Conductor sees the train off, Sri Lanka

Conductor sees the train off, Sri Lanka

Long train and bus journeys are part and parcel of travel, some days you love them and some days you hate them. This train journey from Kandy to Ella was one we were certainly looking forward to, all the guide books had it hyped up as ‘the most beautiful train journey in the world’ and we wanted to see if it was going to live up to its reputation. It began slow, building the suspense, with the train being over two hours late, not the best start but the train finally pulled into the station and we were off.

Tea plantations as far as the eye can see in central Sri Lanka

Tea plantations as far as the eye can see in central Sri Lanka

We opted for second class, unreserved seats which were perfect and offered great views out the large windows. A first class observation carriage is also available for tourists, it’s got a glass front so you can get better views of the scenery but the glass is not cleaned regularly resulting in rubbish photos through the dirty glass and being away from the vendors and all the fun which taking the train can be! With open doors between each carriage you can get some great photos from the train as it moves through the mountains so this seemed like the best option for us.

Kids hanging out watching the trains go by, Sri Lanka

Kids hanging out watching the trains go by, Sri Lanka

Up and down like a yoyo as the train rolled on through the Sri Lankan hill country taking photos was how we passed the time on the seven hour journey. Every time you sit down the train rounded another corner and another amazing view opened up in front of us. Bending and winding through the countryside the train slowly chugged along, people hanging out every door, tourists and locals alike, trying to get the best view of the beautiful scenery as we passed by. You had to be careful at times as the track was sometimes carved out with just enough room for the train, arms and legs were quickly pulled in at the narrowest points, usually just in time! Some of the braver locals reached out and picked flowers from the door of the train as we went flying by, passing them in through the open window to Noelle with big smiles.

Simple home in the hills, Sri Lanka

Simple home in the hills, Sri Lanka

Rolling green palm plantations coming out of Kandy gave way to thousands of acres of tea plantations as we crept towards Haputale. Dotted through the rows of tea bushes women were working, picking the tea leaves in brightly coloured saris, like coloured lights on a Christmas tree. Locals use the track as walkways between villages and would often wave, smiling excitedly as the train passed along. Children in school uniforms ran by, men and women walking livestock on rope and parents standing cradling young children seemingly just out for a walk, life seemed simple up in these hills and it was refreshing to be away from the hustle of Kandy. Valleys stretched as far as the eye could see, waterfalls dotted the valley walls, expansive evergreen forests broke up the never-ending tea plantations which blanketed across the lush mountains, as the train rolled on from Haputale to Ella.

The train rolls on as the sky gets moody, Sri Lanka

The train rolls on as the sky gets moody, Sri Lanka

With evening setting in the sun began dropping from the sky casting an amazing yellow glow across the valleys below. Passing through railway stations, they were beginning to get less busy and Ella was getting closer,  although we were tired from the trip, the excitement of reaching and exploring somewhere new was keeping us going and as the brakes slowed the train we grabbed our bags and jumped off at Ella Station, breathing in the crisp, clean evening air, it felt good to be in the hills again.

The following two tabs change content below.
Brian Barry
Brian is a travel writer, photographer, blogger, travel addict and adventure junkie. Being outdoors, getting off the beaten track and outside his comfort zone is what makes him tick. Brian's the dreamer in the relationship; when he's not travelling, he's dreaming about it! Keeping fit, cooking, music and red wine take up the rest of his time.
SUBSCRIBE FOR OUR FREE EBOOK

Sign up for our free travel photography Ebook "Faces of Nepal" and you'll also receive our monthly newsletter.

Thank you for signing up! Check your inbox to verify your email address.

Oops! Please try again.

