Sri Lanka: Wrap Up & Highlights

So now comes the time in the trip where we split, where D goes back to Canada and I make a stopover in Europe to see some sights and catch up with a few old friends.  As always, there’s more things that could be seen here.  We got a pretty big scratch in the surface, but lots more underneath.  Hopefully, one day, a return to Adam’s Peak during pilgrimage season takes place.  Likely, a few years down the road.

Again, this country was never on our radar before we caught it on Departures, and I’d say that’s probably true of most Canadians, considering we met all of one while we were over here.  It really should be on your list, though, because it has just about anything any traveler could want.  All you have to do is head to the right place.

So as the trip comes to a close this time, I thought I’d try something a little different.

I’ve typically done wrap-up posts from home which read “Wow, this was awesome, what a surprise….” etc, etc, etc.  I thought, this time, I’d try to get a bit more specific about favourite sights, eats and stays, in case somebody stumbles across this and wants some direct linkage.

Kirk’s Top 5 Memories

  1. Being led up to see Lover’s Leap waterfall by three adorable kids while talking WWE, after an insane time trying to get to and find our place in Nuwara Eliya.
  2. First sight of Sigiriya‘s giant rock, and the ensuing climb.
  3. The carvings and temples of Polonnaruwa.
  4. Getting a seat and looking out the window on the train ride from Nanu Oya to Hatton.
  5. Seeing the edge of Mini World’s End and the actual World’s End in Horton Plains National Park.

Daina’s Top 5 Memories

  1. Swimming in the ocean at Uppuveli and Arugam Bay
  2. Exploring the cave temples at Dambulla.
  3. Seeing the insanity and awesomeness of Helga’s Folly in Kandy.
  4. Successfully hiking to Adam’s Peak, in spite of the rain and fantastic number of steps.
  5. Taking pictures and watching temple pilgrims in places like Trincomalee, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
Best Stays
  1. Andorra Tourist Rest in Anuradhapura.
  2. Luxman Guest House in Polonnaruwa.
  3. Slightly Chilled Guest House in Dalhousie.
  4. Breeze of Paradise in Colombo/Nugegoda.

Top 5 Eats

  1. My Burger in Dambulla – Great burgers and Indian food that was way better than it should have been, considering the location.
  2. Sri Lankan curry buffet at Slightly Chilled Guest House in Dalhousie.
  3. Stay Golden in Arugam Bay – Delicious food, really delicious iced tea and iced coffee!
  4. Dream Cafe in Ella – Wonderful atmosphere and equally wonderful food.
  5. Olde Empire in Kandy – Describes themselves as “for foodies”, and while the portions aren’t huge and the prices are a bit high, you feel like it’s worth it.
This is a country that’s hard to distill into a sentence.  There’s so much diversity in such a small space, it’s impossible not to find something you’re going to like.  And, as our last guesthouse told us, tourism here is growing quite quickly, so if you want to get in before everybody else does, now is the time.  
Europe and Asia seem to have figured it out!  Get on it, Canadians!

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