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Places of interest
The last day in the countryside of Sri Lanka was just in the day of the last full moon of the year celebration. I desired to celebrate with locals. I was in a non-tourist area. So I could rent a tuk-tuk for whole for great price, and with kind driver. I asked him to ride me to the first temple of the day. Hundreds people in white welcomed me, and thousands incense sticks and numerous flowers as well...
Finally the sea! One long and tiring bus ride from the mountains, I stepped off the bus in the town of Mirissa. Immediately headed towards a beautiful beach of two kilometers. On the way, I bought myself a "king coconut" (a young coconut with very refreshing water inside it. Then I just relaxed in palm’s shade.
I feel like I traveled to Europe couple of centuries back in time. Only coconut trees, monkeys, and thirty degree of Celsius don’t match this place. Oh, well, and there probably had not been so many dark skinned people in Europe at that time. The fortress of Galle looks more like a large open-air museum. Dutch and Portuguese colonial architecture is in almost perfect shape there.
Sleepy town in the south of mountains in Sri Lanka is a magnet for holidaymakers. It offers an ideal place for trips into the vicinity, and pleasant homely-like atmosphere. There are many guest houses with great food, and great climate. When I get off the train from Kandy, I planned to stay over one night. Eventually I stayed there for a week.
I step off the bus in a small surfers’ village of Midigama. Right next to me is a deserted beach and beautiful waves rising up to the sky. I feel like I got in the paradise. I am gifted a welcome coconut. The owner bargains the price (12 dollar a night seems too much for her, so I will have a dinner included). On the garden, a hammock is there waiting form me and private beach behind a fence with coral sand. It is clear to me that I stand there more than two nights I planned originally. This IS paradise.
Traveling by train in mountains among tea plantations is one of the greatest experiences in Sri Lanka I have. After a short break, I stepped in a blue train in Kandy. It was only 20 minutes and took me to the town of Ella in the southern part of local mountains. The ride took it more than 6 hours at average speed of 15 km/h. But it is worth it. The rails go up to 1900 meters. Along both sides you can enjoy wonderful views of the local landscape.
Chaos, noise, endless crowds, and couple of confused tourists. There is something to sale everywhere, people bargain to get the best prices. Tey try to rip you off as a wealthy foreigner. I try to get across the downtown as quickly as possible and reach the lake built near his mansion by the last king of Sri Lanka. I hope it will be more peaceful over there...
It is one the most popular exotic destinations. And its popularity is raising fast. You can get the cheapest flight tickets there compared to other destinations, moreover you can stopover in Dubai or Maldives. Even the prices are affordable. It is also one of the most safest countries in the tropics, together with small island states. We land on Sri Lanka, a tropic paradise you will refuse to leave!
There live more than twenty million people in Sri Lanka and 750 thousand in its largest city, Colombo. The northeastern border of the city is the River Kelani and the city itself is situated on Sri Lanka’s western shore. As many present states in Africa, Asia and Latin America, even Sri Lanka had its colonial experience with Portuguese, Dutch, and eventually with British.
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