Sri Lanka is a country that we visited in April 2010. A year prior, we had a transit stop in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, when we were flying to the Maldives. Something about the country’s history and novelty captivated us, and just a year later, we returned to Sri Lanka, dedicating three weeks to exploring and getting to know this fascinating destination.
Lena took care of the flight arrangements, accommodations, and transportation throughout the country. A couple of months before our departure, she organized an unforgettable journey for us through this beautiful country. In 21 days, we crossed almost the entire country, except for the northwest, which we saved for a future trip. During this time, we stayed in 8 different hotels.
We arrived in the capital city of Colombo in the morning. It took us at least three hours to reach the hotel. We were tired after the flight. Our daughter fell asleep on the way from the airport. We stayed at an interesting colonial-style hotel.
According to the locals, Colombo is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with approximately 1,500 people per square kilometer.
In Colombo, we noticed the intense traffic but without aggression. Perhaps the mild climate has an influence. We took rides on the local “tuk-tuks,” which are motorized rickshaws. We were surprised to see military patrols and checkpoints on bridges, highways, and near government institutions. We learned that the peace across the country has been in effect since 2009. While walking around the area near our hotel, we got a bit lost. We approached an armed military patrol and asked for directions. The soldiers were very polite and kindly guided us.
We were struck by the immense waves of the Indian Ocean, and together with our daughter, we mustered the courage to jump in and experience them firsthand while holding tightly onto each other. We quickly realized that these waves were no joke, as they were several times more powerful than the waves of the Black Sea.
The journey across the entire island from south to northeast remains vivid in our memories. Sri Lanka is a country with a rich history and numerous ancient landmarks. According to legend, in ancient times when there was still a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka, it was here that Buddha received his enlightenment from above. The country is home to a large number of Buddhist temples. The unofficial cultural and religious capital is the city of Kandy.
The oldest religious site can be considered the monastery carved into the rock caves, known as the “Golden Temple,” which dates back a couple of thousand years before the birth of Christ.
In this monastery, you can see 152 statues of Buddha in different sizes and poses. Among them, there is also a statue of the future messiah, whose coming has been predicted by Buddhists for a long time (the last photo in the gallery).
We also visited a tea plantation and factory in Sri Lanka. In the past, when this island was still called Ceylon, the most popular and expensive tea was Ceylon tea.
Indeed, Sri Lanka is a fascinating and beautiful country.
Spending a week on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka was memorable. The pristine sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean, the vibrant marine life, the flavorful local cuisine, the friendly locals, and the opportunity for our son Nikita to learn and experience diving with an instructor and obtain a diving license must have made it a truly special time.
We enjoyed our trip to Sri Lanka. It’s possible that we will return to this country someday, especially considering that we haven’t explored the West Coast of Sri Lanka yet. I think it’s worth it.