Slept in until nine - felt wonderful! Packed, checked out of the hotel, then wandered down to see Dalada Maligawa (The Temple of the Tooth). This is Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist site - it's the temple that houses the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. Before entering the temple I went in to the Air Lanka office. I had been told that I would be able to confirm my Emirate's flight there. I waited twenty minutes only to be given a phone number and told I had to call.
The security at the temple was incredible. I guess it's understandable - in 1998 the temple was badly damaged by a terrorist's bomb. Entering the grounds there was a thorough frisking and bag search. At the moat I stopped to admire the temple's elephant and even shook it's trunk. He was very cheeky - while trying to get my camera out he kept sticking his trunk in my bag! Leaving my shoes with the minders I crossed the moat and went through an even more thorough search before being admitted to the temple proper. There were a lot of people there, and not very many tourists. I'd paid 50 Rupees extra so that I could take photos, but with so many people praying / meditating I didn't feel right. Snapped a few quick photos then wandered around. The temple itself is a large building housing a large courtyard which contains the relic chamber - a large lavishly decorated (including a gold plated roof visible from anywhere in Kandy) inner temple that actually contains the Buddha's tooth. Or at least the gold box said to contain the tooth. The highlight was the antics of a monkey at a dagoba - he was raiding the offering flowers for tasty bits and wouldn't be chased off. Also of interest is a stuffed elephant (supposedly the only one in the world) - he was the temple's tusker until his in death in the 80's, he had also been declared a national treasure of Sri Lanka.
After I left the main temple area it really started to rain hard so I took cover while exploring some of the nearby temples. The first one I entered had a large reclining (dead? sleeping?) Buddha and was attended by a very young (10 years old?) monk who was very friendly and dragged me all over the small room to look at the Buddha's feet, ear, etc.
Leaving the temple grounds I made it half a block before it started to rain again. I ducked into a patisserie to get something to eat and wait for the rain to slacken. The food was various curry pastries with egg, chicken, or vegetables and were delicious. Sitting there watching the rain I really couldn't motivate to go get my bag, wait who knows how long at the bus station, then sit for hours on a crowded bus to try to get to the beach at Galle. So I decided to stay one more night in Kandy and I'll get an early start tomorrow.
After sitting on hold for twenty minutes I finally managed to confirm my flights through to Cairo. it was still raining hard, so I caught a tuk-tuk back up the hill to my inn and checked in again. Spent the afternoon reading and working on my journal. I'd hoped to get out to the elephant orphanage but the rain never let up. In the evening went down and arranged for a tuk-tuk to pick me up at five so that I cold make the 5:30 train - yuck. Had the best dinner yet, then sat up talking to Heather and Mike, two English med students.