Sri Lanka – Kandy to Ella

The train journey between Kandy and Ella is one of the top things to experience in Sri Lanka due to the stunning scenery. We were excited for the journey, and once on board we settled into our first class seats, booked via Visit Sri Lanka Tours.

The train made its way slowly climbing though local villages, high into the hills and through into the tea plantations. We passed through fields of tea pickers, woodland forest and beautiful valleys full of fruit and vegetable farmland. The local children quick to give us a wave and a big smile a long the way.

This train journey is also famous for tourists sitting in and hanging outside it’s open doors to get THE picture. The ones I’ve seen on instagram make it look easy. Well it’s not and I am glad that I didn’t have to sit in a train door way for seven hours!

We managed a few pictures half hanging out and half hanging on for dear life, trying not to drop the phone while the train chugged and juddered along.

All the while we feasted on Sri Lankan snacks; vegetable samosas, egg samosas, vegetable patti and spiced nuts sold by locals between stops.

The last part of the journey goes over the famous Nine Arch Bridge in Ella, however by the time we got there it was stormy and absolutely bucketing down with rain. Which meant doors closed and no beautiful picture. I did manage a picture with our train driver on arrival to Ella though.

What a perfect way to celebrate 10 years of being together.

Coming up – Three jam packed days in Ella, hiking and eating.

Sri Lanka – Kandy

With only one night in Kandy, you’d think we’d have done a bit more research, but that’s not our style. With temples on offer and storms forecast for the afternoon, we decided to head straight out and have a wonder. What an assault on your senses – Kandy is a little bit manic.

Cars, tuk tuks, buses and scooters everywhere. No one following any rules and non-stop horns beeping. We quickly escaped into the Secret Alley Cafe for a cooling iced coffee made with coconut milk and cinnamon. Other people clearly had the same idea as it quickly filled up and was obviously a tourist bolt hole.

Nearing lunch time but not feeling particularly hungry, we braved the streets once again. An old guy helped us cross the road to then tell us he was from Surrey and would like to show us his kitchenware shop…err, no thanks.

Making our escape, we headed for the lake which is in the centre of Kandy and an easy walk around. Feeling a bit despondent we remembered our friends Hannah and Chris recommended a rooftop bar nearby, Slightly Chilled.

We headed straight there and ordered a couple of beers and some cashew nuts. The menu was Chinese influenced and we got very excited to see they served dumplings. Another round of beers and a portion of dumplings ordered. Happy customers.

A quick stop at our homestay and feeling refreshed we were soon back at Slightly Chilled to watch the sun go down. Needless to say a few more beers were had and some tasty Chinese food including Sichuan Gang Boa Chicken and sizzling beef.

Slightly Chilled KATER Score 7/10 – £15 for two inc. service

A quick tuk tuk back to our homestay, Sweet Lanka Kandy. Wanting something sweet, we popped into the restaurant above our place and ordered some ginger tea and curd and honey. That’s all they had, but boy I’m glad as it was delicious. The curd is made from buffalo milk and the locally made honey gave a perfect sweet and sour contrast.

Our breakfast was probably the best so far – simple yet delicious. A well seasoned omelette served with the best tasting daal yet, coconut sambal and taboula. Followed by fresh pineapple, banana and papaya. Yum.

A perfect start to our long train journey to Ella.