Colombo: Beira Lake and Gangaramaya Temple

*We're going to go through our trip city by city instead of day by day.  Some of our days were too boring to say much of anything, so those city posts will be shorter.*

We flew into Sri Lanka on an overnight plane, so we got there around 5am.  After catching a few hours of sleep, we were headed to our first destination, the capital Colombo.  There were three main ways to get around during our trip: buses, trains, and tuk-tuks (three wheeled taxis) and we tried all of them.  We chose the train to get to Colombo mostly because it's dirt cheap and easier to navigate than the buses.

We had to sit at the Negombo train station for awhile waiting on the train to arrive, but we got to admire some of the festive decorations while waiting.

These kudu or vesak lanterns were all hanging from the celebration of Vesak Poya which was just before we arrived in Sri Lanka.  Most houses and businesses had these lanterns hanging, and there were a great variety of styles, complexities, and colors.  I really wanted to bring one or two home, but we never found anyone selling them, so Steve might have a go at making one.

We stayed at the local YWCA when we were in Colombo, which happened to be within walking distance of Beira Lake.  Later in the week we came back here during the day and had fun riding around on a swan paddle boat, but the first day, we just walked around and enjoyed the evening.

Some statues at the Seema Malakaya, a man made pavilion in Beira Lake.  The lake had two pavilions jutting into it; the second was accessible via the lit suspension bridge in the background.

We also walked over to the Gangaramaya Temple.
Large Buddha statue inside the temple. 

More statues outside in the temple complex.

The temple also had a museum of sorts where they showcased all sorts of offerings and donations people have made.  This guy seemed a touch out of place, but cool looking nonetheless.

They also had rows and rows of identical Buddha statues on a tall stair step podium.  This was probably my favorite part visually, the colors and symmetry of it was beautiful. 

They also had an on staff elephant although I'm not really sure why and the poor guy was chained up and couldn't move around much.

More to come on Colombo and our other adventures!