Importance Of Transport In Sri Lanka

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KANDY TO ELLA: AN ENCHANTING JOURNEY THROUGH TIME “I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of: for this moment I know where I am going.” ― Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall The year 2009 marked the end of a bloody civil war in Sri Lanka that spanned over 25 years. Since the guns have been silenced and an attempt to restore long-term peace to the country has been prioritised, a resurgence in Sri Lanka as a tourist destination has been massively evident. In 2012, it was named as the best valued destination for holidays and tourism in 2014 exceeded 1.5 million. Legendary 13th century explorer, Marco Polo, on his arrival…show more content…
Having heard a little about the beauty (and affordability) of the railways in Sri Lanka, I decided it was the only way to go! Sri Lanka Railways (formerly known as Ceylon Government Railway) invokes all the kind of nostalgia that I find synonymous with trains themselves. The railway system, built by the British in 1864 to transport tea and coffee from hill country to the cities and towns, still looks and feels like something straight out of the colonial ‘steam’ era. Even the trains, diesel locomotives with words like “Observation Saloon” written on the windows, teak furniture and vintage roof fans take you right back to the early…show more content…
The sound of hawkers selling their fare at every train window permeate your ears and the smell of freshly fried poppadum’s, curry and rice, and a variety of “short eats” (snacks) infiltrate the air. My favourite sample of the ‘padkos’ en-route was undoubtedly the shrimp vadai (fritter) purchased from a vendor through the train window wrapped in a page of a child’s old schoolwork. The ascent into Hill Country is truly something special. The forests become denser, the tracks more curvy and the tea plantations more regular. On arrival in Ella, the nostalgia becomes even more palpable. The small mountain town, some 1000m above sea level, famous for its spectacular views, is like something out of a history book. The quaint street stalls, vendors and highland roads ensure that one makes a plan to stay longer than anticipated! As we arrive in Ella and the bustle of disembarking passengers awakens me from my dream state, I realise I am filled with nothing but gratitude for the opportunity of having been able to experience the magic of this truly magnificent experience. I exit the train with fond memories of the colourful scenery, the quaint station stops, the cheerful vendors and their delicious fares and the clickety-clack of the diesel

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