From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy – The delights of travelling from Nuwara Eliya to the historic Sri Lankan township of Kandy.
The variety of colours on offer during this train trip awakens your senses immediately. This would have to be as close to effortless sightseeing as it gets, from the comfort of your carriage the sights are delivered directly to your seat. The journey itself takes a rather unhurried 3.5 hours, allowing the scenery to float by rather than flash past. The 1st class carriage feels like a relic from a bygone era. Sitting and contemplating all those who have taken this journey and enjoyed the same view of the mountains and tea plantations it almost feels like it could be 1986 when these rail tracks were first laid.
People watchers could be mistaken in thinking that a train track would not be the best spot for their sport, however these train tracks double as easy pathways. Young children returning home from school wave delighted to see an unusual face and the locals carrying tonight’s dinner entice you as you watch the chickens make their way to their spicy fate.
One particular delight is watching the hawkers from the window selling fruit and snacks to passengers. Opening the window to grab a handful of spicy roasted peanuts makes for a tasty snack.
On arrival into Kandy Railway Station the character of this vibrant town welcomes you, the architecture of the station gives you a sample of what Kandy has to offer. A short walk from the train station into the centre of Kandy is Kandy Lake. Sri Wickrama Rajasinha, the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy, artificially created the lake in 1807 however; the beauty of the lake is not diminished by the manufactured nature of its creation. A stroll around watching the locals gives you a sense of everyday life. Eventually you will stumble across the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This extremely important temple houses Sri Lanka’s most important relic – the sacred tooth of Buddha. After taking your shoes off you can explore the temple, the whiffs of incense and the chanting monks engulf all your senses as you watch locals pray.
After exploring the lake it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of Kandy, in the main thoroughfare the street food is fantastic. The most popular thing to taste in Kandy, particularly in the evening, are egg hoppers, which are delicious everywhere. Watching the talented chefs effortlessly swirl the fermented rice mixture around the bowl to create the wafer like constructions is a tasty delight to whet any appetite!
Unconventional Conventions will be visiting Sri Lanka in 30 March 2015 – 7 April 2015. Last minute bookings are still being accepted – More information here: SRI LANKA 2015