wanderingon37.6K followers☘ Irish Travel Couple - Brian & Noelle 🌍 Nomadic for 10+ years 🏞️ Hiking, Adventure & Inspiration ✈ Independent Travel 📍Edinburgh 👇🏻Travel Tips & Blog
8
307
\"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.\"⁠ — Nelson Mandela⁠ ⁠ \"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.\"⁠ — Martin Luther King Jr.⁠ ⁠ “Never look down on anybody unless you\'re helping him up.”⁠ — Jesse Jackson⁠ ⁠➳⁠ 📷 Views from the first floor of the Hagia Sophia Museum looking towards The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey 🇹🇷⁠ ➳⁠ We understand that being white and therefore, inherently privileged, we can never truly understand this struggle, however, we completely stand with the movement and the idea that all human beings everywhere in the world should be treated equally and have the same chances and opportunities in life.⁠ ⁠➳ Unfortunately, this isn\'t the case and the thought that someone can be treated differently simply because of the colour of their skin absolutely breaks our hearts.💔⁠ ⁠➳ In our privileged position, we need to learn about and educate ourselves about these issues in every way we can and do our best to change the views of those around us.⁠ ⁠➳ To quote another great changemaker, Mahatma Gandhi, you need to “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ⁠ It starts with you, to move in the world with love and respect for all.⁠ ❤️✨✌ #BlackLivesMatter⁠
8
539
“Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.” —Dr. Seuss » Brian standing in absolute awe at the El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza!🗿🇲🇽 » Built by the Mayans sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries, Chichen Itza is a huge complex of Mayan ruins located on the northern half of Mexico’s beautiful Yucatan Peninsula.🗿🇲🇽 The complex is an inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. » Built from limestone, El Castillo stands at a height of 30m including a 6m temple on top. Each of the pyramid\'s four sides has 91 steps up it, making 364 steps total, with the temple topping the pyramid considered an additional step totalling 365, each step representing a day in the calendar.📆 El Castillo is also known as the Temple of Kukulkan as it served as a temple to the Mayan feathered serpent god Kukulkan, or Quetzalcoatl.🐍 » We visited this time last year, however, the spring and autumn equinoxes are the best days to visit to see the “descent of Kukulkan\".🐍 » According to legend, twice a year when the day and night are in balance 🌗, the pyramid is visited by its namesake Kukulkan.🐍 Thanks to the crafty and mathematically brilliant architecture of the Mayans combined with the natural rotation of the Earth on the equinox, an amazing eerie image of a giant snake crawling down the temple is created. Kukulkan returns to earth to provide blessings for a full harvest and good health before bathing in the sacred waters below and continuing on his way to the underworld. » If you can\'t visit on either equinox, don\'t worry! The phenomenon is recreated nightly during the Light and Sounds Show at 7pm in winter and 8pm in summer. » We love doing things independently as much as we can when we travel. As Chichen Itza is located just a couple of hours drive away from Playa del Carmen (and Cancun) we rented a car and drove there ourselves so we didn\'t get to stay for the light show as we had to drive back.🚗 » What\'s your travel style? Are you a DIY person or do you prefer to go on an organised tour? Let us know in the comments below!💬👇 » #WanderingOn #LiveToTravel #Mexico #ChichenItza #SevenWondersOfTheWorld
7
341
“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.” — Kristen Butler » The sun sets over Edinburgh from Calton Hill, one of the seven hills of Edinburgh.🌆 » Set right in the city centre, Calton Hill is unmistakable with its unfinished Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline, giving Edinburgh it\'s nickname, the \"Athens of the North\". » It\'s a popular sunset spot as it\'s easily accessed - it only takes about five minutes to get to the top of the hill from two staircases on either side, or you can drive up and park - and it offers panoramic views down the length of Princes Street and of Edinburgh Castle.🏰 There are also great views of the coloured cliffs of the Salisbury Crags, Arthur\'s Seat, and the slopes of Holyrood Park.⛰️ » On the last night of April, up to 12,000 people take to Calton Hill for the Beltane Fire Festival, an ancient Celtic fertility festival. 🔥 Traditionally, Beltane was the start of the pastoral summer where animals were taken from their winter shelter to the fields and \"Beltane\" is the Gaelic word for May. » In Edinburgh\'s revivalist celebration of Beltane, three hundred or so voluntary performers from the Beltane Fire Festival Society celebrate the ending of the \'dreich\' (Scottish slang for dreary and bleak) Scottish winter and the hoped-for season of warmth and new growth with drumming, fire performance, revelry, and a ritualised procession around Calton Hill. 🔥 As well as the fiery displays, acrobatics, pulsating drums, and body-painted theatrics, the Beltane Fire Festival Society retell an immersive story for the crowd. » The revival of this festival started in 1988 as a free event but is now ticketed. There is also a Samhuinn (Samhain) Fire Festival on Halloween night which traditionally marked the beginning of winter in the Celtic calendar. 🎃 We hope to catch the Samhuinn Fire Festival festival later in the year! » Have been to any interesting cultural festivals? Let us know!💬👇 » #WanderingOn #LiveToTravel #EdinburghScotland #CaltonHill
[et_bloom_inline optin_id="optin_5"]
SUBSCRIBE FOR OUR FREE EBOOK

Sign up for our free travel photography Ebook "Faces of Nepal" and you'll also receive our monthly newsletter.

Thank you for signing up! Check your inbox to verify your email address.

Oops! Please try again.