Posts in Travel

One Fashionable Letter from Heart of Lithuania: From Vilnius with Love!

Dear my fashionistas and travelers, welcome to the new fashion adventure on Mr.M blog! I know you love my travel stories, so despite the bad weather in the Lithuanian capital, I tried to make at least one fashion story.

Today we will talk more about fashion, but if by any chance you want to remember the travelogue from Vilnius, the heart of Lithuania, you can read travelogues about this unusual city at the following links:

  1. Letters from Lithuania: Vilnius, the Pearl of the Baltic you will love!
  2. Letters from Lithuania: Vilnius, a City of Rich History and Fairy-tale Architecture…

I must be honest that I looked at the weather forecast several times before the trip to Lithuania, but I sincerely hoped that the weather would improve at least at some point during my stay in the heart of Lithuania, but all hopes sank with rain that did not stop falling… The highlight of this trip is that I “caught” a period of less than an hour to take pictures of my outfit.

Today’s outfit will be a combination of new pieces and some old ones that were dear to you and loved on the blog, so I hope we will remind you of some interesting brands that you liked to see on the Mr.M blog.

Since the weather in Lithuania was more similar to autumn – early winter in Germany, I decided it was safer to bring a winter jacket. Luckily, I wasn’t wrong, as you can see I also wore gloves, which you can notice how spring in the Baltics can be quite different than we can expect during the month of April…

As you know in fashion industry, winter jackets were big, quite bulky and heavy, while today it is completely different. Today, the mirror is of real quality when the jacket is light as a feather, and extremely warm and suitable for all winter conditions. So it is with my jacket – the parka I got from my friends from Paul&Shark. This is its 3rd season and I really have to praise this incredible jacket! We visited the coldest parts of the world together, including temperatures that went down to minus 25 in beautiful, but extremely cold St. Petersburg. We survived various rains and snows, but here we are still hanging out.

The new technologies of the Fill Power 700 and 900 from the Paul & Shark fashion house provide incredible comfort with excellent thermal properties, which allows the jacket to help you withstand even the lowest temperatures. Filling strength 700 and 900 denote the insulation strength by determining its weight-to-strength ratio: it is considered one of the best available jackets on the market, thanks to its high degree of thermal insulation compared to its size. Feathers create “small pockets of air” that create a thermal barrier, ensuring maximum protection.

Since I receive several messages and emails on a weekly basis with the questions: “Marko, do you really keep all these things and do you really wear them?”, I think you got my answer in today’s post. 🙂

There is no person in the world who can hide his joy when he feel the new Italian leather. Today we will meet again the Italian family workshop for handmade Restelli gloves, a place where the art, tradition and beauty of handicrafts meet every day, which is the true definition of the Italian style and way of life. Making gloves is not only a job but also a real art. After 100 years, passion, emotions, tradition and knowledge have been passed on to the third generation! Raffaella Restelli has fully accepted the challenges of the new fashion era in which the market and the way of selling have changed with deep respect and belief in tradition and love for masterpieces that last!

In today’s post, you have the opportunity to see Restelli gloves made of special deerskin. These luxury leather gloves are made of the highest quality leather. The lining of these gloves is made of cashmere. For my visit to Vilnius, I decided to take a walk in my navy blue gloves, which were extremely warm and a real fashion accessory for this unexpected “winter spring” in the Baltics!

Restelli gloves are not valued with money, but with tradition and history full of love and patience that are priceless.

One of the brands that has recognized positive energy and love for adventures and unusual journeys is the Swiss watch brand Certina. We have already met with this brand during the winter season on the Mr.M blog and if you are interested to know why this brand is so special and unique, read the story at this link.

Certina watches are known for their precision, reliability and sporty character. The sports watch brand has built an international reputation for quality Swiss workmanship, during its long history, which is more than 130 years long. Certina is a symbol of durability and longevity, which is why the mascot of the turtle armor brand symbolizes robustness and longevity – characteristics that all Certina watches, without exception. Therefore, it is no wonder that turtle armor has been a symbol of the brand since the 1960s. Today, the distinctive outline can still be found on almost every Certina watch, as well as on the brand logo. It evokes the exceptional endurance that characterizes every Certina watch.

Today, after 60 years, Certina DS Jubile adorns my hand. It is an unusual feeling when one such brand with unique watch designs is my new partner in my adventures. The watch you have the opportunity to see in today’s post is the DS Jubile model, which exists in two versions, the basic one with a steel bracelet and the other with a leather bracelet. This watch combines precious materials with maximum precision.

This elegant men’s watch is equipped with an 18K yellow gold frame. It is powered by an innovative PrecidriveTM quartz movement, whose precision and reliability are confirmed by COSC. The watch has a date display. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and stainless steel case make this watch durable and robust: the watch can withstand water pressures up to 10 ATM. Illuminated hands contrast with the background and thus always provide the best readability. The stainless steel bracelet, which is attached to the wrist together with the button, makes this model from Certina impressive!

Technical characteristics

Dial: analog with display of date,hour, minute and second, hands with luminous material. Bezel: 18k gold
Movement mechanism type: Quartz
Glass: Antireflection treatment on one side Sapphire crystal
Case: 316L stainless steel
Case diameter (mm): 40
Case thickness (mm): 7.75
Bracelet: 316L stainless steel
Water resistance: 10 ATM – 100m
Buckle: 316L stainless steel
Collection: Urban

Warranty: 3-Year Warranty

If you want to be updated and find out which models Certina has to offer, visit their Official Online Store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

This turtleneck sweater was your favorite because of the unusual color and it became very dear to me. Aida Barni turtleneck neon green color is made of 100% cashmere. A classic model with a zippered collar that is ideal for all occasions, whether it’s going to work or an casual city walk, this sweater is the right choice for every modern man with style. This sweater can be worn with classic trousers, but also with jeans, as I did in today’s post, to get an casual everyday look.

The Aida Barni brand was created as an artistic expression of the way of life and existence, the essence of unstressed chic, refined luxury. A collection for men and women dedicated to everyone who loves timeless and elegant knitwear that encompasses true elegance in the preciousness of materials, shapes and details.

The man who wears Aida Barni knitwear does not follow trends, but creates and adapts them to the needs of everyday life. The men’s collection is made up of cult clothing items of sentimental value, which evoke a healthy and environmentally friendly way of life. Fans of the Aida Barney brand love natural and fine yarns, enjoy comfort, but do not give up the elegance and sophistication of cuts and models.

A new fashion detail that you met almost on Mr.M’s blog is this unusual backpack from the Bank on the Road collection, which was made entirely in Italy. Ideal for people from the business world and leisure, able to satisfy any practical functional or aesthetic need. The convenient internal pocket allows you to charge your tablet and smartphone anytime, anywhere. Modern, elegant line of ranches, made of high quality and waterproof nylon with special attention to leather and metal details. The aluminum personalization is reminiscent of the innovative creativity of the FPM Bank collection.

FPM Milano luggage and accessories offers travelers convenience and style, all in one suitcase and backpack. Designed by Marc Sadler, these lightweight, aluminum-reinforced suitcases are inspired by antique suitcases, specifically designed to give you the endurance you need when traveling. The combination of Avante-Garde materials and motifs of Italian design, give these FPM suitcases a robust and safe look.

If you want to be updated and find out which models of suitcases and travel accessories the FPM Milano brand has in its offer, visit their official online store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

OUTFIT

Jacket: Paul&Shark

Backpack: FPM Milano

Sweater: Aida Barni

Jeans: Brunello Cucinelli

Gloves: Restelli

Scarf: Johnstons of Elgin

Watch: Certina

Boots: Etro

This colorful red fashion detail is a gift from my dear friends from Scotland – Johnstons of Elgin. The scarf is a famous Scottish print for which this exceptional country is famous.

My dear fashionistas, we have come to the end of this special fashion story where together we discovered the beauty and brilliance of some new pieces and pieces that we all gladly remember. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed the beauty of the pearl of the Baltic – Vilnius, as well as that you got inspiration for some of your ideal outfit! See you soon and continue our fashion adventures on the Mr.M blog! How did you like my outfit today?

I really tried to prepare today’s post for you with a lot of love and I hope you will like it!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media channels, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon, stay tuned!

With Love from Lithuania,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Paul&Shark, Aida Barni, Brunello Cucinelli, Certina, Restelli, FPM Milano and Johnstons of Elgin brands and represents my personal and honest review of their products.

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Letter from Türkiye: Alanya, Place where is Fun in the Sun!

My dear travelers, I hope you are well and ready for a new adventure on the Mr.M blog! Today I decided to delight you with a real summer travelogue about Alanya, a Mediterranean Turkish city where it is sunny almost during all four seasons and where the fun never stops! I am sure that this post will refresh you, so that all of us will start this June with only good moments!

How did I get to Alanya? While writing a blog post in May, I decided to take a break, because you know how creative work can sometimes make a person tired. During the break, I always try to check if there are any new messages or emails and I noticed an email from the Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation – ALTAV. A kind invitation to feel all the beauties and charms of the Mediterranean coastal city in Turkey. Without thinking, I accepted the invitation and already in my mind I was in sunny Alanya!

Today I will share with you my impressions of this unusual city and I would like to thank the Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation – ALTAV for the invitation and incredible experience to get to know better the culture and customs in this part of Turkey.

People say that red evokes happiness and attracts positive energy, which is why I decided to take my FPM Milano Bank Spinner 53 red cabin suitcase on my Turkish adventure, which brought me luck on my travels this year. Not only is it practical, light, but it is also a photogenic suitcase that many people asked me about at the airport where I bought it. So my little red suitcase and I heroically prepared and embarked on our new adventure together! I will write something more about this brand later, and now let’s start with the story of Alanya!

For the beginning, it would be helpful to tell you a few basic information about Alanya that will surely benefit you! Alanya is a Mediterranean coastal city in Turkey located near Antalya. Scientists have found writings proving that Alanya as a city was first inhabited since the 4th century BC, due to this incredible historical fact, one of the most important things in Alanya – a fortress built as the main witness of history in the heart of the city. , surrounded by walls, built on a peninsula that stretches towards the Mediterranean Sea.

The Alanya we know today developed in the area between the Taurus Mountains and the coast over 100 kilometers long. Yes, you read that right, the length of the coast is over 100 kilometers and that is why the locals and tourists have the opportunity to enjoy the numerous clean and spacious beaches that are natural and decorated according to international standards. Alanya is a city that, in addition to its rich cultural heritage, also has incredible natural charms and beauties.

What is the climate like in Alanya? Alanya has a typical Mediterranean climate to be desired, with refreshing winters as well as warm and dry summers. The average winter temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius, while the summer temperatures are around 30 degrees Celsius, while the average water temperature in winter is around 20 degrees, while in summer it is between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. If you plan to visit Alanya during the winter, be sure that winter is beautiful in Alanya and that snow is considered a scientific phenomenon.

