We always enjoy a good walk through a nice botanical garden. The one in Kandy was stunningly beautiful. I thought this picture would be a nice way to start this post even though, as usual, I am ahead of myself.
Our trip to Kandy, pronounced KhanDEE started at dawn at the Colombo Fort Station. Among the many things the British left behind as their empire collapsed (besides driving n the wrong side of the road and roundabouts) is rail systems. They built them to move goods to market of course. Now days, they do that, they move the locals into the towns to work, and they move travelers and tourists about the country. Personally, I love trains. At a nice slow but quick pace you get to see the countryside away from the cars and trucks on the highways.
The Kandy express was just what the travel doctor ordered. In a few hours we climbed from sea level to Kandy, which is the start of the hill country of Sri Lanka. It sits a mere 500m above sea level, but the difference in climate and flora is very extreme. Kandy sits at 6.8 degrees north latitude (or so says the GPS app on my IPAD) so we are definitely in the tropics and it showed.
The communities we passed by are mostly concrete block buildings with corrugated tin roofs, and banana trees in the yard. I think I have seen this before…hmmm.
Because it was an early morning express we made only one stop. The rest of the small stations we whizzed past had people staring at us. The trains going the other direction, into Colombo, were full of people heading to town to work. I do not know if it was because they were full, or because it was cooler,or if it is just cool, but every car on every train had men hanging on, half in, half out of the car. I found myself wondering how many people fall off on any given year. I got up to have a smoke and decided I would try standing in the doorway. I did, for a coupe of seconds, hopped back in and had a second smoke to calm my nerves.
I began to notice something different from our train trip in India. In India, all along the track, there was litter, disgusting amounts of litter. Not so in Sri Lanka. This cleanliness was apparent for our entire trip.
I also began to see another interesting Sri Lanka custom. When the people erect a Buddha in their town, almost always they encase him in a glass box. I never figured out why. Probably because they have two monsoon seasons each year. I do not know if they air condition the box, but pity poor Buddha if they dont.
We pulled into Kandy right on time and were met by our driver Farzan from www.srilanka.com who had gotten up even earlier than we did to drive there and meet us.
He took us to our hotel where we prepared for a wonderful day in Kandyland. I mistakenly crashed a wedding reception, but things got straightened out.
We were in Kandy on an auspicious day for weddings (according to the astrologers) so we saw a few.
The rest of our stay in Kandy was really nice, and I will cover it in my next post. Teaser: we went to an elephant orphanage, a healing herb garden, and The Royal Botanical Garden.
I have been told by many people to keep my posts short, and try to post something every day. Well, I can do the first thing easy enough. So, thanks for reading, share this around the cyber coconut, and don’t be afraid to tell me what you think with a comment.