Kandy

Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
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Trip End Apr 05, 2009


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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EN:
Kandy is the ancient highland capital and Sri Lanka's 2nd city. For many this is the true heart of Sri Lanka where the last Sri Lankan kings, protected by the steep hills and dense tropical forest, held out against all invading powers untill they were finally overtaken by the British in the 19th century. At 500m above sea level and surrounded by cool, lush mountain scenary, Kandy is the gateway to the moutains, which at it's highest rise to above 2500m.


The train trip to Kandy was pleasant and allowed us to enjoy the scenary as we slowly moved up the mountains, it was a really bumpy ride too! On the train our backpacks were checked by the army looking for bombs, but all they found was our supply of mini bottles of vodka. We have made arrangemens for having a car with a driver for a few days and we met up at Kandy train station. Travelling with our driver was Karl, a young German on his way back to Europe after several months in Australia and south-east Asia, and we hanged around together for the next couple of days. At night we were chatting over a few beers and telling Karl our drunk Indian driver story from Pushkar, when Priyantha - our driver and guide - showed up totally pissed, what a coincidence! During the rest of the journey, Priyantha occasionally joined us for drinks at night and we talked a lot about Sri Lanka and all sorts of things.


In Kandy we visited the Royal Botanical Gardens, first planted in the 18th century by a Kandyan king, where you can see many exotic trees and other plants, some of which we have never seen before. We also visited the Temple of the Tooth, which is a place of pilgrimage for millions of Buddhists from all over Sri Lanka, and is regarded by Buddhist Sri Lankans as the treasury of their entire culture. It was really packed when we visited, because it was the full moon, which is a Buddhist holiday. We also went to watch some Sri Lanken traditional dances and fire walking which was interesting. The highlight of our stay in Kandy was the visit to the Pinnewala elephant orphanage, where young orphaned or abandoned elephants are cared for. A baby elephant drinks 7 litres of milk 5 times a day, 35 litres in total. There are about 50 animals there, some of which are crippled as a result of human action. Every day at 2pm they come to bath at a river and seem to have a lot of fun.

In the morning of our third day in Kandy we said good-bye to Karl and took off to Sigiriya further north. Karl - good luck to you on your return to Germany and sorting out what you want to do after that.


PT:
Kandy e a antiga capital das terras altas e actualmente a 2a cidade do Sri Lanka. Para muitos Kandy e o verdadeiro centro do Sri Lanka, onde os ultimos reis, protegidos pelas montanhas e densa floresta tropical, resistiram a todos os invasores ate serem finalmente derrotados pelos Britanicos, no Sec. XIX. A 500m acima do nivel do mar e rodeada por um scenario de montanhas e floresta luxuriante, Kandy e a porta de entrada para as montanhas cujo pico mais alto atinge mais de 2500m.


A viagem de comboio ate Kandy foi agradavel e permitiu-nos disfrutar da paisagem de montanha. No comboio as nossas mochilas foram revistadas pelo exercito a procura de bombas, mas apenas encontraram o nosso suprimento de mini garrafas de vodka. Tinhamos organizado um carro com condutor para os proximos dias e encontramo-nos na estacao de Kandy. Com o nosso condutor viajava o Karl, um jovem Alemao de regresso a casa depois de varios meses na Australia e Sudoeste Asiatico, que se juntou a nos por um par de dias. A noite estavamos a conversa a volta de umas cervejas, e a contar a nossa historia de Pushkar quando o nosso condutor Indiano completamente emborrachado, quando o Priyantha - o nosso condutor e guia - apareceu visivelmente enfrascado... ele ha cada coincidencia! :-) Durante o resto da viagem, o Priyantha ocasionalmente juntou-se a nos a noite para um copo, e conversa.