If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of Alanya, you can visit the plateaus, which have a rich flora and fauna that are ideal for safaris and trekking. It is interesting that there are no industrial zones in Alanya and that is why all economic life depends on tourism and agriculture. If you have ever wondered what Alanya is best at, know that she is known for growing bananas and citrus fruits, which is why Alanya occupies an important place in Turkey.

Alanya is a city with extremely rich cultural and tourist content offer, so I am sure that even the most demanding tourists with refined taste will return with unforgettable impressions and recommend to their friends to spend their vacation in Alanya.

Holiday in Alanya can be relaxing, peaceful for body and soul, but it can also be active with numerous water sports and other kind of activities. In the previous pictures you can see the amazing landscapes from the Cable Car in Alanya which is located within the Alanya Fortress and provides an exit to the part known as Ehmedek. The cable car started operating in 2017 and in a short time it has become an unavoidable local attraction for all tourists who come to see the beauty of Alanya! Passing over the famous Damlataş Cave and Cleopatra Beach, the cable car takes you in a short period of time to the historic fortress of Alanya, a place where there is a spectacular and magnificent view with a special opportunity to see one history.

As I just mentioned, Alanya Fortress is a witness to the long and rich history of Alanya and it proudly occupies a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Also, the Alanya Fortress has been declared a state-protected area of ​​protected cultural property by the Turkish government. This medieval fortress is located on a peninsula about 250 meters above sea level. The interesting thing about this fortress are the layers within the walls that hide many secrets and traces of numerous cultures and customs that have lined up. There are certain historical writings that prove that the fortress of Alanya has been inhabited since the Hellenistic era, where people lived continuously.

Today’s appearance of the fortress can be attributed to the great reconstruction that was carried out during the 13th century by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Kejkubat. In addition to the great renovation of the Alanya Fortress, buildings of exceptional importance were built during this period, such as the Red Tower (Kizilkule) and the shipyard (Tersane). The walls that surround the peninsula are about 6 kilometers long, and on the walls there are numerous fortifications, towers, as well as 6 gates and there are two inner fortresses.

ALTAV (Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation) really tried to get to know Alanya from different angles through this trip, and even today, while the impressions of this city are slowly fading in my head, I can’t describe the uniqueness and beauty of this Mediterranean Turkish city.

The Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation made an effort to made me feel the cuisine of this area and come back with a few extra pounds, but as people in Alanya like to say: “When you are in Alanya, do not think about kilograms, just enjoy on your vacation, and when you return home, start exercising ”. In collaboration with Mutfak Mirasi Alanya, the ALTAV has organised gastronomy workshop for my colleagues and me.

I have to admit how many countries I have visited and met different world cuisines, Alanya can boast of amazing specialties and the most famous world cuisines. You can start your day in Alanya with a light breakfast with a slice of white cheese, fresh vegetables and whole grain bread, while for lunch you can eat fresh fish just brought by fishermen from the deep waters of the Mediterranean… Dinner can be light with exotic types of “Shish kebabs ” and other traditional dishes of Alanya.

In addition to the opportunity to enjoy the sumptuous dishes of Alanya, ALTAV made an effort to organize for my fellow influencers and me a gastronomy workshop, small cooking school where we had the opportunity to learn to cook some local specialties! Since you all know my great love for Turkish delights, I of course immediately focused on making the famous helva, but according to an old recipe in Alanya, which is significantly different from the classic helva we have the opportunity to see on store shelves.

I have to admit that I enjoyed it and that I had a unique opportunity to learn how to prepare some of the most famous Turkish savory and sweet dishes. I will remember this cooking school, as well as the smiling women who shared with us their precious cooking skills with great patience.

Another activity that was unusual on this trip was a special Jeep Safari experience tour of the Sapadera Canyon with Race Tour Alanya. This charming green paradise of the Mediterranean region, you can complete a visit to Sapadere village, which is located about 40 km from Alanya.

Sapadere is an area where you can see all shades of greenery and is one of the most pristine places with the richest flora and fauna in the region. The area of the Alanya Sapadera Canyon gives great pleasure to the human eye to constantly admire this exceptional green landscape, as well as the Taurus mountain range with snow on the tops that go like steps towards the sky.

Sapadere Canyon is 360 meters long and is located 3 km from the village of Sapadere. Sapadera Canyon was created by erosion of water, ice and wind. Layers of rock have formed for thousands of years. Wooden paths provide easy access to all visitors. Believe me, you will be amazed by the speed of water gushing over a series of rocks, numerous waterfalls, rare plants and different species of animals and birds as you walk through this natural habitat. Clean, fresh air and cascading turquoise water above the rocks are therapeutic and refreshing for the human spirit…

At the end of the trail, 300 meters inside the entrance to the Sapadere canyon, there is a main attraction: an amazing waterfall. This is a popular place for photographing visitors, there is also the possibility of swimming in a natural pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Here, one can really refresh oneself because the water temperature barely reaches 12 degrees Celsius during the hottest summer season.

Sapadere Canyon is a karst canyon located in the village of Sapadere in Alanya County. The length of the canyon that formed Sapadere, after which the village got its name, is 600 m, and its height is 400 m. Chemical wear of limestone blocks was efficient in the formation of this canyon. At the point where the Sapadere emerges from the canyon, the bottom of the canyon is covered by a stream. In order to move inland, a 600 m long wooden bridge with iron bars on the side walls was built.

The waterfall is located at the end of the canyon after crossing the water flowing at the bottom of the canyon. A giant cauldron (natural pool) with very cold water was formed at the place where the waterfall overflowed. During the summer, people can swim in the cold waters of this natural pool.

Until recently, the canyon, which was known only to the locals, began to attract tourists through promotional activities of local governments. At the entrance to the canyon there are places to eat and drink where you can refresh yourself.

During my stay in Alanya, I had the opportunity to stay in one of the best hotels in the city – SunPrime C-lounge Hotel. This modern five-star luxury hotel for adults is housed in a newly built building across the beach from the Mediterranean Sea, just 8 km from Alanya Fortress.

The spacious and modern rooms have a balcony, sofa, Wi-Fi and flat TVs new generation, as well as a minibar and tea/coffee maker, which I had to try. Many rooms have sea views. The deluxe suits have a separate living room.

Within the hotel there are two restaurants (one is self-service) and bars. Other facilities of this hotel include a gym, spa and two swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor), a hammam, a hot tub and a pool bar. There is a private area on the beach where guests can sunbathe. During your stay you can enjoy live music. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hotel management for their hospitality and dedication during my visit to Alanya.

In today’s post we are meeting up again with my friends from the FPM Milano brand and I present you a backpack from the Bank on the Road collection, as well as Bank Spinner 53 cabin suitcase from the Bank collection, both collections are made entirely in Italy, ideal for business people world and so for those who want to enjoy their vacation and free time to maximum, made to meet every practical, functional or aesthetic need.

The convenient internal pocket allows you to charge your tablet and smartphone anytime, anywhere. Modern, elegant line of backpacks, made of high quality and waterproof nylon with special attention to leather and metal details. The aluminum personalization is reminiscent of the innovative creativity of the FPM Bank collection.

FPM Milano luggage and accessories offers travelers convenience and style, all in one suitcase and backpack. Designed by Marc Sadler, these lightweight, aluminum-reinforced suitcases are inspired by antique suitcases, specifically designed to give you the endurance you need when traveling. The combination of Avante-Garde materials and motifs of Italian design, give these FPM suitcases a robust and safe look.

If you want to be updated and find out which models of suitcases and travel accessories the FPM Milano brand has in its offer, visit their official online store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

My dear travelers, we have come to the end of this special post about the Turkish jewel of the Mediterranean – Alanya, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation – ALTAV in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Turkish culture and traditions. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience from Turkey.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this magical Mediterranean region of Turkey in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Alanya? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit this part of Turkey before? Share with me your experiences, I would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!

Warm greetings from Alanya,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the ALTAV, SunPrime C-lounge Hotel and other local partners. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Lithuania: Vilnius, the Pearl of the Baltic you will love!

My dear adventurers and lovers of unusual journeys, I sincerely hope you are well and ready for a new adventure on the Mr.M blog. Today we continue our adventure in the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius and discover some new details and beauties of this charming city.

If by any chance you missed the previous story about Vilnius or want to remind yourself of some details, take a few minutes of your time and visit this link.

Before I start today’s post, I would like to thank the Vilnius Tourism Board for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to visit the pearl of this unusual Baltic country in northern Europe!

In the previous post, I showed you a part of the Castle Complex in Vilnius and we saw what secrets the Grand Duke’s Palace hides. Today we continue our tour of the city and take you to another part of the complex. The Palace of the Grand Duke and the Cathedral in Vilnius formed a complex of castles and have been located next to each other for centuries, but the interesting thing is that these two buildings have completely different history.

Numerous scientists have found some evidence that in pre-Christian times on the site of today’s city of Vilnius, the pagan god Perkunas was worshiped. Numerous historical writings reveal that the King of Lithuania Mindaugas built the original cathedral in 1251 as the place of his baptism in the Christian rite. After Mindaugas’ death in 1263, the cathedral was restored to its original cult of worshiping pagan gods.

At the end of the 14th century, more precisely in 1387, when Lithuania formally accepted Christianity, another Gothic cathedral with five chapels was built. Unfortunately, in 1419, that cathedral was completely destroyed in a fire. In its place, Vytautas The Great built a larger Gothic cathedral. A century later, the cathedral was renovated, and written sources mention the bell tower for the first time. It is believed that the bell tower was built on the site of the defensive tower of the Lower Castle at the beginning of the 15th century. After the great fire in 1530, the cathedral was rebuilt, and from 1534 to 1557 more chapels and crypts were added.

During this period, the cathedral acquired architectural features associated with the Renaissance. After the fire of 1610, it was rebuilt and two front towers were added. It has been renovated and decorated several more times.

The Cathedral of Vilnius is a shorter formal name, while the original name of this sacral building is the Cathedral of St. Stanislaus and Ladislaus of Vilnius. This is also the main Roman Catholic cathedral in Lithuania. It is located in the Old Town of Vilnius, not far from the Cathedral Square. Dedicated to Saints Stanislaus and Ladislaus, this church is the heart of Catholic spiritual life in Lithuania.

The coronations of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania took place in this sacral building. Many famous people from Lithuanian and Polish history are buried in the crypts and catacombs, including Vytautas the Great, his wife Anna, his brother Sigismund, his cousin Švitrigaila, St. Casimir, Alexander Jagiellon and two wives of Sigismund II Augustus: Elizabeth of Habsburg and Barbara Radziwill. The buried heart of the Polish king and Grand Duke of Lithuania Wladislaw IV Vasa rests here, although the rest of his body is buried in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow.

The interior of the cathedral is adorned with more than forty works of art dating from the 16th to 19th centuries, including frescoes and paintings of various sizes. During the restoration of the cathedral, the altars of the presumed pagan temple and the original floor, set during the reign of King Mindaugas, were discovered. In addition, there were the remains of the cathedral built in 1387. A fresco from the end of the 14th century, the oldest known fresco in Lithuania, was found on the wall of one of the underground chapels of the cathedral.

