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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Osthafen

Industrial loveliness at Frankfurt Osthafen, drawing together with Jörg, Katja & Clara despite the rain.






Monday, 4 May 2015

Last days in Sri Lanka



Last days spent in Colombo and Jaffna, in good company.




Sunday, 3 May 2015

Pettah & Galle Road


Drawing the busy market bazaar of Pettah is not easy, as every inch of space is used by vendors and pedestrian. To say i found a spot between a distribution box and a shop window..that´s already stretching it quite a bit.



Further down south is Galle Road, the main artery of Colombo, changing a lot between the city center and  what used to be the suburbs..

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Hill Country




Kandy was best enjoyed from further away, at night when the city lights were reflected in its artificial lake. Instead of visiting the crowded Temple of the Tooth, i looked at the tombstones of the British Garrison Cemetery an learned about strange ways to die in old Ceylon (being trampled to death by an elephant, having one´s house collapse on oneself, falling on a pike while trying to get off a horse).




The badly lit cave temples of Dambulla and the surrounding countryside, then on to the impressive ancient rock palace of Sigiriya. While painting this view, a gardener sat by my side to see what i was up to. Along came a sinhalese, then a muslim school group. When my view was completely blocked by giggling girls in ponytails i decided my painting was finished.

And finally making my way to the hill country with its lush green tea plantations and the town of Nuwara Eliya.



At an altitude of 2000 m, it has a mild climate that appealed to british settlers. Their specific architecture is the trademark of Nuwara Eliya, and only the colourful trucks and Sri Lankans trying to sell fake North Face clothing remind you you´re not in England.



Friday, 13 March 2015

Colombo Fort

කොටුව (කොළඹ)
கோட்டை (கொழும்பு)


Colombo Fort is the oldest part of the srilankan capital and its traditional commercial center.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam bombed the Central Bank of Ceylon in january of 1996, making it one of the deadliest attack during Sri Lankas 30 years of civil war. This event led the government to restrict access to certain parts of the fort, making it a heavily fortified area, leading to its decline as the city center. Only very recently,  the Fort was made accesible again for all, 5 years after the end of the war.


 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Cinnamon Gardens

කුරුඳු වත්ත
 கறுவாத் தோட்டம்



Some not so posh parts of the otherwhise very posh Colombo neighbourhood of Cinnamon Gardens. Hindu temple on Torrington and the grand Devatagaha Mosque close to Victoria Park.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Trinco

திருகோணமலை/ ත්‍රිකුණාමලය

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Down the southern coast


Travelling down the coast from Colombo is quicker than elsewhere in the country, thanks to the openi ng of a new Expressway. The diasadvantage of this accesibility is the amount of tourists flooding the beaches, it is difficult, but still possible to find some nice and calm spots.


 
At a buddhist temple in Mirissa, flower offerings are laid out befora a buddha statue. The head monk gives me a key so i can enter the lavishly decorated vihara, a good, cool spot to esccape the midday heat.



 

Fisherboats at the beach in Mirissa, and a view of the sea whilst consuming fish for dinner.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Galle Fort

ගාලු කොටුව/காலிக் கோட்டை


Galle Fort on Sri Lanka´s southern coast was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, fortified by the Dutch during the 17th and taken over by the British by the end of the 18th century. Nowadays it attracts lots of tourists, who stroll through the old colonial streets on day trips from nearby beach resorts.


Galle Fort is a bit similar to Paraty in Brasil, but less homogenous with its mix of dutch colonial & art déco houses, srilankan clutter and tourist traps. It´s multi-ethnic and multi-religious: within the confines of the ramparts, you can find mosques, churches and buddhist stupas. Here is Meera Jumma Mosque and Galle Lighthouse on the southern rampart.



My Rough Guide called Galles Maritime Museum "the worst museum in Sri Lanka, possibly all South Asia", so i figured it must be quite a sight. I features random displays in unintelligible english and creepy mannequins depicting rural fishermen, but it had a whale skeleton.



Tembili is the sinhalese word for coconut, but also means the colour orange. Most menus feature it as King Coconut though, and it tastes best for lunch at Galle Fort Hotel´s pretty terrace.



Saturday, 24 January 2015

Anuradhapura



Anuradhapura is an ancient town in central Sri Lanka, famous for its many places of worship and ruins of buddhist monasteries, many of them around 2000 years old. Mirisivatya Dagoba is on the outskirts of the sacred city, a white dagoba with little tourists and quiet atmosphere.



Abhayagiri is on the northern edge of the city, furthest from the center. It is my favourite part of the area, with the jungle overgrowing the ruins and a quiet, melancholy atmosphere. 1500 years ago, it was a huge monastery housing 5000 monks, though only the sheer size of the area suggests that now.



Further to the south, the mood changes to lively and vibrant place of pilgrimage, with hundreds of buddhists in white dress offering flowers before buddha statues and praying. The huge Ruvanvalisaya dagoba is particularly popular, as it is believed to hold remains of the Buddha. The white dome is wrapped in a 300 m long orange ribbon. Also dressed in white, a group of volunteers were washing the mildew off the stones, remaining surprisingly clean themselves.


 According to popular belief, this Bo Tree was grown from a cutting of the original indian Bo Tree, under which Buddha attained enlightenment. It is the oldest living human planted tree in the world, dating from 288 BC. Around the terrace on which it grows, many other saplings have been planted, so it feels more like garden than a temple.