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India's little island in the south

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Hey Bloggers...

Sorry I've taken a very long time to write this entry I've been caught up in the world...(Literally).

When I left India, I was given the best leaving present I could of wished for...the runs...Let me just say having the runs when in transit is about as fun as eating blue cheese...(I don't like blue cheese).

So on to Sri Lanka...I loved my time in Sri Lanka very much and it will always hold a special place somewhere deep inside. For me it was a down scaled India on a more manageable scale...with beautiful and friendly people, hot weather…and lots of interesting sites to see…

Getting there…
I tried to book a bed in a hotel at Delhi airport before departing and thought it was sorted. On my flight over I started chatting to a lovely guy who's name will be lost forever as I never wrote it down and we never exchanged emails, for arguments sake, lets call him Mr S Lanka. He was a boss in a pharmaceutical company and told me many interesting places to visit while in his country…

He offered to give me a lift from the airport to the hotel along with his co-worker/driver…on the way, we found the Hotel I’d booked was full and I had to find somewhere else…between Mr Lanka and his driver they phoned around and sorted another Hotel out in Colombo City which, was a fair drive from the airport…on the way we dropped Mr Lanka off at home where his wife made some tasty Sri Lankan Tea and sent me and the driver on our way with a pack of Tea…Sri Lanka apparently has some of the worlds best Tea… After about 40 minutes we arrived at our destination (I transferred to a taxi)…and arrived at the hotel knackered but beaming from the hospitality and generosity of the Mr Lanka and his driver.

India was in the past and I was recharged and ready to take on this smallish island even if I only had 5 days…! (I never intended to visit Sri Lanka…it was a free stop over with my flight to Tokyo… so I took it…!)

First Stop after Colombo (capital) which I didn't really see much of was Galle...
After a speedy bus of a couple of hours, snaking from side to side with blasting music I arrived into Galle. Galle was the main port on the Island before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century.
However, Galle is unfortunately best known for the massive Boxing Day Tsunami in (2004), the Indian Ocean earthquake that occurred a thousand miles away, off the coast of Indonesia. Thousands were killed in the city alone. It was hard to realise this even though I remember seeing the pictures on the news. The Galle that I had now arrived in was a very picturesque seaside town with the largest remaining fort in Asia by European occupiers and cricket ground...(below).

Cliff Diver’s of Galle

From Galle I caught a brilliant little train to Kandy, a town in the heart of the Island…the videos below show some of the surrounding scenery as the train passes through the Kandy valley mountains.

The Journey to Kandy 'the hilltop capital of Sri Lanka' was excellent the train managed to keep a sluggish pace up through the Kandy valley surrounded by tropical plantations mainly Tea... Kandy itself was set in a valley surrounded by hills overlooking the town...Some with beautiful gardens and the pretty impressive white Bahirawakanda temple Buddha statue...below.

And lastly I have to comment on the beauty of the women in Sri Lanka...
I remember waiting at Kandy station for my train back to Colombo...I was drying my socks in the sun (as you do when your backpacking...?!) and making a few friends with a group of school boys who thought I was 'cool' tried on my sunnys and practiced their English etc...this caught the attention of a girl on the opposite platform...she was amused by the whole thing and when her train came she mouthed the word 'bye' smiled with the brightest white teeth and disappeared...I melted instantly and took a long time to come round, it left a lasting impression on me...many of the girls/women in Sri Lanka had this same trademark smile...it was hard for me to leave...!

Me and the Buddha.

permalink written by  willrob on February 25, 2010 from Colombo, Sri Lanka
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