During the Soviet regime, the cathedral was initially turned into a warehouse. Masses have been celebrated again since 1988, although the cathedral at that time was still officially called the “The Gallery of Images”. In 1989, it was restored to the status of a sacred religious building.

Vilnius Cathedral – entrance to the Chapel of St. Casimir

A historical event that marked history is the coronation of the young heir to the throne and future king of Poland, Sigismund II Augustus, who was crowned Grand Duke of Lithuania in the cathedral in 1529. After another fire in 1610, the cathedral was rebuilt, and two front towers were added. The cathedral was damaged again in 1655, when Vilnius fell into the hands of Russian troops in the Russo-Polish war between 1654 and 1667. years. The cathedral has been renovated and redecorated several times.

Chapel of St. Casimir

Between 1623 and 1636, on the initiative of Sigismund III Vasa, and later completed by his son Wladislaw IV Vasa, a baroque chapel of St. Casimir was built from Swedish sandstone, the royal architect Konstantin Tenkal was in charge of its construction. Its interior was reconstructed in 1691–1692 and decorated with frescoes by Michelangelo Palonius, an altar and stucco by Pietro Perti. This chapel contains sculpted statutes of the kings of Jagiellonia and an epitaph with the heart of Wladislaw IV Vasa. More than anything else in the Cathedral, this chapel symbolizes the glory of the Polish-Lithuanian Union and common history.

Between 1786 and 1792, three sculptures of Kazimierz Jelski were placed on the roof of the Cathedral in Vilnius – Saint Casimir on the south side, Saint Stanislaus on the north and Saint Helena in the center. These sculptures were removed in 1950, and restored and returned in 1997. It is assumed that the sculpture of St. Casimir originally symbolized Lithuania, the sculpture of St. Stanislaus Poland, and the sculpture of St. Helena holding a 9 m cross represents the true cross of faith. Later, in 2002, work officially began on the renovation of the Palace of the Grand Duke, which is located behind the cathedral itself. The newly erected palace building significantly changed the appearance of the cathedral.

The Cathedral and Bell Tower were thoroughly renovated in the period from 2006 to 2008. The facades are covered with fresh multicolored paint, which greatly improved the appearance of this sacral building. It was the first renovation since Lithuania’s independence in 1990.

I did not miss the opportunity, regardless of the weather conditions, to capture the moment when I visited such an important building as the Vilnius Cathedral. Now we will see a little what the streets of the capital of Lithuania look like and what you can visit from the museum, if the road leads you to unusual Vilnius!

Pilies Street (literally “Castle Street”) is one of the main streets in the Old Town of Vilnius. It is a rather short street, which stretches from the Cathedral Square to the Town Hall Square. Of the several locations across Vilnius used by market vendors to sell goods by local artists, Pilies Street is the most popular.

It has a natural advantage over the Town Hall Square because the street is very busy and it is less likely to be disturbed by political or cultural events that are usually held in the Town Hall.

Pilies Street

A large number of tourists and locals visit this street to buy gifts for the holidays, such as Christmas or to visit friends before going abroad. The market is also popular among souvenir hunters. Souvenir shops offer amber dishes and jewelry, as well as unique clothes. The street is also known for the “Kaziukas” fair, when folk artists from all four parts of Lithuania gather to exhibit and sell their best products.

Vilnius City Hall

As the capital, Vilnius has been the art center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania for centuries and has attracted artists from all over Europe. The oldest works of art that remain from the early Gothic period (14th century) are paintings dedicated to churches and liturgy (eg frescoes in the crypts of the cathedral in Vilnius, decorated books of hymns).

Wall paintings from the 16th century were also discovered in Vilnius (for example, painting the vaults of the Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard or in the Church of St. Nicholas). Gothic wooden, mostly polychrome sculptures were used to decorate the altars of churches in Vilnius. Some Gothic seals from 14-15. centuries have remained to this day (Kestutis, Vytautas the Great, Sigismund II Augustus).

The period of Baroque flourishing that began at the end of the 16th century was exceptional for Vilnius because wall painting flourished in the city. Most palaces and churches were decorated with frescoes that were characterized by bright colors, sophisticated corners and dramatic style. During this period, secular painting also spread – representative, imaginative, epitaph portraits, battle scenes, politically important events.

This type of painting is characterized by a detailed realistic style. Sacral architecture is dominated by sculptures of this period (tombstones with sculptural portraits, exterior and interior decorative sculptures), made of wood, marble and stucco.

The gate of the Basilian monastery where the poet Adam Mickiewicz was imprisoned for fighting against the Russian government

Italian sculptors were extremely important in the development of sculptures of the Grand Duchy in the 17th century and were invited there by the Lithuanian nobility. Their works are characterized by the features of mature baroque: expressiveness of form, sensuality, atectonic composition (eg sculptural decoration of the church of St. Peter and Paul). Domestic Lithuanian sculptors emphasized the decorative features of the Baroque, and the expressiveness and emotionality of the Baroque was less characteristic in their works.

There are many prominent art galleries in Vilnius. The largest art collection in Lithuania is housed in the Lithuanian Art Museum. In one of its branches, the Vilnius Gallery of Paintings in the Old Town of Vilnius, there is a collection of Lithuanian art from the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century. On the other side of Neris, the National Art Gallery has a permanent exhibition on 20th century Lithuanian art, as well as numerous exhibitions on modern art. The Center for Contemporary Art is the largest place for contemporary art in the Baltic States, with an exhibition space of 2400 square meters.

The Center is a non-collectible institution dedicated to developing a wide range of international and Lithuanian exhibition projects, as well as presenting a wide range of public programs including lectures, seminars, performances, film and video screenings and new live music events.

Užupis Republic near the Old Town, once one of the most neglected districts of Vilnius during the Soviet era, is home to a movement of bohemian artists, who run numerous art galleries and workshops. Užupis declared itself an independent republic on April 1, 1997. In the main square, a statue of an angel blowing a trumpet stands as a symbol of artistic freedom.

Užupis Republic is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Užupis means “behind the river” or “other side of the river” in Lithuanian and refers to the river Vilnia, the name Vilnius is derived from the name of the river Vilnia. The district has been popular with artists for some time and many cities compare it to Montmartre in Paris and Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, precisely because of its bohemian and laissez-faire atmosphere. On April 1, 1997, this district declared itself an independent republic (Republic of Užupis), with its own constitution.

The most interesting thing is that in 2015, a project was realized – Vilnius Talking Statues. Eighteen statues across Vilnius communicate with visitors in multiple languages via a phone call to new smartphones.

If you want to learn something new about the incredible capital of Lithuania, the best address to start your journey is the Vilnius Museum. This is a new space for locals and tourists to learn more about the capital of this unusual Baltic country. Opening its doors for the first time in the spring of 2021, the Museum presents unique, and unknown, but still current, views of the city and the stories it tells.

This museum is dynamic in itself, with constantly changing exhibitions, like Vilnius itself, the Museum plans to set up two or three exhibitions each year, based on original studies of urban life. This museum is dedicated exclusively to Vilnius and invites visitors to take a closer look at the city and discover something unexpected in its premises.

Another museum you can visit is the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights. This museum includes the former office of the Deputy Chief of the KGB Internal Prison on the first floor of the museum includes an exhibition of documents, photographs, maps and other objects depicting the Sovietization of the region in 1940-1941. years, as well as prison cells.

Exhibition dedicated to the guerrilla war of 1944-1953. years where you can get to know the territorial structure and military organization of guerrilla units, the aspirations of freedom fighters, their daily activities and daily life. The fight of the NKVD-NKGB against the armed resistance was revealed at the exhibition Unfair Fights.

On the second floor of the museum, there is an exhibition dedicated to the imprisonment of Lithuanians in gulags from 1944 to 1956, deportations from 1944 to 1953 and KGB activities from 1954 to 1991.

My dear travelers and adventurers, we have come to the end of this special second post about Vilnius, today you saw the most famous symbol of Lithuania and Vilnius – Vilnius Cathedral, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Vilnius Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience from Lithuania.

If you are planning a visit to the capital of Lithuania, try to get a Vilnius Pass, with which you can explore this magical city for less money. Even if you decide to visit Vilnius for only a day, two or three days, Vilnius Pass will help you make the most of your trip.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual Baltic country in North Europe in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Vilnius? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Lithuania before? Share with me your experiences, I would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!

Warm greetings from Lithuania,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Vilnius Tourism Board. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Lithuania: Vilnius, a City of Rich History and Fairy-tale Architecture…

My dear travelers, welcome to the new adventure on the Mr.M blog. Today we start a series of new posts about the largest Baltic state in northern Europe – the Republic of Lithuania. I must admit that I felt great pleasure and happiness when I published the first Instagram story from the airport when I asked you to guess where I was going with one small hint that I would complete my adventure in that region with this trip.

Many of you have listed Latvia and Estonia with the assumption that I went to Lithuania this time. I am glad to have such a wonderful community that has been building an online travel diary with me, such as Mr.M.

Before I start with a travelogue about the capital of Lithuania, I would like to introduce you to an interesting brand of luggage and travel accessories with which you will feel the comfort and beauty of travel! I believe that you remember this navy backpack from one of the previous fashion stories and I believe that the FPM Milano brand is not unknown to you, but let’s remind ourselves of some details for people who did not manage to read my one of my previous fashion stories.

This exclusive Italian brand of leather goods and luggage was founded in 1946. This brand is an artistic expression of the best Italian talent and aesthetics, as well as excellent expertise. Traditional handmade with the use of top materials, today is combined with innovations of avant-garde metals and modern design.

FPM Milano luggage and accessories offers travelers convenience and style, all in one suitcase and backpack. Designed by Marc Sadler, these lightweight, aluminum-reinforced suitcases are inspired by antique suitcases, specifically designed to give you the endurance you need when traveling. The combination of Avante-Garde materials and motifs of Italian design, give these FPM suitcases a robust and safe look.

In today’s post I present you a backpack from the Bank on the Road collection, as well as Bank Spinner 53 cabin suitcase from the Bank collection, both collections are made entirely in Italy, ideal for people from the business world and for those who want to enjoy maximum in their leisure and leisure time, designed to satisfy every practical, functional or aesthetic need. The convenient internal pocket allows you to charge your tablet and smartphone anytime, anywhere. Modern, elegant line of ranches, made of high quality and waterproof nylon with special attention to leather and metal details. The aluminum personalization is reminiscent of the innovative creativity of the FPM Bank collection.

If you want to be updated and find out which models of suitcases and travel accessories the FPM Milano brand has in its offer, visit their official online store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

It is time to start this first travelogue about the capital of Lithuania, so let’s see what is hidden in the heart of this unusual northern European country. Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe, which consists of 3 countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. This country lies on the east coast of the Baltic Sea, geographically Lithuania borders Latvia in the north, Belarus in the east and south, Poland in the south and the Kaliningrad region of Russia in the southwest.

