Blogs from Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Asia

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya March 10th 2019

We left Kandy on Sunday morning and the traffic wasn’t too bad thankfully. We were driving to Nuwara Eliya (set at an altitude of 1900 meters) which is in the centre of Sri Lank’s renowned tea plantations. Once referred to as ‘Little England’ it was the favoured cool weather destination of the early British settlers. The road twisted and turned through very pretty countryside and we were soon surrounded by vibrant green tea plantations rising above us. Through the plantations were narrow stone steps used by the tea pickers. Lots of stops to admire the view and a great tour of the Blue Leaf Tea Factory. We’ve visited tea plantations in other parts of the world but the young man we had as guide on this tour was great - very enthusiastic and informative. Unfortunately there ... read more
Cooking hopper in the women’s kitchen
Egg hoppers
Eggs, cinnamon and coconut for sale at local market in Nuwara Eliya

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya September 2nd 2018

Last day at work and we drove back to the centre. Although it was Saturday there were some children in the tiny little school Anton had pointed out the day before. We parked up and I asked him to walk back down with me and ask the teacher if I could say hello. In fact, the teacher spoke very good English and the students understood me perfectly. It was the poorest school I’ve ever been in, one room, basic wooden benches and tables. The teacher, who’s been there 4 years, was very happy for me to go in and ask a few questions. The students were 16 and studying history, of the British period in Sri Lanka. Very sorry about that, I said, and they all laughed. They were giggly and excited I’d gone in and ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya August 31st 2018

Yesterday was a travel day, with the possibility of some sightseeing along the way, the route being Kurunegal-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya, about 5 hours of driving as well as whatever stops we made. I had some places on my wish list, but we weren‘t going to have loads of time if we wanted to arrive at a reasonable time. At no point along the route would it be described as easy driving. It was not for the faint hearted, anyone prone to carsickness or with a weak sphincter. I did my best to look relaxed and not hyperventilate or clutch the door handle. It was busy all the way and the last part was a long climb up with hairpin bends. The first stop was Kandy. I managed to finally persuade Anton I didn’t want to actually go ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya August 21st 2018

Today we learnt that our Mr Fixer had not managed to fix us some reserved train tickets to Elle. Mr Fixer is just like the fella in the Grand Marigold Hotel! Instead of the train, he suggested a taxi all the way to Uduwalawale - but the train still could be an option if we wanted to go to the station an hour before the train leaves tomorrow and get unreserved second or third class tickets (gulp). At this point, as you can imagine, I was less than convinced but a) dad needed to be certain that there were no seats left and b) that we could just rock up and get on - so we hopped on a tuktuk and off we went to the station. What d'you know ? No tickets but yes we ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya August 20th 2018

It was raining and quite cold so we decided there was no point in trying to get to viewpoints ! So we thought we'd check out the Grand Hotel for coffee. So a quick walk around Victoria Park, via a new shopping complex, with a "factory shop" and then back in time to the colonial days at the Grand Hotel. It was warm, comfy and made a decent latte coffee - so all good. There were quite a few good looking restaurants in the complex so decided to go for the Thai option later. After a quick lunch, Victoria Park gardens looked a good bet for a leisurely stroll. Of course we were picked up by " the head gardener" Tony who proceeded to show us all the plants, Latin names and all, and was amazingly ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya August 19th 2018

Off on the next leg of our journey, departing Kandy by car with driver to head up another 4000 feet into the tea country. Stopped at a Herb & Spice farm on the way and learned all about most of the common bottles in our cupboard at home. Excellent guided tour but were a little suspicious about the products on sale at the end so bought nothing. Next stop was a tea plantation; by now rain had started so a short tour around the factory, a quickly sample of four different types of tea, bought some leaves to bring home and then on up into the clouds to Nuwara Eliya. Lots of waterfalls on the way suggested that there has been a lot of rain here recently and none too warm either - arrived in 13c ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya August 15th 2018

R: Next day was train day. We took one last opportunity to go up on the roof of our hotel to marvel at the impressive view that Hotel Topaz had to offer and then we were off. We headed to Peradeniya Junction, a pretty station in amongst a chaotic car park close to Kandy. We left so much time for the traffic chaos that is Kandy but sailed through, meaning we had extra time to experience the very small, but pretty station that was Peradeniya. Train travel is still very much a popular method of travel here, as we could see from the trains passing that were packed to the rafters with Sri Lankans heading in different directions, though this could have been increased by the impending religious festival about to start in Kandy. The station ... read more
Peradeniya Station
Everyone loves a photo opportunity
Which way to go?

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya April 30th 2018

A day to explore Nuwara Eliya. By the time we finish breakfast it’s 9 am and a blissfully cool 20 degrees. We walk to the tea plantation at the end of the road; Pedro. They have been producing tea here since 1885. We are spotted by two dogs, who decide to accompany us. We take a guided tour of the tea factory. There’s no production taking place because it’s a full moon, but we are shown the process, finishing with a cup of homegrown tea. We continue to Lovers Leap waterfall. We take a wrong turn (thanks to Google Maps) so it is a longer, significantly steeper walk than it should be. But it is a Sri Lankan holiday so we meet some very friendly locals along the way. In the afternoon we take a Tuk ... read more
Walking the dogs
Pedro Tea Plantation
Pedro Tea Plantation

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya April 29th 2018

One last adventure before we begin our journey home is a train trip to the Hill Country. It consists of a 6 hour journey and a 13 degree difference in temperature. We go to the station for our 9.45 train. The rolling stock looks like it belongs in a museum. However, at 9.46 a whistle blows, and we’re off. One minute behind schedule – how often can Southern Rail manage that? We have tickets in Observation Class, which is supposed to offer a good view, but the seats are facing backwards, so looking out of the window for too long makes me dizzy. Once out of Colombo we start to climb, a total of 1889 metres in total. The scenery is stunning but the journey is like something from a nightmare. We are crammed into a ... read more
Colombo Fort Station
Leaving Colombo
Train to Nanu Oya

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya September 12th 2017

Day 9: Tuesday 12 September - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya We left fascinating Kandy behind us and drove to Nuwara Eliya, the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka. In earlier times, Nuwara Eliya (meaning ‘City of Light’) was the favoured cool-climate escape for the hard-working and hard-drinking English and Scottish pioneers of Sri Lanka’s tea industry. While most British visitors struggle to recognise modern England in Nuwara Eliya, the toy-town ambience does have a rose-tinted English country village feel to it. Situated at 2,000m above sea level, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill station of Sri Lanka and is known for its excellent tea production due to the cool climate which creates tea with a unique flavour. Enroute we visited a tea plantation and tea factory and learnt what makes tea grown here some of the best ... read more
Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya (1)
Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya (2)
Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya (3)




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