a country with many names

Sri Lanka has many names. Two of these are “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” and “The Country of Serendipity”. Maybe these names are due to the extraordinary luck which made Sri Lanka home to extraordinary gemstones, wildlife, flora, and some of the most beautiful beaches this planet has to offer.
They could be an expression of the feeling a visitor gets when experiencing its unique culture. Or, most likely, it is a combination of the two.
Sri Lanka is a country with a deep appreciation for life and religion. The official flag, the “Lion-Flag”, goes as far back as to 162 BC and is the only flag that unites three of the worlds big religions.
The color Orange is a representation of Hinduism, green stands for Islam, and the corners depict Bodi leaves. They are a reference to the oldest tree of our planet. Called “Sri Maha Bodhiya” it is around 2300 years old and plays an important role in Buddhism. It is this tree, under which Buddha is believed to have gained enlightenment.


“One will leave this gemstone of the Indian Ocean with a sense that this truly is a special place!” opines Alexander Kreis. A sense shared by many visitors of this island. Among them are people from Persia. They gave the island the name “Serendip”. It is from this name, we derive the word “serendipity”. It was created by Horace Walpole in conjunction with his work “The Three Princes of Serendip”, in which the princes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” It describes a world full of wonder and possibilities. And at the same time, it is a story about the unknown.
About the fact that one never really knows what to expect from a journey until it commences.

welcome to sri lanka

“After we arrived at Sri Lanka, we stayed the first couple of days in the capital city, Colombo.
We met some friends, made appointments with miners who were also in the city, at the time,” says Stefan Kreis.
“For us “northern Europeans”, the way in which they drive in Colombo takes some time to get used to. On our way into the city center, we got stuck in rush-hour. Yet, we had appointments and did not want to be late. When, all of the sudden, a police car makes his way through the traffic. Without hesitation, our driver steps on the gas and quickly gets behind the police car. With success, I might add. We made it to our appointments on time.”
Colombo is a fascinating city with roots going back over 2000 years. Much influence on the city’s structure is due to the British and goes back to around 1825. Today, the city counts a population of ~5.6 million people.
“But Colombo wasn’t our main reason to travel to Sri Lanka. Our goal was to explore little-known mining areas. Areas off the beaten path.” explains Alexander Kreis.
[A beach by Colombo – Picture by KREIS]
[A mountain range by Colombo – Picture by KREIS]