Also, this country has a maritime border with Sweden in the west on the Baltic Sea. Lithuania covers an area of about 65,000 km2, with a current population of almost 3 million. The main and largest city is Vilnius, while the other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipeda. Lithuanians belong to the Baltic ethno-linguistic group and speak Lithuanian, one of only a few living Baltic languages.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Vilnius Tourism Board for the wonderful welcome, as well as the content program that helped me get to know this exceptional city in a completely different way.

How will “Letters from Lithuania” be organized? Due to a better understanding of Lithuanian culture and history, I decided to dedicate the first post to the first part of the Castle Complex in Vilnius – the Palace of the Grand Duke. This complex is extremely important for the history of this largest Baltic state, which was created with a rich history, and that is why I thought it best to introduce you to the Palace of the Grand Duke first.

The castle complex in Vilnius is a group of cultural and historical buildings on the left bank of the Neris River, near its confluence with the Vilnius River. The buildings, which were built and constantly modernized between the 10th and 18th centuries, were one of the main defense structures of Lithuania.

The complex consisted of three castles: Upper, Lower and Crooked Castle. The crooked castle was burned by the Teutonic Knights in 1390 and was never rebuilt. The castles of Vilnius were attacked several times by the Teutonic Order after 1390, but they failed to occupy the entire complex. His complete capture took place for the first time during the Battle of Vilnius in 1655. Soon after, heavily damaged castles lost their significance, and many buildings were abandoned. During the Imperial Annexation, several historic buildings were demolished; many more were damaged during the construction of the fortress in the 19th century.

Today, the remaining Gediminas (Crooked Tower) is the main symbol of the city of Vilnius and the nation itself. Every year, on January 1, the Lithuanian tricolor is raised on Gediminas’ Crooked Tower in memory of Flag Day. The complex is part of the National Museum of Lithuania, one of the largest museums in the country.

The Palace of the Grand Duke in the Lower Castle has evolved over the years and architecturally advanced during the 16th and mid-17th centuries. The palace has been the political, administrative and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania for more than four centuries. In the 13th and 14th centuries, there were stone constructions inside the palace, and a large number of archaeologists believe that there was also a wooden palace. The stone Royal Palace was built in the 15th century, apparently after the great fire of 1419.

The existing stone buildings and defensive structures of the Lower Castle that blocked the construction were demolished. The royal palace was built in the Gothic style. The flag of the Upper Castle, as well as the Royal Palace, was to host the coronation of Vytautas the Great. The Gothic palace had three wings, some archaeological research suggests that it was a two-story building with a basement.

The Grand Duke of Lithuania, Alexander, who later became King of Poland, moved his residence to the Royal Palace, where he met with the ambassadors. He ordered the restoration of the palace. After his marriage to the daughter of Moscow’s Grand Duke Ivan III, the royal couple lived and died in the palace.

Sigismund I the Old, after his ascension to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, conducted his affairs in the Royal Court as well as in the Vilnius Cathedral. During the reign of Sigismund, the palace was significantly expanded in order to meet the new needs of the Grand Duke – another wing was added, as well as the third floor, and new gardens were added. The plan for the reconstruction of the palace was probably made by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Berrecci da Pontassieve, who also designed several other projects in the Kingdom of Poland. In this palace, Sigismund the Old welcomed the envoy of the Holy Roman Empire, who in 1517 introduced Sigismund to his second wife, Bona Sforza.

Sigismund’s son Sigismund II Augustus was crowned Grand Duke of Lithuania at the Royal Court. Augustus continued to develop the palace and lived there with his first wife Elizabeth of Austria, the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, who now rests in Vilnius Cathedral. Sigismund II’s second wife, Barbara Radziwill, also lived in the palace. According to modern reports from the Holy See’s envoys, the Royal Court at the time contained more treasures than the Vatican. Sigismund II also compiled one of the largest collections of books in Europe.

The palace was remodeled in the Renaissance style in the 16th century. The plan was prepared by several Italian architects, including Giovanni Cini da Siena, Bernardino de Gianotis Zanobi and others. The palace was visited by Ipolito Aldobrandini, who later became Pope Clement VIII. Another great development took place during the reign of the Vasa family. The royal court was renovated in the early Baroque style during the reign of Sigismund III Vasa. Mateo Castello, Jacopo Tencala and other artists took part in the 17th century renovation.

During the reign of the Vasa family, several important ceremonies were held in the palace, including the wedding of Duke John, who later became King John III of Sweden, as well as the sister of Sigismund Augustus – Catherine. The first opera in Lithuania was set up in the palace in 1634. Marco Sccachi and Virgilio Puciteli were an opera impresario.

After the Russian invasion in 1655, the state began to weaken, which negatively affected the Royal Court. The palace was badly damaged by the war, and its treasure was looted. After the recapture of the city of Vilnius in 1660-1661, the palace was no longer a suitable state residence and was abandoned for almost 150 years.

At the end of the 18th century, after the fall of the Polish-Lithuanian community, several families lived in parts of the ruined palace. Shortly after the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was incorporated into the Russian Empire, tsarist officials ordered the demolition of the remaining parts of the Royal Court. The palace was almost completely demolished at the beginning of the 19th century. The bricks of the former palace were sold in 1799 to a merchant from Kremenchug.

In 2000, the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) passed a law deciding to renovate the Royal Palace for the Millennium Ceremony since the first mention of the name of the Republic of Lithuania in 2009.

During my visit to the Palace of the Grand Duke, there was a special exhibition that is of great importance for Lithuania – the Children’s Armor of Sigismund Augustus.

The coronation was performed “vivente rege”, during the life of the reigning King Sigismund the Old, with the aim of ensuring a possible unhindered takeover of power, but the young prince did not have to immediately assume all the obligations of governing and governing the country. The ceremonial armor for the 13-year-old, preserved to this day, has been used in tournaments and testifies to the skill of the gunsmiths and proof of how tall Sigismund Augustus was as a teenager.

He met the taste of true power and all the troubles closely connected with it after the death of his father, Sigismund I the Elder, in 1548. Another thing is that a few years before the death of the aged king, most decisions were made by his wife or young Sigismund Augustus, who tried to expand his autonomy, especially in the hereditary Grand Duchy, where he initially sought an agreement with magnate families. He also tried to reform the management of the estates that were in the royal domain of the so-called There, the king married for the second time, and the conflict between affection and duty was, fortunately, Shakespearean, not Harlequin.

The view from the safety tower that is part of the Palace of the Grand Duke is amazing, you just have the opportunity to see Vilnius in the palm of your hand. Unfortunately, during my visit to this city, the weather forecast was not quite favorable, but it did not spoil my overall impression of this charming and unusual city.

The Palace of the Grand Duke as a museum is divided into 3 parts where you can see how the Palace has modernized over time and what it looked like during its golden age. In addition to the amazing furniture, you can also see exceptional examples of royal jewelry and take a peek at a piece of valuables that they owned in these noble families. You are probably wondering how long it takes to visit this museum, I think it takes between 2 to 4 hours, depending on your interests, physical condition and speed, to visit this Palace.

My dear travelers and adventurers, we have come to the end of this special post about the most famous symbol of Lithuania and Vilnius – the Palace of the Grand Duke, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Vilnius Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners. traditions. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience from Lithuania.

If you are planning a visit to the capital of Lithuania, try to get a Vilnius Pass, with which you can explore this magical city for less money. Even if you decide to visit Vilnius for only a day, two or three days, Vilnius Pass will help you make the most of your trip.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual Baltic country in North Europe in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Vilnius? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Lithuania before? Share with me your experiences, I would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!

Warm greetings from Lithuania,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Vilnius Tourism Board. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Sri Lanka: Mirissa and Bentota, Real Diamonds of the Indian Ocean…

Dear my travelers and lovers of unusual journeys, welcome to the new adventure on the Mr.M blog! Thank you for the many letters and messages you have sent me and I must admit that it is a great honor and pleasure that my travelogues from Sri Lanka have fulfilled your time during winter and spring season. I am glad that you enjoyed my exotic adventure together with me and I believe that this year will be exciting for all my readers because I am preparing unusual travelogues from Europe and the world, so we will all truly enjoy it!

To my great regret, we have reached the end of this unusual and exotic adventure, so this letter will be the last in a series of posts related to Sri Lanka, but who knows, maybe I will return to this unusual island and continue our unusual adventure! Before I start today’s post I would like to thank the Sri Lankan Tourism Board for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to continue my adventure on my favorite dream island!

If by any chance you missed any of my previous posts, take the opportunity to visit some of the previous stories at the following links:

  1. The Story about Colombo (Travelogue): LINK
  2. Unforgettable Fashion Safari in Sri Lanka: LINK
  3. My Safari Experience in Sri Lanka (Travelogue): LINK
  4. Sigiriya: The Magic of the Lost Kingdom (Travelogue): LINK
  5. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Travelogue): LINK
  6. Kandyan Dance, a Unique Example of Sinhalese Culture: LINK

I will start today’s post with one exciting early morning cruise – a whale and dolphin watching expedition. Mirissa is an ideal place for whale and dolphin watching, the season suitable for this type of activity lasts from November to April, the period when this part of Sri Lanka becomes one “big playground” for countless species of whales and dolphins.

Some of the most commonly seen whale species in the area include: Sperm whales, killer whales, Bryde whales, short finned Whales, of course next to them you will be able to see playful flocks of dolphins and striped dolphins having fun around your boat! However, the main type of whale that needs special attention is the Blue Whale – which is considered to be the largest animal in the world! Whale and dolphin watching in the Mirissa is ideal for all true nature lovers as they set sail into the ocean.

I had this unforgettable experience in Mirissa with Certina DS Jubilee.

For all the adventurers who are headed to Mirissa, here is some basic information. Mirissa is a small town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, located in Matara County, in the Southern Province. It is located approximately 150 kilometers south of Colombo and is located at an altitude of 4 meters above sea level. Beach and nightlife of Mirissa make this coastal city a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka. This city is also a fishing port and one of the main locations on the island for whale and dolphin watching.

After Mirissa, I headed to Bentota, a coastal town in Sri Lanka, located in Galle County in the Southern Province. Bentota is located on the southern bank of the mouth of the river Bentota, at an altitude of 3 meters above sea level. The name of the city comes from a mythical story which claims that a demon named “Ben” ruled the “tota” – the river bank.

Bentota is a tourist attraction, with a local airport and many hotels of different categories for each budget, from affordable hotels range up to the most luxurious hotel resorts. This is a destination for all water sports fans. Bentota also provides an ancient art of healing called Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a science that describes all the favorable and unfavorable, including happy and unhappy states of life, together with what is good and bad for life, measures for achieving them as well as life itself. The written texts of this complete system of natural health are about 5,000 years old. For centuries, sages and physicians have discovered this ancient wisdom. Ayurveda is the oldest, most comprehensive health care system in use today.

