“Pic of the Week”, August 9, 2019: Scenes from the Batticaloa Waterfront

10 Batticaloa harbor

Situated on Sri Lanka’s east coast, the small city of Batticaloa was all but neglected by tourists until the country’s Civil War ended a few years ago.   Fortunately for the region, that’s changing and valuable tourist dollars are flowing in.

Most people who visit Batticaloa go to see its historic fort, which I’ve previously discussed.  The city is situated on the Indian Ocean, to which it is connected by a series of lagoons, and there are many great scenes to enjoy from the water.

Below are some scenes from the city’s waterfront, including of its harbor including fishermen bridges and the city’s lighthouses….

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge and right arrow to advance)

 

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Around Nuwara Eliya

02 Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is unlike most of the destinations you’re likely to visit in Sri Lanka.  Situated in the Hill Country at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) , the city is at the heart of Sri Lanka’s important tea growing industry.  It’s also the country’s most important center for vegetable growth.  In fact, the farm land on which vegetables are grown is more expensive than much of the land in nation’s capital of Colombo.  

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

The city was developed by the British during the period of Colonial occupation in the 19th century.  Besides its importance as a tea growing area to the British, the cool temperate climate appealed to them as it was similar to that back home.  Nuwara Eliya …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 26, 2019: Road Block in Southern Sri Lanka

Roadtrip, Southern Sri Lanka (29)

It’s not every road trip you find your traffic lane blocked by a wild elephant.  But that’s exactly what happened to us when driving in Southern Sri Lanka, on our way from a safari in Yala National Park

I was sitting in the back seat when my driver started braking and gesticulating about the road obstruction ahead.  After a glance, I quickly grabbed my camera and started snapping away — not ideal photography circumstances, but that’s often how it goes.

There blocking our lane stood an elephant, interacting with passengers in a small bus in the opposite lane.  I’m not sure what was going on — whether he wanted some food (most likely), or just to interact with the people. 

I have a …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 21, 2019: Delhi Sweet Shop

00 Chandi Chowk Market (101)

In my experience it’s rare for people to want their photo to be taken by a tourist.  But the gentleman above was very proud of his job, and wanted me to photograph him cooking up treats in one of Delhi’s Sweets shops.  He was frying some pastries in a large pan of oil, scooping them out as they were ready.  When these were finished he poured in a bag of raw cashews, frying them as well.  

I’m quite cautious about eating street food in countries like India, a trait that has served me well over the years.  But I did buy a few of the cooked treats, which were quite good.  I’m sure they spiked my cholesterol level, but such are the …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 19, 2019: Easter Week in Batticaloa

01 St. Mary’s Cathedral, Batticaloa (5)

During my last trip to Sri Lanka, I spent some time visiting with my friend, Dottie, Sir Arthur C Clarke’s personal secretary.  I got to know Dottie during my travels to Sri Lanka decades ago and we have kept up our friendship and correspondence over the years; it was nice to reconnect in person for a few days.

Dottie is a devout Roman Catholic and wanted to visit the Catholic churches in eastern Sri Lanka, which gave me the opportunity to see places and observe religious customs I otherwise might not have.  One of these places was the Cathedral of St. Mary in the small city of Batticaloa, an old church dating to 1808.

The church is simple but nicely maintained.  I …

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.All Trips / Asia / Dubai

A visit to the Top of the World — Dubai’s Burj Khalif

04 At the Top (11)

It seems fitting that the last major post in my series on visiting Dubai should highlight what I thought was its most spectacular attraction, namely the lovely Burj Khalif.  It is the world’s tallest building, with the world’s highest observation decks.  How could any traveler resist adding checkmarks to those bullet points on their bucketlist?

The Burj Khalifi has 1.85 million sq ft of residential space and 300,000 sq ft of office space, in addition to the Armani designed hotel and residences.   Here are some additional interesting facts about the building and its construction:
– It contains 11.6 million sq ft of concrete
– It took 22 million man hours to build over 6 years.  There were 12,000 people working on the building …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 22, 2019: Sambodhi Chaithya, Colombo

00 Stupa

Stupas, or dagobas, are very commonly found throughout southeastern Asia.  I’d never seen one with legs before my visit to Sambodhi Chaithya, located on Marine Drive adjacent to the Harbor in Colombo’s Fort district.

Sambodhi Chaithya was built in 1956 on a platform supported by two massive interlocking concrete arches.  No one is sure why it was designed in this manner, but likely so that it can be seen at a distance by ships as they approach the harbor.  The stupa can be entered by climbing 11 sets of stairs (barefoot — no shoes allowed in a stupa — beware of burning your feet on a hot day!), and then crossing a steel bridge as you can see from the photo …

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.All Trips / Asia / Food / India

Delhi’s fascinating Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

01 Delhi Spice Market

My favorite market in Delhi was its spice market, which happens to be Asia’s largest spice market.  The market straddles Khari Baoli, a street near the Red Fort.  The street’s name is derived from ‘Baoli’, meaning step well, and ‘Khari’, meaning salty. 

The market dates to the 17th century.  Many of the shops have been in the families for a long time, some even run by the ninth- or tenth generations.

Like all good spice markets, Delhi’s is fragrant, colorful and tempting.  Besides a large variety of spices and herbs, you can buy other food items like nuts, tea, pasta and rice.  Everything is beautifully displayed.  

Delhi's Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Delhi’s Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Khari Baoli is extremely busy — lots of shoppers, traffic, and workers carrying heavy sacs of spices to …

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