Em Kandy visitamos os Jardins Botanicos Reais, originalmente plantados por um rei de Kandy no Sec. XVIII, onde se podem ver muitas arvores e outras plantas exoticas, muitas das quais nos nunca tinhamos visto. Tambem visitamos o Templo do Dente, que e um localk de peregrinacao para milhoes de Budistas de todo o Sri Lanka, e que por eles e considerado o tesouro da sua cultura. Era noite de lua cheia, que e um dia santo para os Budistas, por isso o templo estava bastante movimentado. Tambem fomos assistir a um espectaculo de dancas tradicionais. O ponto alto da nossa estadia em Kandy foi a visita ao Orfanato de Elefantes de Pinnewala, onde sao cuidados jovens elefantes que ficaram orfaos ou foram abandonados. No orfanato ha cerca de 50 elefantes, alguns dos quais mutilados por maldade humana. Ha tambem varios elefantes bebes, consumindo cada um 35l de leite por dia! Todos os dias por volta das 2 da tarde os elefantes descem ao rio para se banharem, e parecem divertir-se bastante.

Na manha do 3o dia em Kandy despedimo-nos do Karl e seguimos para Sigiriya, mais a norte.


CZ:
Kandy je byvale hlavni mesto Sri Lanky a v soucasnosti druha nejvetsi metropole. Vypada spis jako jedna velka vesnice, protoze je rozprostreno po nekolika kopcich v okoli. Kandy zustalo poslednim utocistem Cejlonskych kralu v boji proti kolonizatorum a pro mnoho obyvatel je tim opravdovym srdcem Sri Lanky. Vrcholky pohori presahuji 2500m, takze pro Brity to nebyl zadny med Kandy dobyt.


Do hor jsme vyrazili vlakem, coz bylo docela prijemne, protoze jsme se mohli cestou kochat, vyhled to byl opravdu krasny. Cestou nam armada projela batohy (aby se nereklo, jako obvykle), ale misto vybusnin narazila akorat na nekolik mini flasticek vodky, kterou poctive pijeme po kazdem jidle jako protiprujmovou prevenci. Zatim to funguje. V Kandy na nadrazi nas vyzvedl Priyantha, nas ridic na nekolik dalsich dni, spolu s nami cestoval jeste Karl z Nemecka, ktery se tudy vracel do Evropy po nekolika mesicich stravenych v Australii a jihovychodni Asii. Cestoval s nami dalsi dva dny. Vecer jsme si spolecne dali pivko a my mu vypraveli nase storky z Indie, mimo jine take jak se nas indicky ridic zmatlal ve svatem meste Pushkaru, a najednou se objevil Priyantha, totalne pod obraz po nejakem kokosovem blivajzu, co tady hromadne vsichni konzumujou. Ze by nahoda? :-) Nekolik dalsich veceru s nami Priyantha posedel a popil a dozvedeli jsme se od nej hodne zajimavych veci o Sri Lance. Taky jsme ochutnali jeho kokosovy blivajz a nechutna to nijak spatne, takova kokosova whiska, ale cely vecer bych to asi pit nemohla.


V Kandy jsme nejdriv vyrazili do Kralovske botanicke zahrady, kde roste spousta exotickych stromu a kytek a je to moc prijemna prochazka. Odpoledne jsme shledli predstaveni mistniho tanecniho souboru a chozeni po zhavem uhli, docela to uslo, ale nic uchvatneho. Vecer jsme navstivili Temple of the Tooth (Chram zubu, doslovne prelozeno), coz je misto, kam putuji miliony poutniku z cele Sri Lanky a pro mistni budhisty je to kulturni poklad. Bylo tam dost narvano, protoze byl zrovna uplnek (budhisticky svatek), za ktereho maji vsichni cejlonane kazdy mesic den volna (to bych taky brala). Nejvic se nam libila odpoledni navsteva slonniho sirotcince, kde je asi 50 slonu a slunat, ktera prisla o rodice nebo jsou nejak postizeni. Jeden slon byl napriklad slepy a jednomu chybela cast predni nohy, protoze slapl na minu. Se slonama je docela prace, jedno slune vypije 7 litru mlika naraz a to 5x denne, takze do sebe za den naleje 35 litru, docela vykon. Kazdy den ve 2 odpoledne vyrazeji sloni na pravidelnou koupel do nedaleke reky a rozhodne si to uzivaji.
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