After these exhausting days we received one free day and went together to Pigeon Island, a small island at the east coast of Sri Lanka. There we found a wonderful beach and went swimming and snorkeling for the whole day.
Next stop Kandy – the second largest city of Sri Lanka besides Colombo.
The city lays in the hills of the Kandy plateau that crosses an area of tropical (tea) plantations. In Kandy we visited the city market and the very famous Temple of the Tooth Relic. This fantastic temple is one of the most venerable places for the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and all around the world. In 1988 it became world heritage. The holy and quiet atmosphere in this temple at night was such a unique experience for all of us.
This day we went to Nuwara Eliya, which is definitely a totally different city in Sri Lanka. It is in the hill country of central Sri Lanka and is considered to be one of the most important areas for tea production. It was founded in the 19th century by British colonists.
We visited a tea fabric and followed the steps from the leaf to the tea package. It was very impressive. Of course we enjoyed a cup of fine tea.
Another time we got the chance to see a work of Geoffrey Bawa: Steel Corporation Offices in Oruwela. They were finished in the year 1966. It is really a remarkable office building with cantilevered floors and breathing walls for the Steel Corporation at Oruwela. Near this building are also some living houses, which were designed by Geoffrey Bawa. We also went there and were very lucky because one man allowed us to see his interior house.
It was again very important for us to visit these buildings to get an impression and understanding of the tools of tropical architecture.
At our last day of our incredible study trip we got a guided tour through Geoffrey Bawa`s home in Colombo.
The house is a contemplative labyrinth of rooms and garden courts together creating the illusion of limitless space. There are rooms without roofs and roofs without walls, all connected by a complex matrix of axes and internal vistas. Today this house is like a museum and we all got an impression of Geoffrey Bawa`s lifestyle.