……And all that jazz!


“The real power of Jazz is that a group of people can come together and create improvised art and negotiate their agendas… and that negotiation is the art”

– Wynton Marsalis from ‘Jazz, a film by Ken Burns.’

Drummer Art Blakeley, the Jazz Messengers
Drummer Art Blakeley, the Jazz Messengers
Thelonius Monk, New York, 1975
Thelonius Monk, New York, 1975

jazz

 

jazz

 

Paul Newman and Louis Armstrong, 1961 :Frank Horvat
Paul Newman and Louis Armstrong, 1961 :Frank Horvat
jazz

Thelonius Monk, New York 1975
Alfred Eisenstaedt, summer jazz workshop -Lennox 1959
Alfred Eisenstaedt, summer jazz workshop -Lennox 1959
Johnny Hodges by Herman Leonard, Paris 1958
Johnny Hodges by Herman Leonard, Paris 1958
Miles David, Guy Le Querrec Paris 8th
Miles Davis, 1969 Guy Le Querrec Paris 8th

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Top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka


We recently embarked on a trip to Sri Lanka after being inspired by a friend who declared the country an absolute must-see. As Sri Lanka has so much to offer we decided from the offset that this needed to be more than a holiday – it would be a mini adventure! So we packed a bag and booked a flight…

Sri Lankan surf beach bar
Sri Lankan surf beach bar

Check out the Alphabet Lifestyle list of top things to do and see in Sri Lanka:

  1. Take the express coast train from Galle to Colombo. 

Riding the train is a great way to get around Sri Lanka as its cheap, safe and an overall great experience. (Alphabet Lifestyle Top Tip: Make sure to book first-class and grab a window seat!)

Express train from Galle to Colombo
Express train from Galle to Colombo

2. Learn to surf.

Surfing is great fun in Sri Lanka with ideal surf conditions for both the novice and the expert surfer. East coast resorts such as Arugam Bay offer some of the world’s best places to surf, whilst the waves at Whisky Point are ideal for beginners.

The South Coast offers plenty of options for beginners and intermediates. Try Mirissa Beach or Unawatuna for chilled surf culture, cheap surf hotels and great beach bars. After a long day, sit and relax in one of the many bars, order the catch of the day and watch Sri Lanka’s idyllic sunset.

Mirissa Beach
Mirissa Beach
Sunset at Unawata
Sunset at Unawatuna

3. Visit a National Park

Yala National Park is the second largest in Sri Lanka and gives some of the best opportunities to witness Sri Lanka’s variety of wildlife, including elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, water buffalo, deer and the star attraction – leopards! Visitors can take a jeep safari across the park which spans 400 sq mile across the heart of the country.

Yala National Park
Yala National Park

4. Take a seaplane

See Sri Lanka from the sky! Cinnamon Air seaplane flights carries routes from Colombo to the coastal town of Koggalla and Kandy, central Sri Lanka. It also makes the arduous 6-hour journey to the beautiful beaches of Trincomalee on the North-east coast much more accessible. We flew from Colombo to Victoria Golf resort landing on Victoria Dam.

 

5. Play a round of golf at Victoria Golf and Country Resort.

The award winning resort, Victoria Golf & Country Resort, is situated just 10km from Kandy, Central Highlands, and offers breathtaking views and picturesque scenery. Golf Digest ranks it in the top 100 Most Beautiful Courses in the World. Not bad!

Sunset at Victoria Golf and Country Resort
Sunset at Victoria Golf and Country Resort

 

Relax in the pool and are in the views
Relax in the pool and take in the views

6. Visit Kandy

Hire a driver and visit the Sacred City of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Royal City, Kandy is the home of  Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth). The temple is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist religious sites in the country. Take a walk around Kandy lake, the focal point at the centre of the city. Visit the temple if you’re looking for a cultural experience and a serene moment amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. (Alphabet Lifestyle Top Tip: Pay the small fee for a guide to provide an insight into the religion and customs.)

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7. Photograph the stilt fishermen of Koggala

The old Sri Lankan traditional stilt fishermen can be spotted along the coastal road from Koggala to Galle. The fishermen sit on a crossbar called a ‘petta’ tied to a vertical pole driven into the sand. They hope to catch small herrings and mackerels which they store in bags tied to their waist.

