Dagobah

Dec. 18th, 2008 04:33 pm
qatarperegrine: (buddha)
Ah yes, and the correct answer was: in addition to being the planet where Yoda taught Luke Skywalker how to master the Force, "Dagobah" is the Sri Lankan word for a stupa (i.e., a Buddhist monument containing relics of some kind).
Thuparama Dagoba, Sri Lanka's oldest stupa

Sri Lanka

Dec. 17th, 2008 11:00 pm
qatarperegrine: (Default)
Sri Lanka pictures are up here.



It was a very enjoyable trip. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, with interesting history and architecture, and lots of friendly people.

Its tourism industry isn't doing very well, though. It's just been one thing after another, I guess: the tsunami, the worsening civil war, the global economic downturn. I saw no other Americans the entire week I was there, and only a handful of Europeans -- and this is supposed to be the beginning of a peak season!

At the recommendation of a Sri Lankan colleague, I arranged the trip through Pership, who were very helpful. I had a really awesome guide/driver for the week, who can also arrange things independently and more flexibly. I'm happy to give his contact info to anyone interested in traveling there.
qatarperegrine: (Default)
I'm in Sri Lanka! It is very pretty and green and full of nifty things like macaques and elephants and MONGOOSES (mongeese?) which are cute and you would never suspect of killing cobras with their bare teeth. Go, mongooses! (mongeese?)

I rode an elephant today. It's unexpectedly much less scary than riding a camel -- I guess because there's so much more to sit on, and because you can jump onto them from a tree instead of climbing on while they're kneeling and then enduring the terrifying standing-up process. (Watch a camel standing up sometime if you don't know what I mean.)

So far I've also gone to Anuradhapura, where the sapling of the bodhi tree is still growing (the oldest historical tree, though my guide said "I think you have an older tree in California" and apparently he's right), and Sigiriya, which has awesome 1600-year-old frescoes of naked women. Woo hoo!

Ten bonus points for knowing why the title of this post is what it is.

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