Ah! sweet. By the time Kandy was done with me, it was the night of my ninth day in Sri Lanka, which meant the day after tomorrow was the flight day, back home to Bangalore. I was attracted to Kandy for its stunning beauty. Getting out of my room, I went in search of a restaurant for my dinner, cool breeze on my face. I looked to my right, the giant Buddha overlooking Kandy, it protected Kandy the locals said. I had to leave early in the morning, and I missed Kandy already; and I wished I could take Kandy with me.
Wait. If you think I am talking about the city of Kandy, you are right. Kandy is a compact city, with most distractions, I mean attractions within few miles. When I got to Kandy, the bus station rolled into the bus station, is the first time I had a glimpse of the city surrounded by the hills. The Kandy bus station, and the train station is next to each other. Next to it is the Bogambara cricket stadium. The stadium had hills surrounding it. Despite the nice views, the locals complain that the cricket stadiums are unused, and no international cricket matches happen.
Then I met this tuk tuk driver who offered to take me where I wanted to go. He did not know where Clock Inn Kandy was. We asked several people for Hill Road, then he drove around the Kandy prison. Even the prison was scenic. It was built in 1876, offering prisoners scenic views of the hills above the walls, and had a calming effect on death row prisoners walking to the gallows. I am kidding, no jokes about death. The British built the prison to house the political prisoners, freedom fighters of Sri Lanka.
He asked for directions while I shouted directions at him looking at Google Maps. He drove me past the Temple of the Tooth, took a turn towards the Asgiriya cricket stadium.
‘Look, we have to turn back, and take the Hill View road. There is the Clock Inn’, I told him.
‘I cannot go any further. You have to find it yourself.’
I got off his tuk tuk, but I did not complain, the hostel was a few meters away by Google Map. The cricket stadium was nice, there were school kids playing a game of cricket. I wished I could go to watch the game, but it was already late in the afternoon. So I walked to the hostel for my room.
After lunch at a restaurant that is not on Google Maps, I came back to my hotel room briefly. The receptionist suggested the attendance at the Kandyan dance. I headed out for a walk towards the Kandyan Art Association to watch the Kandyan dance. After the dance, I had a King Coconut while taking in the view of the lake. The time was 6:30 PM, the Temple of the Tooth was all lit.
Kandy is the only place in Sri Lanka where you find historically and culturally important sites, has a cool weather, and a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch, English, and local culture. I went back to the hostel after visiting the temple. Two Irish travelers were at the reception desk who invited me to dinner and beer with them. After visiting places that was hot, beer was a welcome drink.
If you want to find some beer in Kandy, walk to Cargill’s food city, find the door at the side to go to the basement. You can find Lion beer on the cheap. We stocked up on the beer, packed some dinner at a restaurant I cannot find on Google Map, came back to the hostel.
I forgot the names of the Irish guys now, but one of them was interning as a doctor in Eastern coast of Sri Lanka, and his friend, a Skyscanner representative back in the UK came to visit him on a vacation. The intern doctors German friend had an interesting story. She learnt English in Sri Lanka where she lived for the past three years. She had a Sri Lankan accent which I thought was cool. Then there were the two Finnish-German travelers who were going to Ella the next day. Then there was travel blogger Sneha, who had quit her IT job and was traveling in Sri Lanka.
I woke up early the next day, and took a trip to Nuwara Eliya where I stayed only for 90 minutes. Reaching Kandy at dinner time, I went back to the hostel briefly. The people I met the previous day had gone, and I had to find dinner by myself. Walking to the restaurant, I looked at the giant Buddha, maybe he would like to have beer with me. India was playing the West Indies in the 2016 T20 cricket World cup finals. I missed most of the action, but I caught the winning runs at a restaurant. The restaurant was about to close service, but I requested them to keep the service open for me. The patrons who came for dinner were glued to the television watching the cricket game.
The dinner was delicious, the captain of the West Indies gave a nice speech criticizing the West Indian cricket board for neglecting the team throughout. The bold speech of the captain would drop anyone’s jaw. When I came back to the hostel there was Sneha at work on her computer. She had planned to go try the home stays in the woods. ‘My next stop is Galle’, I informed her. ‘I suggest you book the Levitent. I was there. They are nice people’, Sneha said. Off course, about that I would find out. We wished each other luck. The next day I would travel to Galle.