is so white and SO TALL
Ramesh and his family!
One of our last nights at the UBR

This trip was amazing and one I will never forget.  I want to go back all the time and we are planning to next year! If you ever have the chance to travel to this tiny country in the middle of the Indian ocean...DO IT!!!

Helene in Between


  1. Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing. I would have freaked out about being locked in that bathroom!
    It's amazing that the same tree Buddha sat under is still there.

  2. What an awesome trip. Looks like a BEAUTIFUL place.

  3. Beautiful photos! Looks like a great trip :)


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