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Israel Visit to Sri Lanka

January 7-13, 2012

A group of Bailliage members, led by Bailli Délégué Tal Gal-Cohen travelled to Sri Lanka to experience the country’s culture and to share the camaraderie of the Chaîne with members there.

Nigel Austin, Bailli Délégué of Sri Lanka, was a great help with planning the programme for our visit. Each day it became more evident that Nigel had ensured we would receive VIP treatment wherever we went.

Below in images are the highlights of our visit.

Shimon Gruper
Chargé de Missions

Day 1



Arriving in Colombo one immediately experiences the tranquillity that is the way of life in Sri Lanka.

We were pleasantly surprised when our group was welcomed with fresh flower necklaces and the traditional Sinhala greeting ayubowan (lit. May you live a long life! – nb. it is also used as a farewell).

This style of greeting us became the norm throughout our visit such is the welcoming nature of the Sri Lankan people.

 






It was a busy day of sightseeing including the fish market near Nagombo Harbour











Our accommodation was at the Heritance Hotel on beautiful Lake Kandalama










Day 2



We started by climbing Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin. One of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka, it is just 1,200 steps up to the top to experience the magnificent view of the area and to soak in the lost glory and power of an ancient kingdom.

 







On our way to a curry lunch, including the customary dal that is never absent from Sri Lanka's kitchen, we stopped at a silk store where several of our group bought the traditional male Sarong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3



Prior to visiting Dambulla Golden Temple, we stopped at a local elementary school. The children welcomed us in English and in Sinhala. We rewarded them with toys and sweets and they were so happy that it did not look like they would study anything that day!

 






The Dambulla Golden Temple

 










Booked in to stay at Mahaweli Hotel at Kandy, imagine our excitement on arrival to see a big sign welcoming us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



In the evening we attended a show of traditional music and dance








Day 4



After another day of visits we arrived in the late afternoon to stay at the Grand Hotel at Nuwara Eliya. An unexpected delight was to be served a traditional English afternoon tea.

 








We dined at the prestigious Hill Club, a private resort in the hills of Nuwara Eliya. The ambiance was of an English gentlemen’s club from yesteryear. Quite surreal!








Day 5

 

A day of seeking a balance between of body and mind - it started early with a yoga session and after breakfast we visited a colourful Hindu Shrine.













 

Then it was on to St. Clair Tea Castle for a tea tasting … and toasted sandwiches

 

 

 

 

 



At Mount Lavinia, the enchanting British Colonial heritage hotel 12 kilometres from Colombo city centre, the view was breathtaking from our rooms overlooking the Indian Ocean




 



Day 6


Spent shopping and sightseeing in Colombo city centre. There were plenty of taxis available!










In the evening, Nigel Austin, Bailli Délégué of Sri Lanka, joined us for dinner served on the beach by the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The gourmet dishes that were prepared from fresh fish and seafood were delicious.

Day 7


Our last day! We took a boat trip on the Maduganga River through beautiful scenery. Cinnamon is produced on the many islets in the river’s estuary. A second gourmet dinner was enjoyed on the beach at the Mount Lavinia at which final toasts were made to conclude our visit to the wonderful and exotic land that is Sri Lanka!



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