Friday, November 4, 2016

Sri Lanka, Vicki visits places outside the ceramics studio

The island of Sri Lanka beckons with mystical 
and mesmerizing locales. 

An idyllic coastal landscape. 

The inviting sea is never far wherever one roams. 

Colorful boats are ready for another fishing venture. 

And even four-legged creatures enjoy an outing by the shore.

The Dutch, one of many colonizers, left their
 trace with innumerable inland waterways, and canals. 

Maneuvering inland with goods to transport. 

Boats moored along a canal at dusk after a busy day of fishing. 

Canals are not only boons to transport, but scenic spots to behold. 

Away from canals, bicycles are an omnipresent, eco-friendly way to traverse across town. 

The country is home to various religions, 
with Buddhism, Hindu, and Islam predominating.
Places of worship are ubiquitous, including this Hindu temple.

And this Mosque in the heart of the capital's commercial district. 

Stunning architectural edifices amaze, such as the Jaffna library. 

Sunrises and sunsets are a marvel to observe, 
as they have been for all prior civilizations. 

And the geologic landscapes that attracted earlier kingdoms 
remain magnificent to behold, such as at Sigiriya. 

Up in these rock formations of Dambula, cave temples were constructed millennia ago.

With astonishing sculptural masterpieces.

The inhabitants of ancient Sri Lankan cities have long gone, but their astounding works of art and architecture remain.

The historic kingdom of Polonnaruwa is one of many
UNESCO world heritage sites in the country.

An image of the seated, meditating Buddha,  at Gal Vihare,
a sculptural masterpiece at Polannaruwa. 

Reclining Buddha sculpture at Polonnaruwa. 

Kiri Vehera Dagoba.  

Tea estates pervade the central highlands.

Elephants steal the show, as they dance and march around Kandy in the annual Esala Perahera. 

This event celebrates a Buddha's tooth, said to reside in an eponymous Kandy temple, 
and paraded around the city in a casket atop dancing elephants,  glowing in lights 
and sparkling regalia,  and entertaining crowds from around 
the globe for 8 nights with their spectacular show.

During the daytime, Kandy remains a tranquil town, 
where one can find joy and solitude on a walk around the lake. 

And smiles dot one's footsteps.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sri Lankan Faces, Vicki visits people outside the clay studio

Sri Lanka's towns and villages abound with busy people, engaged in their daily activities. 

Women walk determinedly on city sidewalks. 

Men haul boxes of goods in the commercial center of Colombo.

A balloon vendor plies his wares.

With smiles accompanying his steps. 

Time is set aside to visit shrines.

To quietly pray and contemplate, alone, 
or with others. 

Vibrant floral offerings are often left behind. 

Fruit vendors stay busy each day of the year. 

Time for reflection is in order, amidst busy schedules.

Trains are a common way to get around the country. 

The adventure of the rails is always exciting. 

Although the heat can take a toll on many travelers. 

Trucks can be more efficient to transport large loads. 

Vegetables must be hauled quickly to local retailers. 

Even with the heat, places must be reached, often on foot. 

Or in a standing-room-only packed bus.

Or on a sturdy bicycle.

Prayer chants celebrate various deities throughout the year, 
such as this one at the Nallur temple in Jaffna. 

With percussive rhythms punctuating the air.

The marine-rich waters provide a seafood bounty, and a heavy workload.

Squid dry in no time in the enervating heat. 

One has to keep track of one's own footwear, since all are left outside the many temples, 
mosques and shrines pervading the country.