Kandy in the heart of Sri Lanka

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Sunday, March 19, 2006

We had to arrange a taxi from Cochin to the airport as it was 30kms away, we had to be there to check in at 7am...so there was NO way we were going to risk a bus!!
Our taxi showed up on time, much to our delight as we had been up since 5am!! and we had a smooth drive out to the airport, we checked in fine...no probs with visa requirements and a one way ticket yet!We went all the way through passport control to the departure gate only to discover that the only drink they served was major sugary coffee and that it was a non smoking airport! As you can imagine me without my morning nicotine and Matt without his caffeine fix made a joyous couple!!

The flight across to Colombo only took 55minutes and was great, we ate a really nice meal which they provided, the service was fab and we had exit seats...so a little more legroom that normal.
Upon arrival in Colombo we got in the country no probs, issued with a 30day visa...its so nice not to have to make any plans on when we are going back to India just yet...and we got our bags pretty quickly. There was a bus from the airport into Colombo which we caught, when we got on it, all we knew was that it was going to Colombo...we wasnt sure where, but it stopped at the train station, and a local man on the bus showed us where we could buy our tickets and where the booths were...the first thing we noticed about Sri Lankans was is that they are SO very friendly, and genuine.

At the train station we purchased our tickets to Kandy, we had decided the night before that if we went straight to the beach here in Sri Lanka, that was pure laziness..!! As we just spent over a week doing nothing in Palolem, so we talked about it and decided that we would do all of the sights in Sri Lanka, then go to the beaches here before heading back to India.

So, here we are in Kandy, its absolutly stunning! We had a very pleasant train journey, which took about 2 and a half hours through the mountains. Kandy is a city, but its very a very quiet city, the buildings are beautiful, and in the middle of the city there is a lake, our hotel is up a very steep hill...but overlooks the lake and the famous Buddist Temple of the Tooth.
Today we took a walk along the lake side, chatted to some of the locals, saw a water monitor...now we know that we wont be going swimming in the lake! And then walked around to the Temple Of The Tooth. The only word for the beautiful buildings and tranquil ground, and the atmosphere inside the temple as we was watched locals, tourists, Buddist Monks and local Buddist make there offerings to the Budda was stunning.
After exploring the stunning temple complex, and seeing Raja - the only stuffed elephant in the world (?!) we walked through a huge gardens area, which is home to 3 Buddist Temples, then we went and saw a complete contrast...a Victorian style church that the Brits built.

So, its really nice being up in the mountains, they are so very green and the heat isnt anywhere near as intense as it was in Southern India, its a pretty city and we shall probably stay here a few days, taking day trips out to some of the religious sights and the elephant orphanage.

Thats all for now..........

Love, Hugs,

Ali and Matt
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