Sri Lanka: Fond Memories

Ankur and I got married in November 2010 – it’s been four interesting years! God bless! While I am a die hard romantic, I ain’t going to bore you with stories that are spun in the mind of a sixteen year old – flowers, chocolates, candle lit dinners etc Well, I love all of this, but I love travelling more! Twelve months was enough time for Ankur to realise that I live to travel and to eat.

Food and travel...Touch wood!

Food and travel…Touch wood!

I fondly remember our first anniversary – Ankur asked me to pack our bags for a weekend trip to a small coastal town in Western India. Little did I know that he had a well planned surprise. Instead of turning towards the station, we went to the airport. Hmmm… maybe we are off to Pondicherry, I thought (another little town near Chennai that I had been wanting to visit). Nope – I was wrong; we drove past the domestic airport further to reach the international airport; that is when Ankur enlightened me …we were off to Sri Lanka. Yooohhooooo!!! Yippppeeeee dippeeeyyyyy doooooo dooooo…Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka... Here we come!

Sri Lanka… Here we come!

Considering that we were on a short trip of four days only, Ankur had planned our stay at two places – Kandy and Galle. Ankur had planned a series of activities, considering that I like to be ‘busy’ on a vacation. We ended up seeing a lot in a mere four days. While its been three years to the trip, I often think of it fondly. Here are some highlights of the trip:

Millennium Elephant Foundation

Bathing an elephant was never on my bucketlist. I did not know that I could do it! However, when I realised that I could do this at Millennium, it magically appeared on the list. I had to do it! So, I gave Laxmi (the gentle lady elephant) a ‘spa’ treatment with a ‘scrub’ et al. We both (Laxmi and I) had fun; Ankur’s fear of the four leggeds kept him outside the water, busy with the camera. Click here to read more on the Millennium Elephant Foundation.

Laxmi at the Millennium Elephant Foundation

Laxmi at the Millennium Elephant Foundation

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Standing in front of an elephant makes me feel dwarf. Imagine walking along with a few dozen of these gentle creatures? We reached the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in the morning, in time to watch a herd comprising of over 75 elephants walk to the Maha Oya river for their morning bath. We walked for about 250 -300 meters with the herd – it was an overwhelming experience, which made me feel so puny.

Elephants frolicking in water at the Maha Oya river

Elephants frolicking in water at the Maha Oya river

Peradinya Botanical Gardens

Did I mention that flowers are a must have on any anniversary or birthday – such is my belief? I am sure that I mentioned this to Ankur a thousand times. So, Ankur decided to take me to a place where there were over a thousand flowers – the Peradinya Botanical Garden. The gardens were huge approximately 70 hectares of landscaped greenery and housed over 4000 species of plants! My favourite place was a smallish room full of potted orchids – I had never seen such a vast variety of orchids!

Peradinya Gardens

Peradinya Gardens

Tea Gardens at Kandy

Ankur is a coffee person and I am a tea person. Regardless of what our ‘poison’ is, we both enjoy lush green plantations – tea plantations of coffee plantations – both are awesome! We spent half a day running through lush green slopes of tea plantations around Kandy; we were not the lead star cast in any Bolloywood movie, but there was no harm pretending to be so! Besides aimless wandering, I enjoyed some tea tasting and my favourite sport – shopping. The tea that I picked up was so expensive (over USD 50 for 100 gm) that I still haven’t been able to consume it!

Posing silly in the tea gardens around Kandy

Posing silly in the tea gardens around Kandy

Galle Fort

History and I go hand in hand. Ankur wanted to hold hands and thus ensured that we spent a day in the historic city of Galle. We spent the day wandering around the walls of Galle Fort, marvelling at the fact that the walls, which are made of naturally occurring materials, including shell, sand were able to withstand the Tsunami of 2005. While history kept me entertained in this UNESCO protected site, the waves of the blue sea kept Ankur happy.

Strong construction of the Galle Fort

Strong construction of the Galle Fort

Time flies… fours days flew by and we were back to the hum drum of work! Time flies and next week, it would be three years to this trip and four years to the day that we got married. I guess maybe it is time to plan another trip to Sri Lanka to relive the special days!

Life is all about building a treasure chest of smiles and memories!

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Galle – Something for everyone!
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens: Snapshot
Kegalle: Millennium Elephant Foundation

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