The ten-hour train journey from Ella to Colombo, via Kandy, is extraordinary. From our train window we enjoyed the incredible diversity of the Sri Lankan landscape and people. Having begun high up in the green tea plantations of the hill country, we passed rail-side cricket matches, busy Tuk Tuk traffic at level-crossings, elaborately decorated temples and shrines of various religions, and sprawling rice fields. We stopped everywhere from tiny hamlets of shack-dwelling tea pickers, to the busy, contrasting cities of Kandy and Colombo. Even the weather changed, from bright blue sky, to thick grey mizzle, to an impressive pink and purple sunset.
We were joined on the journey by drum players, smartly dressed railway staff and vendors selling peanuts, popcorn, curries, lottery tickets, samosas, and most importantly mangoes!
Having already discovered that Sri Lankan mangoes are the best fruits in the world, I couldn’t resist to buy one from the on-board mango vendor! Of course, it was as delicious as expected and I only wish that trains at home offered mangoes on the move.
While winding through the Sri Lankan hillside we also discovered Sri Lankan samosas…
Anna particularly enjoyed them, claiming that they were her favourite thing she had eaten in Sri Lanka. When the samosa salesman came round for the third time, we couldn’t resist buying another bag, that’s when we discovered that six samosas were five too many…
To quote Anna: ‘Please never say the word samosa ever again!’
The Ella to Kandy train certainly earns its place on the ‘things to do in Sri Lanka’ list. It was such a highlight that James and I are already planning our next trip.