29 July 2010

From Feathered Friends to Fountains

Before I post the last bit of Medirigiriya pics *yep, I almost forgot we went there!* thought of sharing a bunch of random pics taken at random locations.


So.. it's been a while since I had a chance to capture some feathered friends. I saw them at this private hospital called KPH which has a small aviary fixed right beneath its stairway. This lil aviary is home to a dozen or more Lovebirds that loves to make a lot of noise, just to grab the attention of the passersby. I've only seen them from a distance before and never got the chance to see them up close until one day in early June.

Just on a whim I walked up to them and they looked so adorable so I took some paparazzi shots. They didn't mind at all.. and even enjoyed posing.. you'll see for yourself. ^__^

* The pics below are expandable and you know exactly how to do so, right? =D

Rewind a month and you come to May, that was when I saw a goose *or was it a duck?* wobbling to and fro beside the canal that runs beneath the entrance of Maligawa. Remember I once caught a cute lil turtle around the same place? *or was it a tortoise?!* o__O

Anyway here's the Goosey-goosey-gander wobbling yonder...

Well.. fast forward 2 months from there and you'll come to early July, when we had a rare chance to take a long leisurely stroll along the beautiful Kandy Lake Round. We were unexpectedly greeted by another bunch of feathered friends, might be the kith and kin of the above fella.

But I still can't tell apart them.. I mean whether these were ducks or geese that I saw! *I so need to visit the zoo to learn all the names of these animals* -__-

On the same day we had another surprise by the Lake Round. It was that super tall soaring fountain right in the middle of Kandy Lake that was always dormant whenever I visited Kandy. But this time it had awaken from its long slumber. Kandy Lake looked stunning snuggling that giant fountain.

That's all folks. ^__^

24 July 2010

A glimpse of Somawathiya

Thousand Apologies! =D Thanks Chavie for letting me know about that issue with the pics. I just checked it and even I can't use CTRL+ Click to expand them! I think I made a mistake while uploading. Will re-upload and fix that issue so all the pics can be enlarged when clicked. Sorry for the inconvenience.


It took me a while to get back but finally I'm going to wrap up the Somawathie series. Lots happened here but sadly I don't have time to share them all.

So today I'll be sharing only a few selected shots from my Picasa album. I'll add the link to the album at the bottom of this post.

Before I start, here's a recap about Somawathiya: It is one of our most sacred temples as it enshrines the right tooth relic of Lord Buddha. So for us Buddhists this temple is just as important as the world famous Temple of the Tooth. (Sri Dalada Maligawa)

CTRL + Click as usual to see the pics in their original size.

Let's begin the tour.

The Elephant Pond with lifelike elephant sculptures

The Moonstone with unusual patterns

Oil Lamps with glass jars instead of clay lamps

Big old banyan tree that sheltered most of the devotees

Bird nests inside the Wahalkada

Bell Tower and the tiled compound next to the Stupa

Old brick layers in the midst of the stupa

Incense sticks and their silky smoke

Stupa and the banyan tree

Part of Wahalkada and the pinnacle of Stupa + a rainbow lens flare

A sparrow perched on basal rings of stupa

Samadhi Buddha Statue and the Bodhi Tree

Somawathie Stupa and the Wahalkada

If you'd like to take the complete virtual tour sit back and click here. The descriptive captions will take you on a guided tour. ^__^

19 July 2010

Journey to the (un)Known - Part II

Had to break the story to 2 parts, cuz it took up more space than I thought.

Contd. from... Journey to the (un)Known

Meanwhile... the Big Bad Wolf who was a die hard fan of Lil Riding Hood had already found out where she was heading, from a gossip column on the daily tabloid. So the Big Bad Wolf went to a big railway station and board a warp speed Missile Train. He then stepped into the Missle Train one minute and stepped out of the train the next minute. He had already traveled half the world and arrived at grandma's place.. in just 2 minutes! *huh?*

Rumors say that some years ago he wrote a book called 'Travel the World in 4 minutes!' and won a number of awards plus free Missile Train tickets for life! His idea of warp speed trains made history and triggered the birth of Missile Trains that would only take 4 minutes to cover the entire world. And to mark their utmost gratitude those free tickets were actually given to Big Bad Wolf way before they invented the train. *how sweet of them* ^__^

But alas! *echoed twice* When the Big Bad Wolf arrived, grandma had already left her lil old hut. Cause that morning grandma had surfed the net and found out that the Big Bad Wolf was up to no good, from the twitted tattles of his neighborhood. Leaving a SMS to her dearest Lil Riding Hood.. off she went to her daughter's house, by a seaplane.. flying over Spain.. under heavy rain. But alas! *echoed thrice* Lil Riding Hood being a klutz she was, forgot to activate roaming and so.. got no SMS. *talk about sheer bad luck*

Coming back to our Lil Riding Hood, when she got off at the 24th station... she was suddenly confronted by 2 platforms, instead of dozens. She was already standing on one of them, but the other was shrouded in a mystery. That particular platform's track was invisible.. obscured by the thickest fog! The train that arrived just then, glared at Lil Riding Hood with a sinister look. She gaped this time and whispered to herself 'oh wow!.. a ghost train! *does she seriously have a brain?*

She turned her head from one platform to the other, trying to figure out what to do. Her tiny brain sparked an idea of hope. She ran to the nearest kiosk and bought their oldest railway journal. And skimmed through the pages and found out about this elusive train.

