Sri Lanka
Maradana

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    • Day 50

      Colombo, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy

      May 21 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

      The first thought, when I came to Sri Lanka was: "what have I done?". I came from sunny Vietnam with 35 degrees everyday to Sri Lanka, where it was raining like a hell. Yeah well the rainy seassion just started. But on the end in next days I got a wonderful weather. Lucky me.
      I didn't spend a lot of time in the capital - Colombo and next day, after the flight went directly with the train and a local bus to ancient city Anuradhapura.
      Just a few words about a local transport. Who don't know, Sri Lanka was for a long time a british colony. And the brits did here really good job. The whole island has really good train network and where don't go the trains, go the local buses. And both transports are unbeliviably cheap and becouse of this sometimes really crowded. But anyway it's really funny to travel with them. The doors are everywhere always opened. People just jumping in and out, without the bus stopping. A funny music is playing in a speakers and the people are usually really curious, where do I travel and why with the local bus. A lot of people can speak here english, I would almost say, better than half of the Czech republic. But that's because of the british history of course.
      I also enjoy food here. Finally something different than the Soup. Curry, Kotto and Rotti. All tasty!
      About the nature here. Really spectacular!!! I was surprised how nice the nature is. In the middle of the island are quite high mountains with a jungles and lot of wild animals, which are crossing the roads and stopping the buses. Just try to imagine, that you drive fastly the bus with 50 persons on the board and than from somewhere comes a elephant directly on the main road. Yeah, that's offen happen here. There are also lot of monkeys and deers.
      People here are nice and good sellers, trying to sell you whatever or at least give you the ride with a tuk tuk.
      From Anuradhapura I went to Dambulla and explore the ancient city, with is almost 2300 years old (I didn't know, that there is such a old history) and than to Kandy, where I want to take the famous train to Elle, which goes for 7 hours through the fairy tales valley (called one of the most beautiful train roads in the world).
      One last thing what happend to me in Kandy. I met a local man, who asked me to go with him for a beer. He looked okay and I was thirsty and wanted to try local beer im a local pu. So I agreed. We started to drink a beer. First, second, third. Then came his two friends who joined us. They ordered the whole bottle of Arrak - local liquer. Well it would be a nice evening, if they didn't want for me to pay the whole bill at the end. A bit trap, I was a bit pissed of, but I understand them, they wanted to drink, but an alcohol is here really expensive and the locals almost can't afford it.
      But all in all I was really positively surprised with the trip to Sri Lanka and looking forward for a next days :)
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    • Day 20

      Colombo

      December 2, 2016 in Sri Lanka ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

      Arrival in the capital!
      After a mammoth journey we were finally dropped off via taxi at our prebooked hotel, hidden down a side street and nicely secluded.
      We promptly freshened up and explored what was around the local vicinity (why is a McDonald's always the first thing to see!?). Shortly after we hopped into a tuk tuk to take us to an area called Galle Face Green, which is essentially a huge area of grassland with a stone edging that raises from a small beach and the sea. It's an area I'd read that locals like to hang out at and with a strong breeze there are lots of people flying kites and eating from the street carts that line it. Here we had our dinner of roti (flatbread) and a potato or prawn patty deep fried and covered in fresh chilli and a very hot tamarind sauce. We sat down and ate these while watching the sunset set on a foggy evening. Definitely a great way to kick start our first evening.
      It ended with a foot massage and a much needed long night of sleep.

      The next day exploring the city involved darting around the city seeing sight after sight including two very grand temples (one buddist, one hindu) a lovely lake, the National Museum, the Independence Memorial Hall, a large park, the old Dutch hospital and more!
      We enjoyed each place differently whether it was seeing the grandure of the temples, with stunning detail and design (not many photos of these as disrespectful to take photos inside) to the hidden treasures such as the lake and park which gave sudden respite to the hectic roar of the city. The National Museum was great with incredibly old and ancient artifacts that show some of the history of the country including when the Dutch and Portuguese were here. We're really enjoying starting to learn more about this country!

      This may sound like we rushed the day but it was actually very leisurely and with many drink stops trying to adapt to the sudden humidity.
      The city is clearly going through a lot of refurbishment as there is building work popping up everywhere and I think it is quite an up and coming place. All the same it is very much a busy polluted and loud city, with some of the scariest driving I've ever seen (worse than Hanoi, Vietnam which may mean something to some of you!). Truthfully it's not somewhere we really wanted to stay long but still very good to see and experience, quite a sharp awakening into another world!

      Beth
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