Bentota is known for the production of Toddy, an alcoholic beverage made from coconut nectar. There is also a turtle hatchery here, located on Induruwa Beach. Bentota is a historical site described in ancient messengers’ songs (Sandeśa-Kāvya). Galapatha Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the five ancient temples in the region.

In the 17th century, the Portuguese built a small fortress at the mouth of the Bentota River (Benata Ganga), which in Sinhala was called Parangi Kotuva, which means fortress of the Portuguese. The river marked the southern end of Portuguese territory in Sri Lanka. The Dutch later allowed the fortress to collapse, turning one of the large buildings inside the fortress into a colonial resting place for Dutch officers traveling between Colombo and Galle.

The British then turned the holiday home into a seaside sanatorium. Sir James Emerson Tennent, the colonial secretary of Ceylon in his book, said the Bentota holiday home, set in a small park, deep in the shade of lofty tamarind trees on the part of the beach where the river meets the sea, is one of the coldest and most pleasant Ceylon. The British introduced railways in the early 19th century, mainly to transport coconut products from the deep south to the capital, building a permanent bridge – Bentota Palam to cross the river.

What can you visit in Bentota? Local sights you should visit:

  • Bentota Beach
  • Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery – a community turtle hatchery and turtle watching project established by the Turtle Conservation Project in cooperation with the Sri Lankan Wildlife Department.
  • Brief Garden – home and garden of renowned Sri Lankan landscape architect Bevis Bava, older brother of architect Jeffrey Bava. Located on the territory of a former rubber plantation, Bava continued to develop the estate until his death in 1992.
  • The Buddhist temple of Galapatha Rajamaha Viharaya, located in Bentota, contains stone inscriptions, stone carvings, pillars, ponds and troughs from the medieval period.
  • Helipad Richi Skilark. This heliport operates a helicopter ride in Bentota near the mouth operated by Skilark Aviation Helicopters.
  • River Boat Safari through the Mangrove Lagoon.

One activity I would advise you to embark on is a River Boat Safari through the Mangrove Lagoon. You can combine a river cruise with a visit to the Mangrove Lagoon, where you can see crocodiles that are now rare, but there are plenty of water monitors and river birds. This is a wonderful and relaxing experience where you can enjoy the majesty and beauty of the river landscape.

This safari is unusual because you have the opportunity to enjoy the exotic beauty of the flora and fauna that inhabit this part of Sri Lanka. In addition to the amazing scenery, you have the opportunity to get to know the locals and briefly get an impression of what life in Bentota looks like. During this one-day excursion, I visited a family that makes natural cinnamon products.

An unforgettable experience for me was to see the jellyfish live, when our guide suddenly dipped his hands in the water, I was expecting something preparing the engine, but suddenly he pulled the jellyfish out of the water, I was honestly amazed, but also delighted with the sight! I think this cruise is something you have to experience if you are coming to Bentota.

A few moments ago, I mentioned a visit to a family that produces natural cinnamon products, which was educational and unusual. I even had the opportunity to try cinnamon tea, which is effective and relaxes a person. Cinnamon can be used to make various creams, teas, cakes and products, even from the leaves of the plant, locals in Sri Lanka make roofs for their houses.

Another interesting thing that impressed me was that there are shops and fast food restaurants on the water, which I have not had the opportunity to see so far. There are also sacred places – temples on the water and on the shores that you can see during the cruise.

My stay in Bentota was unforgettable thanks to the team of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and the friendly staff of the Taj Bentota Resort & Spa hotel who made my stay in this coastal city make me feel at home.

This luxury hotel complex, formerly known as Taj Exotica, this 160-room resort was built by Maga Engineering in 1997. Located in an exotic and beautiful town on Bentota Beach, the resort features distinctive colonial architecture marked by beautiful red tiled roofs.

This 5-star hotel resort offers an extremely rich range of services, including fine restaurants, modern rooms, a spa, a terraced infinity pool and a beautiful lobby with a high solid wood ceiling. The resort opened in 1997. Enjoy the view of the incredible beauty of the Indian Ocean.

Accept the modest greetings ‘Aiubovan’ with a smile, followed by sips of ‘Nelli’ (fruit wine), passion fruit or Ceylon iced tea. This is just a small part of everything that Taj Bentota Resort & Spa has to offer! Immerse yourself in a space that reflects the spirit of Sri Lanka.

Dear travelers, we have come to the end of this last post about the Sri Lankan adventure. It was my greates pleasure to present you all the beauties of Mirissa and Bentota, which would not be possible without the selfless help of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners like Taj Bentota Resort & Spa. to feel the spirit and beauty of the Indian Ocean and Sri Lankan culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience in Sri Lanka.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Mirissa and Bentota? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka before? Share with me your experiences, I would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!

Warm greetings from Sri Lanka,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and Taj Bentota Resort & Spa. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Sri Lanka: Kandyan Dance, a Unique Example of Sinhalese Culture…

My dear travelers and lovers of unusual journeys, welcome to another new adventure on the Mr.M blog. Today we continue our story about Sri Lanka and today we will learn more about Sinhalese culture together. Before I start today’s post I would like to thank the Sri Lankan Tourism Board for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to continue my adventure on my favorite dream island!

If by any chance you missed any of my previous posts, take the opportunity to visit some of the previous stories at the following links:

  1. The Story about Colombo (Travelogue): LINK
  2. Unforgettable Fashion Safari in Sri Lanka: LINK
  3. My Safari Experience in Sri Lanka (Travelogue): LINK
  4. Sigiriya: The Magic of the Lost Kingdom (Travelogue): LINK
  5. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Travelogue): LINK

Who are the Sinhalese people?

The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group of Sri Lankan descent. In history, they were known as Hela people. They make up about 75% of Sri Lanka’s population and have more than 15 million members community. Sinhalese ethnic identity is based on language, cultural heritage and nationality. Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an isolated Indo-Aryan language, and are predominantly Theravada Buddhists, although a minority of Sinhalese follow branches of Christianity and other religions.

Since 1815, they have been largely divided into two groups of peoples: the “Sinhalese of the Upper Lands” who inhabit the central mountain regions and the “Sinhalese of the Lower Lands” in the coastal regions, although both groups speak the same language. customs.

Sinhalese culture is unique, dating back more than 2,600 years and nurtured by Theravada Buddhism. The main features of Sinhalese culture are sculptures, fine arts, literature, dance, poetry and a wide range of traditional folk beliefs and numerous rituals. Ancient Sinhalese stone sculpture and inscriptions are known around the world and are a major attraction in modern tourism.

Sigiriya is known for its frescoes, which we wrote about in one of the previous posts. Interesting information from historical writings is that the workers sang their lives in folk songs to accompany their work and tell the story of their lives. Ideally, these songs consisted of four lines and in the composition of these songs, special attention was paid to the rhyming patterns. Buddhist festivals are interspersed with unique music that uses traditional Sinhalese instruments. Older rituals such as tovils (exorcism) continue to delight audiences today and have often praised and invoked the good powers of the Buddha and the gods to cast out demons.

The performing arts (dance) of Sinhalese can be categorized into several groups:

  1. Kandyan dance consists of 18 Vannam (dance routines) that depict the behaviors of various animals such as elephant, eagle, cobra, peacock, monkey and rabbit. These dance routines can be seen at the annual Perahara competition in Sri Dalada Malagawa Kandy.
  2. Pahatharata dance has a different significant style of dance that is used to cure diseases and spiritualize (spiritual enlightenment). The main feature of these dances is that the players wear masks that represent different gods and demons. Elements like fire and water are used to show people and bless their hopes.
  3. Sabaragamuwa dances also have a unique and significant dance style that is there to entertain the masses.

Folk music and dances differ significantly depending on the cast of Sinhalese. These dances are extremely popular among boys and girls who are brought up from an early age to nurture and preserve their culture. These types of art are performed during special events such as the Sinhalese New Year.

Kandyan dance encompasses various dance forms and routines that are popular and original in an area called Kandy, located in the Central Hills region, known as Udarata in Sri Lanka, which have also spread to other parts of the country today. This is an example of Sinhalese culture in Sri Lanka.

Let’s find out together which are some of the dances in Kandian dance, some of the many dances are: Ves dance, Naiyandi dance, Udarata dance, Pahatharata dance, Weeramunda Kankariya dance and Vannam.

Ves Dance

According to one well-known legend, the origin of Ves dance lies in a dance ritual known as Kohomba kankariya (named after the deity Kohomba), which is also known as Kohomba yak kankariya or simply kankariya. Masters of traditional dance believe that originally the king of a place called “Malaya Rata” and his two brothers performed the first Kohomba Kankariya. Some believe that this “Malaya Rata” was located in India.

According to legend, three shamans came to the island as a result of a trick of the god Shakra to cure King Panduwasdev, who was suffering from a mysterious unusual disease. It is said that the king suffers from a recurring dream in which the leopard directed its tongue towards the king, which is believed to be like the black magic of Kuweni, the first wife of King Vijaya. After performing Kohomba Kankariya, the disease disappeared, and many natives adopted the dance.

It was originally performed by dancers who were identified as a special caste under the feudal system of Kandyan. They were associated with the Temple of the Tooth and played a significant role in the Dalada Perahera (procession) held by the temple each year. The popularity of the dance weakened as support for dancers from the Kandyan Kings ceased during the British period. It is now revived and adapted for the stage and is the primary cultural export of Sri Lanka.

Ves dance, the most popular, originated from an ancient purification ritual, Kohomba iakuma or Kohomba kankariya. The dance was conciliatory, never secular, and was performed only by men. The intricate costume of Vesa, especially the head covering, is considered sacred and is believed to belong to the deity Kohombi. Only before the end of the 19th century, Vesa dancers were invited for the first time to perform in front of the Kankari Temple at the annual Kandy Peraher Festival. Today, the richly costumed Wes dancers represent the embodiment of Candian dance, which emphasizes the true and true culture of Sri Lanka.

Naiyandi Dance

Dancers in Naiyandi costume perform during the initial preparations for the Kohomba Kankari festival, during the lighting of lamps and the preparation of food for demons. The dancer wears a white cloth and a white turban, pearl ornaments on his chest, a belt, rows of pearls around his neck, silver chains, brass straps, ankle boots and jingles; just like the costume of Ves dancers except for the forehead. This is a graceful dance, which is also performed in the temples of Maha Visnu (Vishnu) and Kataragama Devales on festive occasions.

Udarata Dance

The percussive dance is a very prestigious and unusual show. The name of this dance comes from the word “udarata” – a small lacquered hand drum in the shape of an hourglass, about 18-20 cm high, which is believed to have been given to humans by the gods.

It is believed that the two skins of the drum were given by the god Iswara, and the sound by Visnu; The instrument is said to have been constructed according to the instructions of the Sacra and to have been played in the heavenly palace of the gods. It is a very difficult instrument to play. The dancer sings as he plays, tightening the strings to get variations in pitch.