It's a magical train that grants three wishes to its passengers, but only after crossing thousand miles. The wishes take them to predefined destinations. And to her sheer delight, they were the very places Lil Riding Hood had always dreamt to explore since she was born. *believe me, she was never normal*

Lil Riding Hood was excited beyond words. She dash to the mysterious platform shrouded in a thick curtain of fog. After struggling a bit to find her way in, Lil Riding Hood finally sat in this empty ghost train. She looked at her basket which was almost empty, if not for the crumbs. She had feasted on all the sweet treats and fruits, en route. Lil Riding Hood didn't feel the teeniest bit of guilt for eating her grandma's snacks. She simply mumbled to herself, 'oh.. they were really good!' *it's a pity, she never learns*

Soon the fog thinned.. and the ghost train began to move. Slowly but steadily it took her on yet another journey.. twas indeed a Journey to the (un)Known. It will be a journey packed with impending impediments.. but at the end of them will remain three wonderful destinations. For they are said to be the best her life has yet to offer.

THE End! *over already?* -__-

Extra Chapter *oh! there's even more?* O__O

You forgot about the poor Big Bad Wolf, right?! Well.. now the Big Bad Wolf who missed grandma didn't sulk but disguised himself as the dearest old granny. He stayed at that lil old hut eagerly awaiting Lil Riding Hood's arrival. He waited and waited and waited and waited.. and then.. lost his patience, and temper, and eventually his pitiful life! *he had to die all alone this time* T__T

His lamenting soul aimlessly roamed until it arrived at the big station which parked the last Missile Train. With his last free ticket, the pitiful soul of the late Big Bad Wolf, stepped into the train one minute and stepped out of the train the next minute... and finally arrived at the doorstep of.. the sizzling hell! *who says he could end up in heaven? pitiful or not he's still a meanie!*

THE END! *now for real*  ^__^

Journey to the (un)Known

Hi everyone! How have you been? Hope the weather out there is all sunny and bright and you are in all smiles. ^__^

It's been raining for months over here from morning to night and it's become the norm to start off with a gloomy day.. every day! Sadly the weather's affected my mood and I've been a lot grumpy and grouchy for a while now. =D Life sure is awful when it rains.. I miss those sunny blue skies. T__T 

Oh well.. I've a lil story to share today but... this one's a lil strange. It's a spin off of the Little Red Riding Hood and so it's half fictional and half non-fictional. o__O A tricky one indeed. It's a story that takes place inside a fictional but technically advance world full of trains.. where each train leads a passenger to a distinct destination in life.

I need to continue my old series but still am in no mood for that so, please bear with this nonsensical story for the time being. Hope you'd enjoy! ^__^

Journey to the (un)Known

Not so long ago.. there lived a little girl named Little Red Riding Hood in a lil town called Trainville. *she's probably the grandniece of the (in)famous Robin Hood of Sherwood* One sunny morning her mom gave her a basket full of fruits and sweet treats to deliver to her grandma who lived in a far away land called Nowonderland. So off she went, Lil Riding Hood, to the railway station of their lil old Trainville.

Once she got there, she looked to her right and looked to her left and again looked to her right *and, nope, didn't cross the street* but noticed something very odd, instead. There were 101 platforms and 100 trains here! Lil Riding Hood gave a blank stare, yawned and walked straight to the platform #1. The one that was over crowded with passengers. As soon as they saw Lil Riding Hood, a celebrity in this lil old town, they cleared a path and let her get in first.

