The View from Below

Sri Lanka is one of those places where looking upward pays.  From majestic trees blocking out the sun to dagabas and statues perched at the edge of cliffs or on mountain tops, there’s always something singular to be seen from below.

Ailsa’s Height Travel Challenge this week offers me an opportunity to give you a sneak peek at some of the highlights from my farewell trips around Paradise.  Come, step aboard my magic carpet …

We’ll stop first at some of the ever-present signs of religion in this deeply spiritual society

I loved this view of the stairs to the belfry at St. Anthony’s Cathedral in Kandy, so reminiscent of the simple 17th century stairs at the temple at Dambadeniya

Speaking of Dambadeniya, the 200 metre outcrop was the site of a 13th century fortress from one of the ancient kingdoms.  These stairs are part of the ‘road’ up.  I sure wouldn’t have put my hand up to be a chair bearer for the monarch or his wives:  though it was breathtakingly steep going up, coming down was hair-raising

Waterfalls are greatly loved by Sri Lankans, and they abound.    This splashing rock face  was a surprise discovery on the way up to Maskeliya

The View from Below 11

Ancient, Kandyan-style rood tiles and finials

A bit of colonial – Galle Fort

Finally, the quintessential coconut tree, soaring skyward, each at its own individual trajectory

The View from Below 14

37 thoughts on “The View from Below

  1. A mistake we often make is looking up… look at what you would have missed 😉 I also learned to walk around things… you never know what you may find on the side you can’t see. A friend of mine loved my photos of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and asked where it was… and was shocked to learn when I told her. Turns out when she went she never thought to walk around assuming the back was plain. Such a shame, but taught me an important lesson so I didn’t make the same mistake she did.

    • Good on you! I’m enjoying your ‘tourist in my home town’ series (sorry I’m not catching up personally these days – one day I’ll have a routine again and can get back to the communicating aspects of blogging!). 🙂

      • Thanks Gene. I think I have it ironed out now with a regular schedule thanks to a few fellow bloggers suggestions.
        I know what it is like to not get emersed in the blogging world as much as you would like. So many other things to distract us. For me it is work…

  2. Meredith, I can’t take my eyes off these mesmerising pictures from Paradise – all point to an island that I would certainly adore. The old lighthouse and peeling walls of Galle, those lovely Kandyan roofs (in terracotta?), the mystical, jungle-shrouded outcrops and of course the soaring coconut palms… was there any way you could have stayed just a little bit longer? Maybe three months, or six, or even a year?

    • That was the trouble, James! I packed up the house at the end of April and every week there was some compelling reason to stay a little longer until at last, around the middle of August I woke up one morning and realised I’d never leave unless I did something to set deadline. Even then, I couldn’t settle on a date until I went to the Immigration Department to get a release for my money … and they demanded a departure date. The end of August, I stuttered, heart pounding as though in fear. The 30th, then?, the officer prompted, and that was it – the date was set at last!

  3. What a stunning gallery of view-from-below! The photo of the waterfalls is magnificent, and the coconut tree is an awesome shot!

    • I’m so glad you like the coconut trees too – I loved taking these pictures (lying on the floor of the car, shooting up through the windows) and was so pleased with the way they turned out – just how I saw them 🙂

    • Ummm – 35 years ago – in Kandy you’d hardly notice the difference, that is if you took the new Sri Lanka Air Taxi amphibious plane, or the train – the drive up, unfortunately will reveal the extent of the changes that have taken place. Off the main roads though, it’s still Paradise.

  4. Beautiful photos, Meredith, and wise words to look up. Still, the though of some poor chair bearers trying to make their way up or down those steps is mind-boggling. If I were the monarch, I would have insisted that I walk. I cannot imagine how terrifying it would have been going down those steps in a chair!

    • I can tell you my legs were wobbling for days afterward after that little adventure! I was also glad I was doing it alone where nobody I knew could see how red in the face I was, or how often I stopped to ‘look at the view’!

  5. Ahhhh…the dreaded last lap around, committing every little detail to human and digital memory.
    Leaving places is hard for me, even if I’m equally excited to get somewhere else!

    Where exactly are you these days? Are you still enroute to Australia or already unpacking?

  6. Interesting perspective you have taken. Have you settled to the Oz way of life yet? I’ve misplaced the link to your Australia posts can you send it to me please?

  7. The closing shot of those soaring palms is my favourite from your fabulous gallery Meredith. Hope you are comfortable settled in your new home.

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