Today’s pictures are from a trip to Karnataka which I made in 2013, after a conference in Chandigarh. I had been before, but had not had a camera then. This time I travelled on my own so could see many places and linger to my heart’s content – the Hoysala Temples of Halebid and Belur, the earlier Chalukyan shrines of Badami, and finally the fantastic site of Hampi of the later Vijayanagar empire.

Today’s theme brings together different countries and religions. The wall paintings and frescoes here are first four from Sri Lanka, then one each from the Sudan and Azerbaijan, then four from Ethiopia followed by two from Sri Lanka and three from Sikkim, then one from Telengana, three from Macedonia and one from Arunachal Pradesh.

Today’s travel pictures are of an idyllic few days spent on the Kei islands, at the end of 2013. These are the easternmost practically of the Moluccas, which I explored with the equally adventurous John Pike. But we had parted by the last few days for he was determined to get to the Bandas, to which we could find neither planes nor ferries, so I flew to the Kei islands and found a lovely cabin on the beach.

I did much writing there, overlooking the sea under the canopy which sheltered the table where coffee was always available. The lady in charge provided meals and a succession of youngsters with motorbikes who took me exploring all over the island. But best of all were sunrise and sunset on that peaceful shore.

Today’s pictures are from Albania which I visited in 2016. I have a special fondness for the country, not only because it was the 100th I visited, but because of its range of sights, Roman and Christian and Ottoman. And wonderful scenery, with craggy castles straight out of Enid Blyton fantasies.

Today’s pictures are from Egypt, from a trip I made to Luxor in 2009. I had been before to Cairo and to Alexandria but in days I did not take pictures. But I more than made up for that on this journey, capturing the grand temple at Karnak and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, and then going on too to Aswan, and seeing the wonderful Ptolemaic temples on islands in the Nile on the way back.

Today’s theme is again my home, Lakmahal, but the inside unlike three weeks ago when I concentrated on its gardens.

The idea of highlighting the contents came to me because I am here now, for a longer period than any since coronavirus struck, in part because the place is being treated for termites. This was long overdue, and though thus far damage has been minimal, it is always sad when old photographs or books are turned to dust.

The first twelve pictures are of Ena de Silva creations which I have collected over the years, batiks, the junk which Mildred Tao of the Twin Towers kindly gave me, some years after I had provided a home for the abaci Ena had created, and some of her brass. Then there are two pictures of the placing of furniture from old days, a pre- Raphaelite picture from the Old Place and one of birds I brought from Mexico in 1990, and then two of the dinner I gave for old friends of the family on the 80th birthday of the house.

This was in January 2017, just after the house had been divided, so I no longer had the large dining room where we had celebrated its 75th birthday when my father was still alive. This dinner was in the library, which accommodated 20 guests at three tables, including my parents’ old friends, Myla and Diana and Hope Todd, the last two in the foreground of the last picture.

Today’s pictures are from Macedonia, or rather what is now officially North Macedonia. This is to distinguish it from the Greece province of Macedonia, which has the areas historically associated with Alexander the Great and his father Philip.

I went there in 2016 and found a range of attractions, the overblown statues of the capital Skopje which had an exquisite little museum, the wonderful churches of Ohrid overlooking the lake, the Roman remains with an impressive amphitheatre and the exquisite frescoes in the hilltop monasteries.

 

Today’s pictures are from a visit I made to Arunachal Pradesh in 2019, following my second visit to the Brahamaputra Literary Festival. The scenery was spectacular over the range of heights we traversed, the frozen waterfalls, the swift flowing rivers, the different light over the mountains. The temples were delightful and the little museums a joy.

Having posted pictures of birds as a theme last week, I thought I should move to mammals but not just in parks. So here are Giraffes and Zebras from a few safaris I went on, but also camels from all over the world including working ones, and also horses.

The giraffes are from Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, followed by two pictures from South Africa. Then there are two pictures of camels from the Sudan, two from Tunisia and one from Turkmenistan. The first from Sudan and Tunisia are of working camels, the latter a blind creature drawing water from a well.

Then we have a picture of the shaggy camels of Mongola, followed by two pictures from Rajasthan including one where I rode on a camel at sunset, a wonderful experience. Then there are pictures of zebras coming to drink at a river in Kenya, two pictures from South Africa and one from Tanzania. And I end with horses from Kazakhstan and Mongolia and finally our own Delft.

Today’s pictures are from my recent visit to Barcelona at the very end of January. I have been there often over the years, but this was the first time that I was able to get good pictures.

The first three are from Gaudi’s fabulous Sagrada Familia, and then we have the archaeology musuem and the arts museum with its wonderful collection of sacred art, and then the Picasso museum in a lovely old house.

Rajiva Wijesinha

July 2020
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