Pahatharata Dance

The Patharata is an instrument dedicated to the goddess Pattina. It resembles a tambourine (without skin) and has small cymbals attached at intervals around its circumference. The dance is said to have originated in the days of Prince Siddhartha, who became a Buddha. The gods were believed to use this instrument to celebrate victories in war, and Sinhalese kings used Patharata dancers to celebrate victories on the battlefield.

The costume is similar to the costume of Udarata dancer, but the Patharata dancer does not wear a jacket with pearls and she replaced the silk handkerchief at the waist for the complex folds of the Udarata dancer.

Weeramunda Kankariya Dance

Weeramunda Kankariya and Kande Deviyan Pidima (evening ritual for the god of the mountain) can be identified as ceremonial dances rooted in the folk beliefs of the Kandyan Dewa people.

Vannam (Dance styles)

Originally, Vannam was a form of recitation. Most Vannam describe the behavior of animals such as elephants, monkeys, rabbits, peacocks, roosters, snakes and others. Later, the dancers used vannam as a background for their performance. There are 18 vannam in the Kandyan dance form. Traditionally, a dancer would have to learn to perform all these vannames before getting a Ves costume. The most famous among them are hanuma vannama (monkey), taste vannama (eagle) and gajaga vannama (elephant).

The word vannam comes from the Sinhala word varnana (descriptive praise). Ancient Sinhalese texts refer to a significant number of baths that were only sung, later adapted to solo dances, each of which expressed a dominant idea. Historical writings reveal that the king of Kandiana, Sri Veeraparakrama Narendrasinghe, gave a significant impetus to dance and music.

It is believed that coffee (poetry sung with music) was composed for eighteen major baths by an old sage named Ganithalankara, with the selfless help of a Buddhist priest from a temple in Kandy. Vannam is inspired by nature, history, legend, folk religion, folk art and sacred tradition, and each is composed and interpreted in a certain mood (rasaia) or expression of feelings. Eighteen classic baths are:

Gajaga Wannama (elephant), Thuranga Wannama (horse), Mayura Wannama (peacock), Ukkussa Wannama (eagle), Vyrodi Wannama (precious stones) Hanuma Wannama (monkey), Savula Wannama (rooster), Sinharaja Wannama (lion, lion king) , Nayyadi Wannama (cobra), as well as many others.

Although originally only men were allowed to train as dancers, there are now several schools that also train women in Kandyan dances. However, there is no definite Wes costume for women, and many dancers have adapted the men’s costume in different ways. There are currently only a few performances of Kohomba Kankariya for many social, economic and political reasons. The dance in its traditional form is still performed every year at Dalada Perhahera in Kandy.

Kandyan dance was adapted for the stage by Citrasena Diaz in the 1970s. In several ballets he choreographed, he used the movements and characteristics of Kandyan dance. In a way, its popularity has also helped reduce the caste barriers that surround dance and made it more enjoyable for urban, contemporary audiences. Many contemporary modern dancers in Sri Lanka have borrowed the Kandyan form of dance in their work.

Dear travelers, we have come to the end of this special post about the Sinhalese culture and wonderful Kandyan dances which would not be possible without the selfless help of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners to feel the spirit and beauty of the Sri Lankan culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience in Sri Lanka.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience with Kandyan dances? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka before? Share with me your experiences, I am would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story from Sri Lanka!

Warm greetings from Sri Lanka,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Sri Lanka: All the Secrets of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy…

Dear my travelers and lovers of extraordinary journeys welcome to the new post on Mr.M blog! Today we continue our adventure in magical Sri Lanka and discover some interesting facts about the The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Before I start today’s post I would like to thank the Sri Lankan Tourism Board for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to continue my adventure on my favorite dream island!

If by any chance you missed any of my previous posts, take the opportunity to visit some of the previous stories at the following links:

  1. The Story about Colombo (Travelogue): LINK
  2. Unforgettable Fashion Safari in Sri Lanka: LINK
  3. My Safari Experience in Sri Lanka (Travelogue): LINK
  4. Sigiriya: The Magic of the Lost Kingdom (Travelogue): LINK

Travel is one of the best non-formal ways of education. When you travel, you have the opportunity to come into direct touch with new cultures and religions, so you have the opportunity to expand your knowledge and interests. Travels are memories that no one can take away from you, every trip is unique and each of us should fill our passport pages with destinations that would ennoble the soul because the interests of each individual are different, and therefore the destinations we choose.

Before heading to a new and unusual destination, we must keep in mind that we should not build prejudices and that it is best to go and enjoy the beauty of diversity without thinking too much. Every culture brings with it some special rituals and customs, every nation has its own beliefs that each of us should respect.

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa, better known as the Glorious Tooth Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Kandy in Sri Lanka. It is located in the complex of the royal palace of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the Buddha’s tooth. From time immemorial, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic runs the state. The relic has historically been held by Sinhalese kings. The Temple of the Tooth is a World Heritage Site mainly because of the temple and the relic.

The monks from two special chapters, the chapter of Malwathu and the chapter of Asgiri, perform daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times a day: at dawn, at noon and in the evening. On Wednesday, the relics are symbolically bathed with a herbal preparation of fragrant water and fragrant flowers called Nanumura Mangallaya, it is believed that this holy water contains healing powers and is distributed to those present.

There is an interesting legend, in which way a relic like the Buddha’s tooth came to Sri Lanka. After the Maha parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, according to legend, the relic of the tooth was preserved in Kalinga and smuggled to the island by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha, on the instructions of her father, King Guhasiva. Hemamali hid the relic in her hair on the way to the island. They landed on the island of Lankapatana during the reign of Sirimeghavana of Anuradhapura and handed over the relic of the tooth.

The king preserved it in Meghagiri Vihara (present-day Isurumuniya) in Anuradhapura. Keeping the relics has been the responsibility of the monarch ever since, so over the years keeping the relics has become a symbol of the right to rule the island. Therefore, the ruling monarchs built temples of relics of teeth quite close to their royal residences, as was the case in the time of the Kingdom of Anuradhapura, the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa and the Kingdom of Dambadeniya. During the era of the Kingdom of Gampola, the relic was placed in Niyamgampaja Vihari.

Poems about messengers such as Hamsa, Gira and Selalihini state that the temple of the relics of the tooth was located in the city of Sri Jayavardenpura Kota when the Kingdom of Kota was established there. During the reign of Darmapala of Kote, the relic was moved and hidden in Delgamuwa Vihara, Ratnapura, in a grinding stone.

It was brought to Kandy by Hirpitiye Diyawadana Rala and Devanagala Rathanalankara Thera. King Vimaladharmasuriya I built a two-story building to deposit the relics of the tooth and the building is now gone. Later, at the beginning of the 17th century, when the Portuguese kingdom invaded Kandy, it was taken to Meda Mahanuwara in Dumbara.

The Buddha’s Tooth was found during the time of Rajasinha II and there are historical records that the relic was returned to the original building or it is unconfirmed that a new temple was built. Today’s temple of the Buddha’s Tooth was built by Vira Narendra Sinha.

The octagonal Paththirippuva and the moat were added during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The royal architect Devendra Moolacharia is credited with building Paththiripuva. Originally, the king used it for recreational activities, and later it was assigned to the relic of teeth, and now it houses the temple library.

The description of the architecture of this Buddhist temple is also interesting. The brick wall that stretches along the moat and Lake Bogambara is known as the wall of water waves. The holes in this wall are made to light coconut oil lamps. The main entrance gate above the moat is called Mahavahalkada. At the foot of the Mahavahalkada steps is the sandakada pahana (moonstone) which is carved in the Kandian architectural style.

Mahavahalkada was completely destroyed in a bomb blast in 1998 and rebuilt along with Sandakada Pahan with other stone carvings. Elephants are depicted in stone on both sides of the entrance. Makara Torana and two stone guards were placed at the top of the stairs. The chamber of the drummer Hevisi is located in front of the main shrine. The two floors of the main shrine are known as “Palle malaia” (lower floor) and “Udu malaia” (upper floor) or “Veda hitina maligava”. The door of the Veda Hitana Maligawa is ivory carvings. The real chamber where the relic of the tooth is kept is known as “Handun kunama”.

The golden canopy over the main shrine and the golden fence surrounding the temple complex were built in 1987 by then-Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadas. The relic of the tooth is wrapped in seven golden coffins engraved with precious stones. The relic of the Buddha’s Tooth is forbidden to paint, but it is a divine sight when you see the way in which such a shrine is kept.

Within this complex there is also the Royal Palace, an open hall for the audience. Vimaladharmasuriia I from Kandy built the Royal Palace in Kandy. The Royal Palace is located north of the temple. The Royal Palace is also known as “Maligawa”. There were three Vahalkadas and a wall almost 2.5 m high which was used as the main entrance. The part of the palace facing Natha Devale is the oldest.

During the beginning of the British period, it was used by government agent Sir John D’Oyley, the 1st Baronet from Kandy. D’Oili’s heirs continued to use it as their official residence. Today it is preserved as an archeological museum. Ulpen Ge and Queens Palace are connected palace buildings.

The audience hall or magul maduva is the place where the kings of Kandy kept their court. It was completed during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The carvings of the wooden pillars that support the wooden roof are an example of wood carving from the Kandy period. Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha from Kandy built this hall in 1783. The hall was renovated to receive Albert Edward, Prince of Wales in 1872.

The audience hall was the place where the Candian Convention was drawn up, where the convention was read to the people and where the conference on the convention was held on March 2, 1815. That space was later used to raise Kandy Kachcheri and Kandy Supreme Court. Today it is used for state ceremonies and is kept within the Department of Archeology.

Dear travelers, we have come to the end of this special post about the most famous symbol of Sri Lanka – The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which would not be possible without the selfless help of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners to feel the spirit and beauty of the Sri Lankan culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience in Sri Lanka.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience in The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka before? Share with me your experiences, I am would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story from Sri Lanka!

Warm greetings from Sri Lanka,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Sri Lanka: Sigiriya, the Magic of the Lost Kingdom…

My dear travelers and lovers of unusual adventures, welcome to the new adventure on the Mr.M blog! Today’s letter will be dedicated to one of the most famous landmarks of Sri Lanka – Sigiriya. Before I start today’s post I would like to thank the National Tourism Board of Sri Lanka for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to continue my adventure on my favorite dream island!

The name Sigiriya itself means “Lion’s Rock” and is a symbol of this unusual island country. There is no tourist who came to Sri Lanka without visiting the famous rock that is on the UNESCO list of cultural sites of World Heritage in Asia and Oceania. What is the story that is passed down through the generations, from generation to generation?

Sigiriya used to be a kingdom at the “top of the world”, which was later turned into a Buddhist monastery. This historic landmark, a former fortification, is located in the northern part of the Matadalle District near the city of Dambulla in the Central Province. It is a place of exceptional historical and archeological significance, dominated by a massive pillar of rock about 180 meters high.

