A Travellerspoint blog

On the road again.

sunny 35 °C
View Sri Lankan shindizzle on goldenmaverick's travel map.

Last night in Kandy. We took a good look around the city during the day and then we dined in the equivalent of an Indian McDonald's -full on veggie food- we spent about 1200 rupees on the whole lot. That's about the price of a main course in the first place place we stayed in Negombo. I have to say that the food here is just savage. The Sri Lankan curries are bloody lovely, the fruit is bloody lovely too. Pineapples, bananas, mangoes, watermelon, papaya - fruit that you'd spend 20 euro on back home can be picked up for less than one tenth of that price and comes minus all the air miles.

Apparently you shouldn't visit Kandy without visiting Helgas Folly - a hotel in the hills just above Kandy City. We took a walk to it last night and we would have turned back only that a staff member showed us the way. The hotel is owned by the daughter of a famous Sri Lankan politician and diplomat from yesteryear- Frederick de Silva. Helga - the owner - is now in her seventies and has taken up permanent residence upstairs in the hotel. The hotel is the old family residence and the walls are adorned with pictures and cuttings of the extended family including Helgas own children. Her daughter is Isabella Blow a socialite who now lives in London and who's been known to rub shoulders with the likes of Alexander McQueen. Her aunt was the famous architect, Minette de Silva, who would have been a student of Le Corbusier and she was also Sri Lankas first female architect. The hotel is like one big trip. I'd highly recommend you swing by if you're ever in Kandy.

Today we took the more upmarket air conditioned bus to Anuradhapura. We were treated to lots of Sri Lankan music videos over the course of the three and a half hour journey. There appear to be two basic storylines on which all of them were based.

1. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl spurns boy. Boy kills himself. The End.
2. Boy/girl is ill in hospital. Lots of people cry. Boy/girl dies. The End.

It's pretty depressing stuff for a nation of people who are so friendly. Then I remembered that the guy who showed us the way to Helgas Folly also mentioned that Sri Lanka has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. You obviously only need to scratch the surface a little to see another side to all countries. Thankfully a man got on halfway through the bus journey who blocked my view of the screen. Otherwise I was in danger of replicating the fate of many of the young men in the videos.

One very interesting aspect of Sri Lanka which I've failed to mention this far is the driving. If one were to apply Irish standards to Sri Lankan drivers most would have amassed the maximum 12 points within five minutes of getting into their vehicle. Overtaking another overtaking vehicle is par for the course over here. The drivers horn is used like snuff at a wake. Their hands appear to be on the horn more than the steering wheel. But if you asked me if I felt safe I'm not sure how I'd respond. Their haphazard approach to driving is conducted with good nature and I've only seen one minor accident In the last week. At least they don't drive on the pavement like in Cambodia but I think that's only because there is no pavement to drive on here. Things like junctions and signposts appear to be token efforts to show that there are some kind of rules in operation. The one exception is pedestrian crossings - they'll all stop to let you cross there.

The hotel we're in tonight is a bit of a ghost hotel. We're checking out in the morning and moving next door for some action. We'll go and see some temples tomorrow but it's bloody hot - 35 degrees - so we'll see how that goes.

Posted by goldenmaverick 08:50 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged folly kandy anuradhapura helga's

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35 degree heat sounds like torture I hope there's AC in all the rooms.

did you explain Slophouse? Ill need to go and look that up.

Your next post better be about torture or Tamil tigers or something or I'm going to complain.

by Muulllyyyyy

a female whos excessive drinking results in absolutely no control over her body or gentleman she will engage in sexual relations with at any given time

They get a house named after them??

by mullo

Lol. That should read shophouses not slop house.

by goldenmaverick


I thought that took a wrong turn alright. Carry on

by mully

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