04 september Milan (ITALY)


"There are two ways to travel. In the first we cover great distances in a short time, we move, we learn about the general outlines of mountains, valleys, the most obvious aspects of the people and their character.

In the other we stop, we go in the deep, we put some roots and try to suck from the ground the invisible spiritual sap that the locals eat. Both are legitimate ways, both can be sources of pleasure, both can lead to useful knowledge and comparisons. "

- Fosco Maraini - (Meeting Asia)

05 september Dambulla (SRI LANKA)

Ten hours flight takes us to this land with three hours and half of time zone more than Italian time! Why half an hour? The first mysteries of the journey!

The first contact, during the long transfer from the capital Colombo to Dambulla has been a mixed of Vietnam (for the uncontrolled chaos along the roads) and Panama for the thick and luxury of its vegetation!

Island by many names, from "Serendib" of old times to "Ceylon" (during the British colonization) till the modern Sri Lanka that means: "Land of the wonderful moments happened for chase".

British, beyond the left drive, left in heritage also the love for the cricket. Sinhalese National team is one of the strongest in this sport and many times it happens us to see kids playing it on the street, as it happens in Italy with the football.

In the hotel, we are welcomed by hundreds monkeys who plays and have a stroll quietly. They warn us to pay attention in the room, never leave opened windows! I didn't expect to see so many bats! There are thousands who fly over our head as giant mosquitos, you have just to get used to it!


"At the beginning we learn to travel, then we travel tolearn."

- William Least Heat-Moon -


06 september Anuradhapura (SRI LANKA)

[Nick]: "The bus goes on, hooting every time, on a bumpy road... trees all around, grounds, small shops everywhere and stalls which sell coloured fruits!

In Anuradhapura we visit the temple which keeps the so called "Bo Tree", a tree that was born from the shoot of the one where Buddha had the illumination... Who knows!"

We watch the ceremony of the delivery of the gift... A long line of old women dressed with white tunics who, slowly, were going with trays full of flowers, fruit, incense to put at the altar of Buddha! The conviction in their face while they were praying has impressed me very much.

I learned that there have been four Buddha so far. One each 5000 years. The last one has been Siddharta Gotama, illuminated about 2500 years ago.

For the several attempted of the so called "Tamil Tigers" (an ethnia who lives in the North and wants the separation from the rest of the island), we have been controlled, checked many times!

In Habarana I watched many women washing themselves and their clothes in a dirty lake and then they got them dry stretching them on a rock... Men, guys, children with soaps, toothpastes washed themselves there! Another form of freedom?!?

We decide to have a walk on the back of a big elephant! I enjoyed the whole background that surrounded us from there! Sometimes you could see lanes that entered in big bushes where you could hear wild music and sounds! Those were the villages of the locals...

What a wonder! Sometimes I saw houses made of mud... Don't they melt with rain? Whatever!


07 september Sigirya (SRI LANKA)

This morning we have faced the so called climb at Sigirya Rock. It's impressive this giant rock with the lion feet. I saw very dangerous beehives, real black pyramids... honey factories!

Sigirya doesn't keep any archaeological ruin but some fresco kept in a cave, it's wonderful to admire the whole background from this rock!

After that we visited a "batik" lab. "Batik" is a particular form of art where you use colours and bee wax. Its main feature is that you can see the same draw in both sides!

Unexpectedly, we notice two weird animals in a courtyard. They were two casuarious. A kind of prehistoric ostrich enemy of the cobra! Two strong and big claws, a powerful chest, talon on his wings, big horn on the head and long and sharp beak. Black with the neck blue and violet.

In the afternoon we visit Polonnaruwa. Very interesting the several Buddha's statues carved in the rock. It took twelve years to carve the biggest one!

In Polonnaruwa we have been surrounded by the monkeys. Damn, they looked so similar to us, they were joking, running, playing, delouse...

It was so good, then, watching many schools doing lesson under the shadow of the trees and the students with the white uniforms....

[Nick]: "I was very excited when I gave some pens that we brought for the occasion from Italy to soe little student while they were doing lesson in the courtyard of their school. They were really happy for a pen!"

"The importance is in your eyes not in what you look." -André Gide - (Terrestrial nutrients )


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