According to ancient Sri Lankan history, this area was a large forest, and after storms and landslides it became a hill and King Kashyapa chose it as the ideal place for his new capital. Legend has it that on top of this unusual scene, the king built his palace and decorated its walls with colorful frescoes. He made a gate in the shape of a huge lion on a small plateau of this rock. The name of this place comes from this word structure: “Sinhagiri” – Lion’s Rock (Lion’s City).

The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Today, Sigiriya is proudly on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning of the city.

As you are used to, today I will do my best to tell you some historical interesting facts and facts related to this unusual rock. According to some historical writings, it is believed that the area around Sigiriya has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is ample concrete evidence that many shelters and caves nearby were inhabited by Buddhist monks and ascetics as early as the 3rd century BC. The earliest evidence of human settlement in Sigiriya is the shelter in the rocks of Aligala, which is located east of the Sigiriya rock, which indicates that this area was occupied almost five thousand years ago during the Mesolithic period.

Buddhist monastic settlements were founded during the 3rd century BC on the western and northern slopes of the hills sprinkled with boulders that surround the Sigiriya rock. During this period, several stone shelters – caves were created. These shelters are made under large boulders, with carved edges around the cave entrances. Inscriptions on the rocks are carved near the edges of many shelters, recording the donations of the shelter to the Buddhist monastic order as residences. They are believed to have originated between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century AD.

How did King Kashyapa come to Sigiriya? Kashyapa I, the king’s son from his non-royal wife in 477 AD, took the throne from King Dhatusena, after a coup with the help of Moggallana, the king’s nephew and army commander. The real heir, Moggallana, fearing for his life, fled to southern India.

Frightened by the attack of Moggallana, Kashyapa moved the capital and his residence from the traditional capital of Anuradhapura to the safer Sigiriya. During the reign of King Kashyapa (from 477 to 495 AD), Sigiriya developed into a complex city and fortress. Most of the complex structures on and around the rock, including defensive structures, palaces and gardens, date from this period.

Cūḷavaṃsa describes King Kashyapa as the son of King Dhatusena. Cūḷavaṃsa or Chulavamsa (Pala: “Little Chronicle”) is a historical record, written in Pali, about the monarchs of Sri Lanka. Kashyapa killed his father by walling him up alive, and then usurped the throne that rightfully belonged to his half-brother Moggallani, Dhatusena’s son from the real queen. Moggallana fled to India to avoid being killed by Kashyapa, but swore revenge.

He raised an army in India with the intention of returning and re-occupying the throne of Sri Lanka, which he considered his right. Anticipating the inevitable return of Moggallana, Kashyapa reportedly built his palace on top of Sigiriya as a fortress and palace for enjoyment. Moggallana finally arrived, declared war and defeated Kashyapa in 495. During the battle, Kashyapa’s army abandoned him and he committed suicide with his sword.

Cūḷavaṃsa and a legend passed down for generations say that the fighting elephant on which Kashyapa was sitting changed course to take a strategic advantage, but the army misinterpreted the movement as if the king had decided to withdraw, leading the army to abandon it altogether. It is said that, because he was too proud to surrender, he took the sword off his belt, cut his throat, proudly raised his sword, put it in its scabbard and fell dead. Moggallana returned the capital to Anuradhapura, turning Sigiriya into a Buddhist monastery complex, which survived until the 13th or 14th century.

After this period, no records of Sigiriya were found until the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was briefly used as an outpost of the Kingdom of Kandy.

There are other legends where King Dhatusena has the main role of the builder of Sigiriya, and Kashyapa finished the work in honor of his father. Other stories describe Kashyapa as the playboy king, with Sigiriya as his palace of pleasure. Even Kashyapa’s final destiny is uncertain. In some versions, he is killed by the poison given to him by the concubine, while in the official “braver” version, he heroically cuts his own throat when he deserted in his last battle. There is some research that has come to some evidence that this place is the work of a Buddhist community, without a military function. This location may have been important in the competition between the Buddhist traditions of Mahayana and Theravada in ancient Sri Lanka.

Professor Senarath Paranavithana’s book “The Story of Sigiriya” says that King Dhatusena listened to the advice of the Persian Nestorian priest Mag Brahman on the construction of his palace in Sigiriya. According to Paranavithana, during this period over seventy-five ships carrying Murundi soldiers from Mangalore arrived in Sri Lanka and landed in Chilaw to protect King Dathusena.

In the middle of the 19th century, Major Jonathan Forbes of the 78th Highlanders of the British Army, while returning on his horse from a trip to Pollonnuruwa, came across “the forest-covered peak of Sigiriya”. Sigiriya was in the special center of attention of the antiquarian because of the unusual precious objects, and later also the archaeologists. The first archeological works in Sigiriya began at the end of the 19th century on a smaller scale. H.C.P. Bell was the first archaeologist to conduct extensive research on Sigiriya. The Cultural Triangle project, launched by the Sri Lankan government, focused on Sigiriya in 1982. As part of this project, archeological works on the entire city began for the first time. A lion’s head was sculpted above his feet and paws near the entrance, but unfortunately his head collapsed many years ago.

Sigiriya consists of an ancient citadel built by King Kashyapa during the 5th century. The Sigiriya site contains the ruins of the upper palace located on the flat top of the rock, the middle level terrace which includes the Lion’s Gate and the wall of mirrors with its frescoes, the lower palaces hold the slope below the rocks. The moats, walls and gardens of the palace stretched several hundred meters from the foot of the rock. The site was both a palace and a fortress. The upper palace at the top of the rock includes cisterns that are cut into the rock itself.

Sigiriya is considered to be one of the most important urban sites of the first millennium, and the plan of this impressive site is considered to be very elaborate and imaginative. The plan combined the concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally connect the geometric and natural forms of the man-made environment. On the west side of the rock is a park for royal families, set on a symmetrical plane. This park contains water retention structures, including sophisticated surface / underground hydraulic systems, some of which still operate today.

To the south of the rock is an artificial reservoir; these were largely used from the former capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. There are five gates at the entrances. It is believed that the more complex western gate was exclusively reserved for royal families.

There is one part of the rock that is painted with beautiful frescoes which unfortunately cannot be photographed, there are guards who keep the frescoes and making photos is not allowed, the frescoes are amazing and really worth visiting and enjoying the beauty of art made by man almost 5,000 years ago… Frescoes cover larger part of the western side of the rock, an area about 140 meters long and 40 meters high. However, a large part of the frescoes was lost forever and a small part remained, which can be seen today during a tour of Sigiriya during the descent from the rock.

After the great symbol of Sri Lanka, I would like to present you an amazing camp in nature where you can stay during your visit of this magical island. Situated among rolling hills, lush greenery and exceptional nature, the Wild Glamping Knuckles offers a completely different experience of atypical luxury camping in the central plateau of Sri Lanka.

With ten highly designed luxury tents ideally positioned amid the misty hills, the campsite allows guests to indulge in the beauties of nature while enjoying the modern comforts of camping. There is no internet or network telephone signal, so all you have to do is enjoy nature and the fantastic specialties prepared by the staff of this hotel from products that they grow or procure from local farms.

This unusual camp belongs to the group of hotels Theme Resorts & Spas, where you will always receive a special personalized exceptional service with a welcome smile. During my stay, I had a feeling of adrenaline because I had the opportunity to stay in tents, which I have not practiced for years.

In this luxury camp located in the Knuckles mountain range in Sri Lanka, there is an idyllic place where you can find refuge among the beautiful hills of the Central Province. The picturesque and secluded surroundings of Wild Glamping Knuckles offer its guests the opportunity to experience the adventure of the Knuckles mountain range and the surrounding wild flora and fauna, while enjoying the harsh and cold climate and the serenity of the rainforest and mountains.

Dear adventurers, we have come to the end of this special post about the most famous symbol of Sri Lanka – Sigiriya (Lion Rock) and an unusual camp, which would not be possible without the selfless help of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners like Wild Glamping Knuckles. to feel the spirit and beauty of the Knuckles mountain range and Sri Lankan culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience in Sri Lanka.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Sigiriya and Wild Glamping Knuckles? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka before? Share with me your experiences, I am would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story from Sri Lanka!

Warm greetings from Sri Lanka,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and Wild Glamping Knuckles camp which is a member of Theme Resorts and Spas group. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Sri Lanka: The Beauty of the Safari Experience in Hurulu Eco Park!

Dear my travelers, welcome to the new post on Mr.M blog! Today may be April 1st, but I don’t have an April Fool’s joke for you, but that’s why I’ve prepared a new story and I’m taking you on a new adventure! Today we continue our tour of Sri Lanka and I am very excited to share pictures from the safari experience with you. During the trip, when I shared my Instagram stories, a lot of people sent me emails and messages with questions regarding the safari experience in Sri Lanka. What a safari really looks like on this unusual island and what can really be expected, I will try to convey to you in today’s post. Before I start today’s post I would like to thank the Sri Lankan Tourism Board for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to continue my adventure on my favorite dream island in South Asia!

If by any chance you did not manage to read my first letter from Sri Lanka or you want to remind yourself of some interesting details, take the opportunity to get acquainted with the jewel of Sri Lanka – Colombo and see what you can visit in this unusual city! You can read my previous story at the following link.

I am sure that many of you are wondering what the safari, wildlife and national parks of Sri Lanka really look like, so I think now it’s the perfect time to describe this amazing experience to you!

Sri Lanka is an island country that is rich in diversity of geographical relief forms with extremely rich flora and fauna. Sri Lanka is a true paradise for all nature and animal lovers. There are 26 national parks and over 500 protected areas on this small island, which together cover about 27% of Sri Lanka’s area. The modest size of Sri Lanka allows you to experience all these little natural wonders in a relatively short period of time.

Before embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, consider whether you would like to go back to a bygone era, where architecture was still earthy, food more “organic”, surrounded by many species of birds and diverse trees. Would it be interesting to go back to an era when animals lived with humans with mutual trust?

If you want to feel the spirit of those times at least for a while, my sincere advice is to stay during your vacation in Sri Lanka at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana, a hotel surrounded by over 2000 trees, which are home to various animals such as serpent eagles, kingfishers and monkeys. This is an interesting coexistence of life, so if you still want to be in direct contact with nature and add a little color that will enhance your vacation, consider staying in this hotel, which will become your “distant exotic home” for at least a few days, the lifetime experience which you will remember for a long time.

Today I will share with you some of the useful tips which national parks you could visit in Sri Lanka and with great pleasure see some of your favorite animals or just simply enjoy the unreal landscapes and the beauty and scents of unusual exotic plants. If you want to see certain animals you can visit the following national parks:

Leopards: Yala National Park, Wilpattu National Park.
Elephants: Udawalawa National Park, Minneriya / Kaudulla National Park, Wasgamuwa National Park and Hurulu Eco Park.
Bears and Sloths: Wilpattu National Park
Exotic bird species: Bundala National Park, Kumana National Park, Gal Oya National Park.
If you want to enjoy amazing landscapes: Horton Plains National Park, Gal Oya National Park.

