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A Life Time In Serendipity – Piero Crida

Many the reasons for a visit to the island of Sri Lanka. Every visitor has a specific need, a personal desire. A lazy holiday on its beaches, a hedonistic rest in its boutique hotels, jungle adventures with its wild flora and fauna, or a visit to the ancient splendour of its archaeological memories. As any good Buddhist would remind us, nothing is permanent. In these last 35 years of my life on the island I’ve been a witness to this ever-changing game: many beautiful things are gone, many new ones has appeared. But one element has remained the same, across the years and its turbulent times. It’s an element with which the island has always been identified. And that it gave its most intriguing name: Serendipity. The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy and beneficial way. It’s a strangest phenomenon, a kind of a gentle wave that may take you from one surprise to another, that will lead you out of the most hopeless situations and that will always take you to an unexpected, delightful and surprising happy end.
To experiment Serendipity, one specific attitude is all is asked of you: stand still, don’t fight back, don’t react, and let yourself go with the wave. Trustfully and serene. Then, and only then, Serendipity will be able to guide you, gently carry you on, every time closer and closer, to the magic, hidden, secret heart of the island.

Molte sono le ragioni per una visita A Sri Lanka. Ogni visitatore ha una necessità specifica , un personale desiderio. Una pigra vacanza sulle sue spiagge, un edonistico riposo nei suoi Boutique Hotels, avventure nelle jungle fra i suoi animali e i suoi fiori, o una escursione ai suoi antichi splendori archeologici.
Come ogni buon buddista vi saprà dire : Nulla è permanente.
Nei miei trentacinque anni di vita sull’isola sono stato testimone di questo mutevole gioco : molte splendide cose del passato sono scomparse , molte nuove sono apparse. Ma un elemento è rimasto lo stesso, attraverso i suoi turbolenti anni . Un elemento con cui l’isola è sempre stata identificata . E che all’isola ha dato il suo nome più intrigante : Serendipity. Serendipità : l’accadere e lo svilupparsi di eventi dettati dal Caso in modo felice e benefico. E’ uno stranissimo fenomeno, come un’onda gentile che porta da sorpresa a sorpresa , che salva dale situazioni più disperate e che sempre condurrà verso un inatteso e sorprendente lieto fine.
Per sperimentare Serendipity un solo atteggiamento è richiesto:
restare immobili, non opporsi, non reagire, e lasciarsi trasportare dall’onda, fiduciosi e sereni. Allora , e solo allora , Serendipity potrà guidarvi, e gentilmente trasportarvi , sempre più vicino , al magico , nascosto , segreto cuore dell’isola.

I came to the island in 1969. It was called Ceylon . Coming, as I was , from India , I was stunned by the beauty, cleanness and elegance, and the great mix between the colonial grand past and the unspoiled wilderness of the countryside. I explored the island from north to south , from east to west. From 1980 to 1995 I lived in one of the last great colonial hotel of South east asia : the New Oriental Hotel ( N.O.H). in Galle Fort. Being a painter and a musician , I had my studio there , overlooking the tropical garden , in a superb inspiring environment . From 1995 I leased a colonial house in the country side not far from Galle , where i lived and painted for the six winter months ever since, discovering new magic and hidden places all around . Two years ago , feeling again the tug of wanderlust , I closed my house and started to travel around the globe again , looking for new vistas and new inspiration for my work. www.pierocrida.net

- La prima volte che atterai sull’isola fu nel 1969 .Era allora ancora chiamata Ceylon. Arrivando dall’India , fui affascinato dalla bellezza , pulizia . eleganza e, particolarmente ,per il suo passato ancora vivo di grandezza di vita coloniale circondato dalla incorrotta natura tutt’attorno. Visitai ogni parte dell’isola, e dal 1980 al 1983 vissi nel più affascinante albergo coloniale di tutto il sud est asiatico: il celebre New Orienta Hotel di Galle Fort. Essendo un pittore e musicista , presi li il mio studio , immerso in un lussureggiante giradino tropicale. Dal 1995 ho preso in leasin ina casa coloniale non lontana da Galle , dove da allora ho passato ogni inverno sei mesi dpingendo , componendo e continuando ad esplorare l’isola nei suoi angoli piu magici e segreti. Da due anni , il desiderio di viaggiare è tornato , quindi ho chiuso casa sull’isola e da allora ho ripreso la mia ricerca su questo vasto e omologato globo , di un’altra residenza invernale , di altri paesaggi , di nuova ispirazione.


  1. Luisa Asirvatham /

    A Glimpse of Sri Lanka!
    Our group of 5 tourists from Austria and UK arrived at Colombo AP in glorious sunshine on 10 November 2010. Paddy had planned and mapped out our 2 week holiday in Sri Lanka most professionally and made us aware of the pitfalls we may encounter on our journey of discovery. We explored the island partly with a hired van and chauffeur thus to avoid the stress of driving in Sri Lanka’s roads by rail from Colombo Fort to Kandy in the Observation Car (1st class seats can be cooked 10 days before the day of travel) and a local train journey from Bentota to Galle; we also rubbed shoulders with the locals and used the local busses (Bentota to Hikkaduwa)and experienced the friendliness of the locals and the assertiveness of the bus drivers. We were mesmerised by the beauty of the country, the unspoilt forests and stretches of sandy beaches its delightful people, tea gardens in the rolling hills and were touched by the legacy of James Taylors tea planation in Loolecondera, Great Valley in Deltota. Our penultimate stop was to see the remains of the ancient civilisation at Sigiriya and Paddy arranged a most unusual place for us to stay which we’d highly recommend to the intrepid traveller:
    The Thick Forest Lodge run by Kamal (www.theteakforest.com) who is passionate about wild life, birds, elephants roaming in the nearby rain forests. This lodge is somewhat difficult to locate along the many mud roads in the village of Sigiriya. Kamal Hettiarachchi has built three tree houses (sleeping 3 and 2 people)equipped with cold and hot shower/wc and crisp white linen and towels – overlooking the forest and Sigiriya Rock and provides you with delicous food (breakfast and dinner)cooked by locals. You are surrounded by a cacophony of the sound of birds and sometimes the trumpeting of an elephant.
    Sri Lanka offers a kaleidoscopic variety of cultures and religions. Sri Lankans are profligate smilers, indiscriminately scattering their priceless smiles to any unprepared passing stranger or tourist. This island is blessed with a mass of florid vegetation teeming with strange animals, rice paddies, tea planations, vegetables and an array of tropical and exotic fruits. Unbelievably, despite the civil war having raged for so long, there is a remarkable degree of mutual respect between the different races and religions.
    We highly recommend Paddy Paul to plan and execute your travel itineary; she is most efficient, replies to your emails/queries promptly and tries the utmost to make your journey a success.
    Luisa Asirvatham, London, UK

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