Monday, May 28, 2012

Sri Lanka Day 3: Anuradhapura

Mood: Mellow yet motivated

Listening to: Paper Sun – Def Leppard

Daddy G and I decided we wanted to have a little bit more of a relaxing time, so when we got up (early!) the next day, we decided to not visit the ruins at Pollunaruwa as it was the opposite direction from where we were going the next day and was also ruins. Breakfast was again lovely. They didn’t have a buffet that day, so they served omelets, toast and a nice huge plate of tropical fruits, some of which I had never even seen before. I love trying new stuff, so this was fun for me. Sri Lankans love them some tropical fruits.
The drive to Anaradhapura was a long one and my eldest doesn’t really do well with jerky, swerving car rides. Thankfully, a nap took care of that nicely.

Anaradapura is a great place to visit some old ruins and a very nice temple. The grounds were super peaceful and had lots of trees and shade. It was still hot as hell.

Buddhist Stupa

What was on top of the Stupa

Note the Elephants and the Buddhist flag

An Elephant Swimming Pool - or so the legend goes

Oldest outdoor Buddha statue. It was so calming among the trees and quiet grounds


Cute carvings on the steps

When we were done, we were all pretty heat exhausted. We decided to try some of the yellow tender Sri Lankan coconuts. They were delicious – much sweeter than Indian green coconuts. They also were FULL of water. By the time the vendor scraped out the meat, we were pretty full already.

We asked Harry to bring us to a restaurant to avoid the resort pricing for food. He obligingly took us to a tourist trap where the prices were inflated anyhow. We got the hard sell about the buffet, which we agreed to after they told they wouldn’t charge for the kids to eat. Our kids don’t eat a ton of food anyway, so we usually don’t get buffet for them anyhow. We got to try some different stuff and lunch was pleasant.

We then went to the hotel. Palm Village Garden was also stunning. I wish I would have taken pics of the lobby here too, but there was yet another wedding going on. Harry informed us it was wedding season in Sri Lanka, which I found silly due to the heat. It was another rowdy wedding, but thankfully nowhere near our room. Again with the quick check in and fruit juice, we were then escorted to another cottage type set up. This property was even larger and had beautiful grounds. We collapsed into the air conditioned room and chilled out for a while, much the chagrin of our pool wanting children. The room again was beautiful and spotless.

Daddy G lookin a little scary goonda-ish- he isn't, I promise.

I generally don't like bathroom pics, but I loved these tiles

Patio Chairs - squee!
After we had rested a bit, we went exploring. We wandered down the lane to the end of the property.

There was a fence, a gate, and a warning sign about not leaving the property because wild elephants were there and it was dangerous.  There was a path, and lake with some benches just outside. We wandered down the path until we came across another very large sign to stop because of elephants. We decided discretion was the better part of valor and were content to sit on the benches and enjoy the breeze at dusk next to the lake. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any elephants. We did see a nice Ganesha statue about a quarter of the way around the lake. However, another sign made us reconsider seeing it up close.

The forbidden statue.

We left the lake and wandered up through the center of the property which is a grassy/vegetated section with lots of trees/tall grass.  We stopped by a small lake in the middle. The kids were playing around when we noticed a big mound of dirt with holes. Noting how much this looked like a snake’s home, we decided to move on. A little further down the trail, my husband started yelling about a snake that my youngest almost stepped on all of a sudden. It was a good sized snake and we all watched as it fled through the grass. It stopped for a few seconds and raised up a ways to stare at us. It was too far away for us to tell if it was a cobra or not, but it looked like it to me. After a few seconds it disappeared through the grass.

We decided that we had enough encounters with snakes and went to change for the pool. The pool here was enormous and nice to swim in, although the water was still really warm. As with Sigriya, we were the only people in the pool. It was a little deeper than the day before, so we stuck to the shallow end with the kids.

We got dressed and went for dinner. The dining room was beautifully decorated and open, as with the other places we had been. We opted for the Ala Carte menu even though they tried the buffet hard sell. The food was good, although it seemed to get more spicy the more places we ate. We tried Kerala rotis, which are hockey puck sized heavy rotis that have a lot of coconut in them. They were good, but not really Daddy G’s and my favorite thing to eat. After coaxing the exhausted kids to eat a few more bites of their sandwiches, we went back to the room where they promptly passed out. Something about the heat and humidity seemed to keep us perpetually in need of a nap and early bed time. In the end, cutting out Pollunaruwa was the right decision. It just would have been too much.

This hotel also didn’t offer wireless. I was getting worried at this point, but still had time. I watched TV for a while and then crashed.


  1. LOVE the forbidden Ganesh statue! So beautiful... but so freaky that your baby almost stepped on a snake! From what I've seen so far, Sri Lanka and Kerala are very similar - except for the wide clean streets of course! Also, loved seeing you use the word Goonda - such a great word. Also loved those blue bathroom tiles - and the swimming pool is fantastic!

  2. I know! I so wanted to go and see it up close, but lots of trees and wild elephant and emphatic signs. :-)
    Kerala is definitely on my list of places that we simply must go visit while in India. I just could not get over how clean Sri Lanka is. Even the sections where people are not so well off and even Colombo as a big city are just spotless. SO different than India!
    I love Goonda too. Fabulous word.
    We really got lucky with all the hotels we stayed in, with the exception of Topaz.