Kandy: Sri Lanka with a toddler
It has been a long time since I wrote my last post on our Sri Lanka. It’s because I had to wait until we could make our little announcement!!!
So last time I wrote about our stay in Unawatuna. From there, we hired a car and driver to take us back to Colombo and from there we took the train onto Kandy.
The weather had began to turn in Unawatuna and it continued to get worse throughout the rest of our trip! Very unusual for that time of year apparently! Everyone we spoke to apologised for the weather and was disappointed for us that we weren’t seeing Sri Lanka at it’s best.
It was a shame that the weather wasn’t good for the train journey because we travelled through some amazing mountains with some incredible views. However, a lot of our views were obscured due to fog and heavy rain clouds. It was still pretty amazing going up through the mountains though!
While we had been in Colombo we booked our train tickets (a top tip as tickets sell like hot cakes). It was really so cheap for the train. We booked 1st class tickets and I think we paid £5 for us both….pretty amazing for a 3 hour journey!!!
We arrived in Kandy in the pouring rain, very dramatic! Annoyingly, we thought we had the address for our hotel (learning from our mistake in Colombo) turns out we didn’t!!! The hotel we stayed in is very new and no one knew where it is! Luckily we managed to get it sorted after not too long and soon we arrived.
Our hotel was the amazing Secret Hotel. Our special treat since we were staying there for Christmas and Mark’s 30th birthday!
It was tiny with only 5 rooms but it was gorgeous!! What really made this place special though was the AMAZING staff who were so friendly and couldn’t do enough for us.
The food was incredible too.
Unfortunately pregnancy symptoms were beginning to set in and I had no appetite for a lot of our stay. Such a shame but Arthur and Mark definitely made the most of it!
So what did we get up to while we were in Kandy?
We visited the very famous temple of the tooth. According to legend, one of the Buddah’s teeth is there. It is a truly spiritual and important religious place for Buddhists world over.
Like other Buddhist temples we had seen, the temple of the tooth was very ornate. This place though was on a whole other level. It was absolutely massive. There were so many people lined up to give offerings, mostly flowers and food.
The grounds of the temple were huge and it was such a shame that the weather was bad because they looked like they would be so lovely to walk around. There are many museums within the grounds. One dedicated entirely to a famous temple elephant, I didn’t want to go there because the elephant was there stuffed. It didn’t appeal!
We visited the big shopping centre. Coming from Seychelles, this was pretty exciting!! It was huge, there wasn’t loads of international stores but there was a mothercare which we were very happy to visit!!
It was here we picked up a pregnancy test and found out our amazing news later that day!!
We hired a Tuk Tuk and driver for the day and went out to see the elephant orphanage. On the way mark and Arthur fed bananas to wild monkeys!
There are actually two elephant places close to each other.
One is called Millenium, honestly we didn’t love it there that much. It is set up mainly to give tourists elephant rides which we didn’t want to do. The elephants there are all rescued from places where they had been working for a long time, I have to say that they all did look very healthy and well fed, and I do think the life they have there is better than the life they had before. However, I didn’t like that they spent their days giving tourists rides up and down…..just wasn’t for us!
The second place we went to is much bigger, the elephant orphanage. When we arrived the elephants were down in the river. This was truly amazing to see, they looked so happy! Arthur absolutely loved watching them, he was amazed!! We watched from the restaurant balcony of a hotel, great shelter from the rain!
We watched the staff round them up, quite a task I can assure you and they all marched back up to the orphanage. We followed shortly after. This place has had a bad reputation in recent times, but from what we read it is improving there. It looked quite like a zoo, but just for elephants! There were places you could pay to feed the elephant or give milk to the babies….again this wasn’t for us! There was a big area at the back where elephants were out and about, closely watched by the staff of course. It was quite something to get so close.
From there we were taken to a Spice Garden. It was free entry and interesting to walk around but the guy was ALL about the hard sale of his products. We kind of felt like we had to buy something so we ended up with some natural mosquito repellent balm. Actually pretty useful for us here!
Christmas Eve there was a big special dinner at the hotel. I was so upset because all I could eat was the soup, Mark reliably informed me it was amazing though!!
We got dressed up for the occasion though which was nice to do! Arthur looked so cute dressed up in a shirt for the first time!
On Christmas day (wow that makes it feel so long ago, how are we almost in March already!?) there was a little break in the rain that morning so we went for a family walk with the intention of going round the lake in the middle of Kandy. Unfortunately the rain soon returned and put a stop to that!!
We went back to our hotel and had a bit of a quiet rest of the day. Skyped our parents watched a movie. Opened the presents we had for Arthur. It was really lovely.
We took a Tuk Tuk up to the big Buddah in the hill.
A nice view from up there and it’s a pretty impressive thing to look at!
The next day was Marks 30th birthday!!!! I had arranged his birthday present back home in Seychelles (a Nespresso machine he’s wanted for ages!)
We got our Tuk Tuk driver from our day trip to take us to a few more sites. He took us to this one place, a bit of a viewpoint called ‘Arthur’s Seat’ which was pretty cool! He didn’t know why it was called that but we liked it!
We also went to the botanical gardens which were so pretty!! I would definitely recommend a trip there! There was a lot of rare plants and trees from around the world. Including the very rare coco de mer tree which comes from our island Praslin!
It was then time to leave Kandy which was sad, we had a lovely time there! Finding out we were having another baby there too means that Kandy will always be extra special to us!!
Arthur continued to be amazing throughout this part of our Sri Lanka trip, he had a lovely time in all the different places we visited! Again the pushchair was totally useless so it was all about the Moby wrap!
Our next, and final stop on our Sri Lanka trip was Sigyria! Stay tuned for my post on that!