Stilt fishermen at Koggala
Stilt fishermen at Koggala

8. Climb Adam’s Peak

Located in central Sri Lanka Adam’s Peak, also know as the holy mountain, is believed to be the first place where Adam set foot on earth after being cast out of heaven. Access to the mountain is possible by several trails linked to major cities. The ascent is done on foot through forested areas up thousands of steps built into the mountainside. Pilgrims and tourists make the climb to the temple at the summit to witness the Sri Pada, “a sacred footprint” rock formation, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of Buddha.

9. Climb Lion’s Rock

For those less active (like me!) climb to the top of Lion’s Rock, a huge column of rock jutting out from the tropical forest, the Rock is known locally as Sigiriya and offers amazing 360-degree views.
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10. Visit Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary

Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary situated north-west of Kegalla between Colombo and Kandy, was originally founded to provide care and protection to the many orphaned elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka. The orphanage is currently home to around 80 elephants. Tourists can visit the orphanage and get involved in the bathing and feeding of the elephants.

Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary sri lanka
Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary

Comment below to share your travel tips and let us know your Sri Lankan hot-spots!

10 Great smiles from around The World


GordonWiltsie@alpenimage.com
GordonWiltsie@alpenimage.com
World India @brettcolephotography.com
World India @brettcolephotography.com
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Balinese woman Photography by Rarindra Prakarsa
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Photography credit: Réhahn, French photographer based in Hoi Ann, Vietnam

 

Photo credit: Pankaj Trivedi via www.flickr.com
Photo credit: Pankaj Trivedi
Photo credit: Retlaw Snellac Photography
Photo credit: Retlaw Snellac Photography
Man from Libya Photo credit: unknown Source via pinterest
Man from Libya
Photo credit: unknown
Source via pinterest
Portrait of a Kalesh woman in Pakistan Photo credit: Gulraiz Ghouri
Portrait of a Kalesh woman in Pakistan
Photo credit: Gulraiz Ghouri
Akobima, Ghana Photo credit: www.dennisthern.com
Akobima, Ghana
Photo credit: http://www.dennisthern.com
Smiles from Oman Saved from photography mojo.com
Smiles from Oman
Saved from photography mojo.com

The Classic White Shirt – Style Icons


Bogart and Lauren Becall style classic white shirts in Key Largo1948
Bogart and Lauren Becall style classic white shirts in Key Largo1948
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Sharon Stone
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Alexa Chung styles the perfect classic white shirt for Vogue Uk
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Marion Cotillard wears her classic shirt with ease.
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Classic Audrey Hepburn
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Supermodels – Peter Lindbergh for Vogue
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Linda Evangelista styles the best boy cut ever with a classic white shirt – Peter Lindbergh for Vogue
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Evangelista by Pascal Chevallier for Vogue Australia

Katara Cultural Village

Katara Cultural Village

Alphabet Lifestyle visits Katara Cultural Village, Doha, Qatar.

No visit to Doha would be complete without a visit to Katara Cultural Village.

Katara architecture
Discover traditional Qatari architecture

The village includes a theatre, art galleries – hosting modern and local Qatari art, an opera house and the piece de resistance; an open amphitheatre. The project was conceptualised to reflect the heritage of Qatar through traditional architecture.

Katara amphitheatre
Walkway to amphitheatre
Katara art sculptures
Katara art sculptures

The Katara Opera House is home to the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the breathe-taking amphitheatre hosts world class events (Alphabet Lifestyle Top Tip: Take a cushion, as several hours seated on concrete steps can be seriously uncomfortable!). You will find some of the best cultural performances in Doha, so ensure that you make time to enjoy a performance at the opera house or visit the latest exhibitions. See the link for more details of upcoming events – Katara.net.

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Katara Amphitheatre
Katara Amphitheatre

As well as offering a diverse culture experience, you will also find some of the best restaurants in Doha within Katara. We recommend that anyone visiting Katara should experience L’wzaar sea food restaurant, or Saffron Lounge for an exceptional culinary experience. For a traditional Middle-Eastern food visit Chac late, or Mamig restaurant doha for casual authentic Armenian and Lebanese cuisine.

Watch this space for upcoming Doha restaurant reviews and click here for more photographs from our Katara visit.