Sri Lanka over the past few years has invested in its infrastructure to make a visit more comfortable, but does not detract away from the culture and the pure majesty of its even older name, Serendip derived from the word serendipity (to come across unexpected beauty).
Having lived in Sri Lanka for many years and visited often, it is a country that I could never fall out of love with. From the beaches of the south with the quintessential palm trees draped across white sandy beaches, the lure of the mountains and the city of Kandy, spectacular in its self but which is so magically transformed during the festival of Perahera around August each year.
The people are always helpful, considerate and kind, the hotels charming and the food a delight. I love the roads up into the mountains on an early morning, as the mists rise from the roads and forests around you. The scene is quiet and magical. Your arrival to Kandy, in the mountains, opens to a bustling city around a mountain lake.
Further into the mountains the next day, as I like to spend a night or two in Kandy, takes you higher into the tea plantations around Nuwara Elyia ( little England ) offering a cooler temperate climate with some of the most breath taking views. Speak with the tea pickers, using a combination of smiles and hastily thought out signing and like me, you might find a tea picker basket hoisted on to your head. This was to the delight for the tea pickers who had a good old laugh at my tea picking skills or lack thereof and I had a charming time.
Sri Lanka lives up to its past, and its original name…. ‘a land within which to stumble upon unexpected beauty’.