In September, Waterland commissioned the construction of a large boat/barge. The photo below shows 2 of the craftsmen who built the boat.
On October 15, 2016, we had a party to launch the new boat.
Friends, guests, and members of the staff celebrated the launch of the boat together.
The boat's designer was on board for the occasion.
One of the fishermen from the neighborhood kindly captained our first voyage. Once we were in the river, he discovered that the bamboo pole he brought was too short. This caused much amusement. Within a few minutes, another neighbor used his boat to deliver a longer bamboo pole.
The barge provides a beautiful place for drinks and watching the sunset.
In modern society, we are increasingly disconnected from the things around us.
By learning how some things are made, we better appreciate man's ingenuity. And by trying our hand at making things ourselves, we enjoy the satisfaction of creation and establish a new relationship with the people and things around us.
It is in this spirit that Waterland offers a half day experience focused on making things. In this experience, a driver/guide will take you by air conditioned car from Waterland to nearby factories and workshops.
One of the workshops visited makes bricks. Here you will discover how bricks are made and will get to try your hand at one step in the process of brick-making.
At a roof tile workshop, you will learn about the different steps in the manufacturing process and will get to try your hand at one step in process of roof tile making.
At a coir workshop, you will learn how different products including twine, textiles, and fertilize...
Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious society. This tour allows you to feel and appreciate that diversity.
Below is a suggested itinerary. You can work out the itinerary you like with your driver.
Your first stop might be the Muslim Poruthota Jumuah Mosque.
The majority of Negombo's population is Catholic and over the years the Catholic community has built a large number of magnificent churches, earning Negombo the nickname Little Rome. A next stop might be the neo-Gothic St. Sebastian's on Sea Street, the most grandiose of these churches.
Further along the same street, you can stop at the Hindu Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple.
Next, visit he neo-classical St. Mary's Church on Main Street, Negombo's most famous church.
At Negombo Fish Market, a fisherman can take you around the market showing you nets, fish, and the many steps followed to prepare dried fish.
After the temple complex, go on a series of bridges that provide panoramic vie...
As with so many dining traditions, the story of napkin-folding begins in Renaissance Italy. There noble and merchant families in the 16th century began to incorporate elaborately folded pieces of cloth as centerpieces and into individual place settings. Napkin displays became symbols of the wealth and status.
At the French court in Versailles during the Baroque era, napkin-folding became even more elaborate. The influence of the court further popularized napkin-folding. The court's extravagance, though, ended up causing napkin-folding to be associated with aristocratic excess. After the French Revolution, napkin-folding went out of fashion.
With the growth of class divisions in the late 19th century, napkin-folding again came into fashion in aristocratic and bourgeois households. The new approach to napkin-folding was more restrained than it had been in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. 19th century napkin-folding seems to have been more a si...
Batik is a technique that uses wax to decorate fabric. The technique was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 18th century by the Dutch during their rule of the country. The Dutch brought the technique from Indonesia, one of their other colonies. Batik is a Javanese word that means writing in wax.
Waterland offers you the unique chance to make you own batik.
Your batik-making journey will take you 30 minutes up the coast where several villages specialize in batik-making.
In one of these villages, you will have a 3-hour workshop on how to make batik.
In this workshop, your host will show you the different stages of batik-making and you will have the chance to observe some master batik artists.
After you see how others work, your host will teach you how to paint a batik.
Each guest will then apply molten wax to a 5 meter piece of fabric and paint a design on that fabric. This batik is yours to keep.
At the end of the workshop, you will have the chanc...
What are the odds of having not one but two aesthetic geniuses in the family? Geoffrey Bawa helped define what has come to be known as tropical modern design, a blend of native, colonial, and contemporary materials, concerns, and aesthetics. Geoffrey Bawa’s influence may be found in resorts and villas across Asia including Sri Lanka. Geoffrey Bawa’s brother was similarly talented. A key interest of both Bawas was the blurring of indoor and outdoor spaces.
The Bawas were from a cosmopolitan and eccentric family. That worldliness and eccentricity is reflected in their artistic creations. Michael Ondaatje’s insightful and entertaining Running in the Family provides a great feel for the sort of background in which the Bawas were raised.
To experience the genius of the Bawa brothers, we suggest a visit to Bewis Bawa’s masterpiece, Brief Garden, in the morning.
After an hour or two at Brief Garden, head to Lunagunga, Geoffrey Bawa’s retreat. You might w...
When coming for a holiday, people often focus on seeing things, rather than experiencing them. A stay at Waterland offers the chance to experience local color in a place of extraordinary natural beauty.
Walk along the lanes in our area, admiring the lush gardens and meeting people in the neighborhood. Visit some of the neigborhood churches. For a real tropical experience, go to a church right on the beach! The beach and church are only 600 meters from waterland.
Take a boat trip along the Dutch Canal north to Waikal, a bird-watcher's paradise. Along the trip you are likely to see herons, egrets, cormorants, terns, kites, parakeets, bulbuls, and robins. Stop for a drink or a meal at the Canal Restaurant in Waikal.
Take a boat trip south into Negombo Lagoon. On the way to Negombo Lagoon, you are likely to see villagers fishing in the canal, children flying kites, and people going about their daily chores. You will pass by villagers' homes, shops, and schools...
Each of the Catholic churches in Negombo has a festival in honor of its patron saint and/or its foundation.
Our Lady of Sorrows is one of several churches near Waterland. The church had its annual festival in September. During the festival, the community placed lights and blue and white banners along the parade route. Parishioners walked the parade route, accompanied by chanting and marching bands. At the front of the parade, a group of choir boys carried crucifixes. Immediately behind them, parishioners transported a statue of the patron saint. The parade passed by Waterland and ended at the church. At the church, a priest ceremoniously welcomed the return of the statue.