After 1/4th the crowd got in, the train suddenly started moving, deserting hundreds of passengers on the platform gaping in horror. One after another the train passed through beautiful green paddy fields and rolling hills. Soon it slowed down to stop at the next station. Lil Riding Hood put her lil head out and read the signboard on the platform. Her eyes opened wide and then she sighed and uttered a lil loud, 'oh! I see'. She was riding the wrong train! O__O *huh?*

She got off at the station and looked to her left and right. There were 51 platforms and 50 trains here. She hopped and skipped and randomly chose platform #10 and squeezed her way into the train without much hassle. The train was already crowded and soon departed, leaving the entire station empty like a ghost town. -__-  *it was the poor station that gaped in horror this time*

They passed through tunnels, big and small, broad and narrow, black and blue and even rainbow colored too. When this train slowed down at the next station, Lil Riding Hood popped her head out once more and read the signboard. She opened her eyes even wider this time and mumbled.. 'hmm.. how boring'. She was again riding the wrong train! *is she stupid or what?* o__O

But alas! This strange phenomenon kept repeating again and again until she switched to 2 dozen trains! O__O She was drifting further away from her beloved grandma's house.. and sadly twas a fact that Lil Riding Hood didn't even know. *what a tragic end*

To be Contd. *not over yet?*

PS: I really missed all your blogs, but didn't drop by cause I was really in a grumpy mood for a while. lol Anyway hope to visit you all soon. ^__^

02 July 2010

Where have all the elephants gone?

Hi everyone! How have you all been? I was down with a flu, the infamous 7day flu (as coined by my lil cousin sis), and am still recuperating. *cough* *sniffle*

So didn't get to catch up with my blog roll as often, let alone do a post. The weather's to be blamed cause the bright sunny days are long gone and we're having a freezing, chilly rainy season over here.


The Elephants

Remember that I mentioned on the very first post on our Somawathie trip, that we met some strange to wonderful critters of the wild, and well not so wild ones? Here's some of them, including the elusive elephants.

Our route took us past Habarana jungle and two nature reserves - Somawathie and Minneriya. So it was inevitable to see elephants, right? My uncles helped me out, time to time, by shouting 'elephants! I see elephants!' whenever they spot something like these...

Um.. they do appear like elephants from a distant don't they, but with skinny legs and even white tones? O__o Both these were taken while cutting through Somawathie Strict Nature Reserve while the 2nd pic shows a Willu (marshland).

We were dying of thirst by the time we passed Habarana jungle on our way back, and then saw a lil cafe by the roadside. The tea we had there was the best tea I've ever tasted in my life. They served black tea (pure Ceylon tea, what else?) with the sweetest cube of hakuru (jaggery). The cups were preheated so it was blistering hot up to the handle. But the tea inside wasn't so hot and tasted heavenly. We tried coaxing the lady who made this tea to tell us which brand it was, but she only giggled and said it was nothing special. Grrrrrr...

While we were there.. a couple of safari jeeps zoomed past us. They suddenly stopped and made a huge ruckus, teasing each other right in the middle of the road! It was packed with a bunch of girls and guys, or should I say unruly brats? Then one jeep challenged the other and off they raced on their own virtual F1 track = the main road cutting through Habarana jungle! Yes, we're talking about a dense jungle packed with real wild animals. Were safaris supposed to be this noisy and rash? -__-

So as soon as we finished sipping our heavenly tea, we had yet another strange encounter. An elephant from Habarana? Well.. have a look...

Saw it? Well.. size wise.. it looks a lil too skinny and small in stature too for an elephant, isn't it? O__o Well this peacock, that I first thought was a wild one, was indeed a pet of a villager here. The folks here said it wasn't afraid of humans but I guess I was a lil afraid to get too near. So this was all I caught. CTRL + click to see it better.

Talking about Habarana.. this is what it looks like. *as seen while on the move*

So as the topic says.. where have all the elephants gone? I mean we passed 2 nature reserves and 1 thick jungle twice and it was high time we saw at least a silhouette of an elephant right?

We almost gave up hopes until we came up to Minneriya nature park. Up ahead a tourist bus was parked, almost hogging the road. So we couldn't overtake as the road was a bit narrow. The tourists were out and pointing towards the jungle. Minneriya nature park too is famous for its wildlife and especially for birdies both native and exotic.

Can you guess what they were looking at? Another birdie?

See anything unusual in the pic? Well look around that thick fringe of trees, towards the middle of the pic.

Well there's not one, but two of them. The first noticed our presence and then whispered something to the second. Then they turned around and gave us a good stare, or more like glare, as if to say

"Yo humans, no trespassing.. pretty please. This is OUR home man! got that? now beat it! shoo!! shoo!!!"

Finally after confirming we won't make a move, they both turned back and disappeared into the jungle. Talk about keeping law and order.. in the jungle. *phew*

Couldn't see anything yet? Well then.. CTRL + click the pic below. See the red oval? The two pachyderm cops-on-patrol were spotted right within that area. Tiny they may seem cause of the great distance but these guys are the biggest dwellers on earth. And you forgot that, didn't ya? =P

Guess we were lucky to see them freely roaming in their own home grounds. Not in Habarana, but in Minneriya.

That's all for today folks. Thanks for joining this lil safari. ^__^
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