How do you capture literally, the jewel in the crown in 11 days?
With brimming travel sketch books capturing moments on paper,that’s how. From humid sea level breezes of Columbo and the coast of Galle Fort to the coolness of tea plantations in the land of the gods,we did it all. Eight sketchers (two from Austalia ) plus the fabulous guide Mary Taylor, aka Nanny McPhee, ‘cos you never knew what she was going to pull out of her bag, a driver, plus a Sri Lankin guide and an assistant, all filled into a small comfortable bus that took us on our travels.
We sketched the fishermen coming in with their early morning catches, bustling colourful markets, biking through rice fields, the children at the Merril J Fernado foundation supporting less fortunate young ones, the huge beeming smiles on everyone we met. Famous Sri Lankin architect Geoffrey Bawa’s office that is now a world class café-restaurant, his amazing hotel Kandalama built around rock and vines trailing languidly down from the roof, also glamping in amazing tents (hardly tents).
The strange ‘Little England’ called Nuwara Elya and the Heritance tea factory which is now a five star hotel. For some of us climbing Sigirya, Dambulla caves, was the highlight. The amazing elephant parade in Perahara, reliving the days of the Raj at Mt Lavinia Hotel. It goes on and on, we had fun with heaps of laughs and always drinks at someones room.
Above all sketch Sri Lanka allowed us to look at things we may have possibly missed through a camera lens. By sketching our moments on paper, when we come to look back at those pages we will be right back in that moment – a treasure for sure.