Hurulu Eco Park is the smallest of all three national parks in the vicinity of Habarana and Polonnaruwa. The animals here are not fenced with electric wire, so it is possible for animals to move within these three national parks (Minneriya, Kaudulla and Hurulu Eco Park).

This eco park is located in the north central province of Sri Lanka, which is reserved for all adventurers who are truly in search of Sri Lankan culture and heritage, but you can also enjoy the unrealistically beautiful landscapes and wildlife of Sri Lanka and the advanced ecosystem with various animal species. Just outside Habarana is the Hurulu Eco Park, on the edge of the Hurulu Forest Reserve.

There are many protected areas near Hurulu Eco Park, such as the strict Ritigila Nature Reserve and Wasgamuwa National Park. This reserve serves as a natural habitat for Sri Lankan elephants, and tourists can enjoy a jeep safari organized to admire these giant mammals up close. Visitors also have the opportunity to see other endemic (local) animals such as the Sri Lankan leopard and various exotic species of birds from the jungle.

There is a dry period of three to six months, from April to September, but a visit excluding these months will be promising. With a special jungle corridor connecting Hurulu Eco Park with two other major national parks nearby (Minneriya and Kaudulla), elephant herds can always move freely between these three places, so the chances of seeing elephants are great for all fans of these giant mammal.

The average annual temperature in this reserve is around 27 to 28 ° C. This area receives 1600 mm of precipitation per year, the extremely dry season of three to six months lasts from April to May to September. The altitude of this area ranges between 90 m and 150 m above sea level.

What does the migration of elephants between Minneria, Kaudula and Hurulu Eco Park look like?

There are three national parks in this region of Sri Lanka. These are Minneriya National Park, Kaudulla National Park and Hurulu Eco Park. All three parks are extremely popular with locals and tourists around the world because of their large herds of elephants.

Generally, every year from July to September, large groups of elephants are in the Minneriya National Park, and then migrate to the Kaudulla National Park during October to November due to heavy rains and the filling of the lake. Shortly afterwards, the elephants set off for Hurulu Eco Park as their last part of migration during December and January.

What does a visit to Hurulu Eco Park look like? You can choose between morning and evening safaris depending on your preferences and desires.

Before entering the park, meet your experienced safari tour driver in front of your hotel or in front of the agreed place and set off on a 2.5-hour tour of the park in special safari jeeps.

You will have an amzing opportunity to see elephants enjoying their natural habitat in the tall grass and forest. Of course, during the visit, you will see a variety of wild animals in the park, including grey langers, purple-faced leaf monkeys and various exotic bird species.

When the tour of the park is over, the driver will return you to the hotel or to the agreed original place of departure. Everything is extremely easy and simple, everything is tailored to your needs and you just need to enjoy and indulge in the beauties of nature. Of course, don’t forget to recharge the batteries of your cameras and mobile phones, because these are the moments you just need to capture!

The evening was slowly starting to fall, the elephants were extremely nice and willing to pose, I enjoyed this visit, but the time for dinner was approaching and little Marko just wanted to see which cakes will be on the menu! I left Hurula Eco Park with a smile on my face and great hope and desire that I will soon return and enjoy the beauty of the safari in this exotic island country!

My dear travelers, we have come to the end of this special post about the Sri Lankan safari in Hurulu Eco Park, which would not have been possible without the help of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners such as Cinnamon Lodge Habarana Hotel. They made it possible for me to feel the beauty of Habarana and Sri Lankan culture, tradition and amzing wildlife. Of course, as always, I tried to share with you my impressions of this unusual experience in Sri Lanka.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my safari experience in Hurulu Eco Park? Have you maybe had the opportunity to be on safari? Share with me your experiences, I am would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story from Sri Lanka!

Warm greetings from Habarana,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and Cinnamon Lodge Habarana Hotel. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Certina: It’s always the Perfect Time for a Fashionable Safari in Sri Lanka

Dear my fashionistas and travelers, welcome to another fashion adventure on the Mr.M blog. Today’s fashion story stands out from the others we experienced together this season because we are going on a real exotic fashion safari to far away Sri Lanka with my friends from the Italian fashion house Loro Piana and the Swiss watch brand Certina.

When we think of safaris, we all imagine light linen jackets with 4 pockets, which in the fashion world are defined as “Safari Field Jackets”, which are indispensable in the collections of all famous brands every spring/summer collection. There is no brand that has not made this jacket in any of its versions, but only one world Italian brand has managed to make a timeless iconic classic – Loro Piana.

If by any chance you missed my first travel letter from Sri Lanka, you can read it by visiting this link, I am sure you will enjoy it.

When I saw the linen jacket that arrived in a beautiful box, the first thing I thought was: “God, when I’m going to wear a jacket like this, this is the perfect safari jacket!”. Shortly afterwards, a few weeks later to be exact, an invitation from the Sri Lankan Tourism Board followed to visit my favorite dream island again. The first thing I remembered was the famous exotic safari in Sri Lanka and I took my Safari jacket out of my wardrobe and excitedly counted down the days and hours until the trip with the help of my new faithful buddy Certina DS Jubilee whom I also took with me on an adventure of a lifetime.

I am sure that many of you are wondering what the safari, wildlife and national parks of Sri Lanka really look like, so I think now it’s the perfect time to describe this amazing experience to you!

Sri Lanka is an island country that is rich in diversity of geographical relief forms with extremely rich flora and fauna. Sri Lanka is a true paradise for all nature and animal lovers. There are 26 national parks and over 500 protected areas on this small island, which together cover about 27% of Sri Lanka’s area. The modest size of Sri Lanka allows you to experience all these little natural wonders in a relatively short period of time.

I will share with you the best tips on which national parks you can visit in Sri Lanka to see your favorite animals or enjoy extraordinary landscapes and exotic plants. If you want to see:

Leopards: Yala National Park, Wilpattu National Park.
Elephants: Udawalawa National Park, Minneriya / Kaudulla National Park and Hurulu Eco Park.
Bears and Sloths: Wilpattu National Park
Exotic bird species: Bundala National Park, Kumana National Park, Gal Oya National Park.
If you want to enjoy amazing landscapes: Horton Plains National Park, Gal Oya National Park.

During my second visit to Sri Lanka I had the opportunity to see exotic safaris and unusual river safaris. If you want to experiment like me and pack your suitcases with fashion pieces in which you will look fantastic and then have pictures as proof that you can show your grandchildren how fashionable and cool you were, then this post is perfect for you! 😀

I have always run Mr.M blog because of my immense love for beautiful and positive things in life that have never disappointed me, and those are fashion, travel and some lifestyle topics that fill our daily lives with beautiful and positive vibes. I am really glad and my heart is full when I receive your emails and messages about how my stories encouraged someone to do something new and unusual in their life.

I feel great happiness and indescribable joy that Mr.M blog has become a great community of people who enjoy the beautiful moments in life and I will always try to meet the expectations of people who are with me on this unusual life journey and it is nice to know that there are people who appreciate someone’s work to show some beautiful aspects of life with unusual stories almost every week for 7 years.

One of the brands that has recognized positive energy and love for adventures and unusual journeys is the Swiss watch brand Certina. We have already met with this brand during the winter season on the Mr.M blog and if you are interested to know why this brand is so special and unique, read the story at this link.

Certina watches are known for their precision, reliability and sporty character. The sports watch brand has built an international reputation for quality Swiss workmanship, during its long history, which is more than 130 years long.

Certina is a symbol of durability and longevity, which is why the mascot of the turtle armor brand symbolizes robustness and longevity – characteristics that all Certina watches, without exception. Therefore, it is no wonder that turtle armor has been a symbol of the brand since the 1960s. Today, the distinctive outline can still be found on almost every Certina watch, as well as on the brand logo. It evokes the exceptional endurance that characterizes every Certina watch.

Today, after 60 years, Certina DS Jubile adorns my hand. It is an unusual feeling when one such brand with unique watch designs is my new partner in my adventures. The watch you have the opportunity to see in today’s post is the DS Jubile model, which exists in two versions, the basic one with a steel bracelet and the other with a leather bracelet.

This watch combines precious materials with maximum precision. This elegant men’s watch is equipped with an 18K yellow gold frame. It is powered by an innovative PrecidriveTM quartz movement, whose precision and reliability are confirmed by COSC. The watch has a date display. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and stainless steel case make this watch durable and robust: the watch can withstand water pressures up to 10 ATM. Illuminated hands contrast with the background and thus always provide the best readability. The stainless steel bracelet, which is attached to the wrist together with the button, makes this model from Certina impressive!

Technical characteristics

Dial: analog with display of date,hour, minute and second, hands with luminous material. Bezel: 18k gold
Movement mechanism type: Quartz
Glass: Antireflection treatment on one side Sapphire crystal
Case: 316L stainless steel
Case diameter (mm): 40
Case thickness (mm): 7.75
Bracelet: 316L stainless steel
Water resistance: 10 ATM – 100m
Buckle: 316L stainless steel
Collection: Urban

Warranty: 3-Year Warranty

If you want to be updated and find out which models Certina has to offer, visit their Official Online Store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

Loro Piana is a well-known Italian company for fabrics and clothes specializing in top, luxury cashmere and wool products. This brand belongs to LVMH premium luxury brands and has been at the very top of the fashion industry for years.

Loro Piana world is special and magical where everything can be done according to your wishes. In addition to an amazing fashion program for men and women, Loro Piana also has a home decorating line. This brand is recognizable by its products made of cashmere and a special Vicuna material, which is considered to be the most expensive material in the world.

Certain pieces of my today’s outfit, such as a linen Safari jacket, a T-shirt and trousers, are part of the new Loro Piana Spring – Summer 2022 collection.

Since today’s outfit was in a certain elegant Safari vibe with classic trousers, a linen jacket and a silk T-shirt, I decided to wear my favorite GuidoMaggi sneakers made of real snakeskin. I have to admit that they complemented this exotic safari outfit in a very unusual way.

Of course, the beige-taupe color goes great with the colors that predominate in my spring wardrobe. GuidoMaggi brand is run by the famous Italian footwear designer Emanuele Briganti, who is at the very top of the footwear and leather goods industry and has conquered the fashion scene.

OUTFIT

Safari Field Linen Jacket: Loro Piana

Watch: Certina

Silk T-Shirt: Loro Piana

Trousers: Loro Piana

Sneakers: GuidoMaggi

Dear my fashionistas and travelers, we have come to the end of this special post where we discovered the beauty and brilliance of light tones for an unusual safari experience and I sincerely hope you got inspired for some of your ideal spring outfits! I wish you a pleasant and enjoyable weekend and see you soon to continue our adventure in Sri Lanka!

How did you like my outfit today? I really tried to prepare today’s fashion outfit post for you with a lot of love and I hope you will like it! I look forward to your comments and can’t wait to hear your opinions!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media channels, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon, stay tuned!

With Love from Sri Lanka,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Sri Lankan Tourism Board, GuidoMaggi, Certina and Loro Piana brands and represents my personal and honest review of their products.

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