We started our trip to Sri Lanka with a nine hour train ride from Gampama, outside of Colombo, to Ella right after getting off the flight from Sweden. Such an experience!! We bought regular tickets at the train station. At first there were no available seats, but after a while the crown decreased. The girls were tired and fell a sleep here and there. It is a noisy and shaky nine hours. Tried to drink a cup of tea that they sold on the train, but it was almost impossible. I found it meditative watching the locals wearing their beautiful and colorful garnishment through the open doors and windows of the train with the fantastic mountain view together with the noise and movements of the train. Made good friends with the conductor, Mr Mihira. On this trip to Sri Lanka my dear mother joined us.We stayed in Ella at the Green Hill, a small family owned hotel with a stunning view. The family running the hotel were wonderful and served great traditional Sri Lankan breakfast, Coconut Pol Sambol, Egg Hoppers, Pol Roti and plenty of fresh fruit. All that with the best view! The scent of incense and the sound of chanting monks across the mountain. A peaceful place.
The first day we went for a long adventurous walk. We met Mr Ananclan and visited his small Hindu temple and got invited for tea at his simple house next door. Discussing religion in Sri Lanka. Buddism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. He is a Hindu and his wife a Buddist, which is the most common religion in Sri Lanka after Hinduism.
Tea is cultured almost everywhere in the mountain area around Ella. We met many Tamilians working on the plantages. We visited a tea plantage close by specialized in green tea. I love tea and I am a daily tea drinker. Never fell for coffee… So this place was very interesting to me. Good tasting tea in Sri Lanka but without the their sugar and milk that they like to add.
We found this lovely place with a great view over the Demodara Nine Arch Bridge. A family owned small store and café. We were sitting waiting for the train to come. Drinking tea. Elsa didn’t feel so well after our long journey so the owner got her some Ajurvedic medicine. It made her feel better!
The next day we went for a long drive. We first visited a beautiful temple, Down Rajamaha Viharaya, Dowa Cave Temple. A temple for both Buddhist and Hindu worshippers. When visiting a temple in Sri Lanka it is polite to give a donation and of course take off your shoes.Somewhere around Haputale and Lipton Seats. Beautiful mountains and tea plantages. The carvings at Buduruwagala.A short visit at the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe before heading to the beach!!