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I love to explore markets and walked a few miles to see this one — the Pettah Market in Colombo. Situated in an older portion of the city, the market extends over several blocks in the Pettah neighborhood and caters to local residents, not tourists. In fact, I think mine was the only white face in the market. The market was lively, filled with colorful produce and interesting smells, and full of conversation and bartering — as any good market should be.
The fresh produce was beautiful, featuring what was in season, notably pineapples, wood apples, papayas, watermelon and lots of different types of bananas. A huge assortment of vegetables were piled on the ground or on low tables and a …
One of the required stops when touring Colombo is this rather impressive building, situated in Independence Square within the trendy Cinnamon Gardens neighborhood. The monument commemorates Sri Lanka gaining its independence from Great Britain on February 4, 1948. The location is the precise site where Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, opened Sri Lanka’s first parliament, in so doing ending almost five centuries of colonial rule (the last 140 years under Britain).
The building, while mostly made of concrete instead of quarried rock, is styled after the ancient structures in Sri Lanka, The main feature of the monument, the assembly (audience) hall, was modeled after the royal court of the King of Kandy, the last kingdom in the island nation to fall to …
Sri Lanka is a country of many traditions and faiths, but most of its residents are Sinhalese Buddhists. As such, exploring the Buddhist temples of the country offers a gateway to understanding the culture and traditions of most of its people. Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo and one of the city’s more interesting sites.
This Buddhist temple is encompassed by several buildings and is situated in the heart of Colombo, not far from Beira Lake. It includes a Vihara (temple), a Bodhi tree, an Image house, and an assembly hall for monks. The complex also has an eclectic museum, library, residential hall and an educational hall. The beautiful Simamalaka Shrine is nearby and a satellite …
I’ve taken more time to relax and watch the entirety of a sunset over the Indian Ocean than anywhere else; the majority of these were at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. And I’m not alone. Usually 50 — at times upwards of a hundred — guests are there alongside me enjoying it as well.
During my visit to Colombo this year I discovered the hotel had added a new twist to the sunset ritual. A Sri Lankan bag-piper playing a dirge, together with one of the hotel employees, solemnly and slowly march out to the edge of the sea at dusk. The uniformed man methodically lowers and folds the flag as the sad tune from the pipes mixes with …
I’ve stayed at many hotels in my life, across a broad range of countries and classes of service. Generally I’m a ‘Courtyard by Marriott’ kind of guy — reliable, clean standardized rooms. But the Galle Face is special and a night or two stay here should be on your itinerary when you’re visiting the capital of Sri Lanka.
I was first advised to stay at the Galle Face hotel by my friend, Wayne Houser, who connected me with Sir Arthur C. Clarke. I recall Wayne telling me all those years ago that it was a great hotel and was one of the only places you could get Arthur to leave the comfort of his home and join you for lunch or …
One of the rarest cars I ever countered during my travels to Sri Lanka, in fact, the only one of its type I’ve seen in the country, is this classic Cadillac coupe. Parked in front of the Galle Face Hotel, it was decorated for one of the many weddings held here.
It’s obviously a Cadillac, and appears to be a Coupe de Ville from the mid 1950s with some post purchase customizations. Anyone know anything more about this car?
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)
I’ve previously written about my travels to Sri Lanka to visit my favorite author and friend, Sir Arthur C. Clarke. After the long journey to Sri Lanka from America, I enjoyed settling in at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, a charming Colonial era building adjoining the Indian Ocean, before traveling elsewhere on the island. This hotel was where Arthur wrote most of his last novel in the Odyssey series, 3001: The Final Odyssey. It was also among the only places that enticed Arthur to leave the comfort and convenience of his home to join me for dinner or a drink, or to watch the sunset.
I meet many fine people in Sri Lanka during …
DrFumblefinger’s preamble: One of the greatest aspects of knowing Arthur C Clarke was the many wonderful people I met through my friendship with him. Among these was Sir Arthur’s personal secretary, Dottie Weerasooriya. Dotts was and has remained a friend over the years and for the first time in the accompanying article shares some of her private memories of Sir Arthur, including his final days (Dottie was at his bedside when Sir Arthur passed on). This is the first “guest post” on this website and I’m proud its such an interesting piece. Thanks, Dotts, for sharing it with us! ******************************************************************************
THE FINAL COUNT DOWN
(Dedicated to the memory of our beloved Sir Arthur C. Clarke,
with love and deepest respect)
by Dottie …