I had always heard that taking a train trip in Sri Lanka was a special experience, and I now understand why. The first journey we took, from Colombo to Kandy, was fun. We were in second class (a must), and able to stick our heads out the windows and hang from the doors while watching the countryside and stations fly by. But when I posted on Instagram about that ride, commenters all said the same thing: head south from Kandy and it’s even better. So I did. And they were right.
The ride south was amazing – I would put it in my top five travel experiences ever, from 80+ countries. It was about the scenery, with green and yellow-leafed tea bushes stretching across mountains and valleys as far as you can see. It was about the sliced mango with chili powder sold on the train – now one of my favorite things. It was about the exhilaration of sitting in the doorways, and hanging out of the doorways. It was about the people outside of the train, going about their lives. And it was about the people inside the train, all bound by the magic of the journey.