Sometimes I travel to different places to visit friends. These places are not necessarily ones I am thinking and dreaming of exploring but they often turn out to be sublime. Who doesn’t like going to reconnect with a good friend and learn more about his or her culture?
I went not once but twice, to Sri Lanka to see my friend, experience life with her and make wonderful memories. I can see myself going back there again and again.
Sri Lanka has beautiful flora and fauna. In the picture above you can see me posing in Galle. We went to visit Galle with a bunch of people for a few days and I enjoyed it immensely. It is a quaint little town with the visible remnants from when the Dutch were there. There are quite a few good restaurants which serve great food – food in Sri Lanka is sumptuous, mouthwatering and oh so satisfying.
After stuffing ourselves we took a nice long walk around Galle Fort and soaked up all that were there to inundate our senses. It was another facet of Sri Lanka that added to its diversity and incredible beauty. Two hours or so by highway from the hustle and bustle of Colombo, we were able to unwind and explore this other side of the country.
I am happy I listened to my friend and took cold weather clothes with me to Nuwara Eliya, when I went off exploring on my own there for a few days. It was blazing hot in Colombo where she lived so I thought it was going to be the same all around the country. Nuwara Eliya is in the highlands of Sri Lanka and has perfect weather for growing tea. I am sure we have all seen Ceylon tea somewhere. This used to be the name of Sri Lanka under British rule.
I got off the train – which I had taken all the way from Colombo. I think it took about 5-6 hours – and was welcomed by mist and late fall like temps. I drew my cardigan closer, donned my scarf and hurried to find my hotel. Everything was lush and verdant, teeming with life. I went for a tour at one of the many tea plantations and learnt so much as well as sipped on some good tea.
It is quite a small rural town and I browsed around to see what it had to offer. It reminded me of a sleepy town because everything quietened down early it seemed like. There are different kinds of lodging for many different kinds of budget. I feel like a day or two is enough to see what it has to offer and it is worthwhile adding it to one’s itinerary when visiting Sri Lanka.
My friend came to get me by car – because she is awesome like that. We headed down and around the mountain with its steep hairpin curves and majestic views. I enjoyed seeing the fresh mounts of fruits and vegetables lining the roadside as we drove by. No produce section of any supermarket could compare. You could see the nutrient rich goodness oozing out of them.
The best memories I have from Kandy comprises of meeting my friend’s extended family, sleeping over and eating far too much wonderful home cooked dishes. The conversations were great and much of them focused on cricket – the West Indies vs. Sri Lanka and the like.
Peradeniya botanical garden is a good place to spend a day. It is a legacy from when the British were there and it is beautifully maintained. Comfortable shoes are a must and be on the alert for the cheeky monkeys who live there. There are many great spots for having a picnic, getting eye catching Instagram shots and the like. There are a rich variety of flora and they are signposted well. It is definitely one of my favourite places in Sri Lanka.
There is far more to see and do in Sri Lanka. This post does not scratch the surface. You know how it is when you visit a friend, you spend time with her friends and family while sightseeing is placed on the backburner. I want to go check out some of the other places listed here when next time.
Sri Lanka is safe, filled with super friendly people, great scenery, it is affordable and has finger licking sumptuous dishes. It is also chock full of different tropical fruits throughout the year…YUM!!
I say it’s my third home because I have made many meaningful relationships and great memories on my two sojourns there. Now I can feel it calling me again. Gotta love Sri Lanka.