A train journey into a time warp
A Train Journey Into a Time Warp. To take the train journey in Sri Lanka is to savour a sip from the wine of bygone era; to pass through small lonely stations with the station master never far away from a wave and a smile!
To take the train journey in Sri Lanka is to savour a sip from the wine of bygone era; to pass through small lonely stations with the station master never far away from a wave and a smile!
We were asked if we wanted to take the road or the rail. We decided on the latter for the trip from Colombo to Kandy and beyond to Nuwara Eliya, the colonial town. The decision to take the train was prompted so that we could steal a few winks.
Within minutes of the train leaving Colombo the relaxing hues of green and the wide variety of flora along the route not only relaxed our frayed nerves but the dreary eyes lit up wide open.
Passing by hills, waterfalls, large blooms, wild flowers, cottages, tiled houses, mountain mist and quaint railway stations welcoming you with bountiful flowers along the platform transported us to childhood days and Ruskin Bond’s stories.
The rails criss-cross the hills and pass through long stretches of tea plantations and at times through tunnels. Then a hamlet emerges with slanted roofed houses with a bed of flowers in the courtyard and a trellis. Even as one soaks in the colonial styled homes comes another tunnel it was as if a game of hide and seek was played.
Just as one got used to the blanket of green tea gardens, comes a stream flowing ever so majestically from the hills.
There is never a dull moment on the train journey as every now and then a small railway station props up. Decked with flower beds along the platform and flower pots hanging at strategic points in complete harmony with nature without interfering with the hills and the valley.
The trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya by bus has its own charm. Bungalows built during the colonial times, government offices housed in colonial architecture such as the post office in the middle of town and long meandering roads with pine trees on both sides and wild flowers in every possible colour adorn the pathways.
The train was late by an hour on the return journey from Nanu Ooya but no one was complaining. Did I steal a few winks? Sleep was the last thing on my mind. If I blinked I feared I would miss the next wonder. The decision to take the train was after all the best one ever I took for a long time.