Say hello to Lauren, a Rowan Psychology graduate just like me! I did not see Lauren since our large orientation in KL in January. Needless to say I missed her and was excited to travel with her.
We began our journey in a beach town called Hikkaduwa. I managed to not take a single picture until we decided to go to a turtle sanctuary.
We spent a day in Galle, a town with an old Dutch fort with cool stores inside.
Not Dairy Queen, but Dairy King. As the name suggests, the store sells tons of homemade ice creams. I tried ginger ice cream which was creamier than I thought it would be. Way to go Dairy King!
We went back to Hikkaduwa to take a train to the central city of Kandy. Yup. Kandy. You read right. The train ride from Hikkaduwa to Kandy is the most beautiful ride I’ve experienced. We went from beach, to jungle, to town, to jungle, etc. From the window it looked like the water was going to splash right onto our laps.
Kandy was our favorite place by far. The city has a relaxed vibe despite all of the things you can do there. Lauren and I enjoyed walking around aimlessly.
The attraction we actually paid to get into was the Botanical Garden.
From here we traveled more north to Sigiriya. Sigiriya is also a World UNESCO heritage site and has really cool story behind it. This short passage from Wikipedia can do all of the explaining for me.
“The Culavamsa describes King Kashyapa as the son of King Dhatusena. Kashyapa murdered his father by walling him up alive and then usurping the throne which rightfully belonged to his brother Mogallana, Dhatusena’s son by the true queen. Mogallana fled to India to escape being assassinated by Kashyapa but vowed revenge. In India he raised an army with the intention of returning and retaking the throne of Sri Lanka which he considered to be rightfully his. Knowing the inevitable return of Mogallana, Kashyapa is said to have built his palace on the summit of Sigiriya as a fortress and pleasure palace. Mogallana finally arrived and declared war. During the battle Kashyapa’s armies abandoned him and he committed suicide by falling on his sword.”
So, here is the infamous rock where his palace was built.
And here are the fly ladies I explored it with. From left to right : Ivanka, Tharika, me and Lauren. Lauren and I met these girls through Lauren’s Sri Lankan friend in the U.S. Ivanka is actually Tharika’s friend from Dubai.
And we ascend!
Frescoes line a few of the walls in the palace.
On our last day we explored the temples in Colombo, the capital.
I saved the best for last. FOOD!
My first pure avocado juice.
Wattalappam- a dessert made from coconut milk and other stuff. It had the texture of a thick flan. I don’t like flan but I liked this!
String hoppers- thin rice noodles made for dipping into stuff.
Vegetable kottu-finely chopped roti (bread) with vegetables, but really you can order this with chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, etc.
Buffalo milk yogurt with treacle/molasses.
This is a woodapple (?), whatever that means. We didn’t try it because we were immediately put off by the smell.
No shortage of rice on this trip! That plate was a serving of rice for two… really like 4, but whatever.
Starting from the red stuff in the left corner and going clockwise we have: a salad, dhall (lentils), vegetables, spicy shredded coconut and some garlic/potato stuff all sitting on a bed of rice. The best has yet to come.
This was the best meal by far.
Starting from the green stuff in the front and going clockwise we have: vegetables, jackfruit curry, a salted fish, spicy eggplant, mango curry, dhall and chicken. I’m still dreaming about this meal, specifically the mango curry. It was spicy and sweet. I have no idea how they make all these flavors work, but they do. If spicy food isn’t your thing, you may not want to come to Sri Lanka because just about everything is spicy. I was so moved by all of the flavors that I went to a grocery store to buy spices and looked up recipes for mango curry (#dedication/#devotion). As soon as I make something I will post a picture.
Until then, you will have to stay tuned for details on my stay in the airport and my baked goods =)