Thursday, 20 November 2014

Last Monday night, Matt and I hopped on a plane to Sri Lanka for our very first holiday together.

Of course this was preceded by the obligatory airport photo with the Bear of Freedom.

Nobody quite knows why there is a giant bear in the middle of the airport, but all we know is that he symbolises escape from the sandpit, and a picture with him is a must!

We landed in Colombo the following morning. We picked up the hire car and hit the road, following Sat Nav onto the highway, and me tracking our journey by map. Smooth sailing so far!

Before too long, we came off the blissful highway and Sat Nav lead us into the heart of absolute chaos - the roads of Sri Lanka are officially mental!

We suddenly found ourselves sharing the road with not only other cars, but people, tuk tuks, mopeds, cows, dogs, all the while being overtaken at high speed by buses driven by utter lunatics, with everybody simultaneously honking their horns with impatience. Manic! I genuinely thought Doha had the worst driving conditions in the world but Sri Lanka was ten times more bonkers.

After many near misses with all of the above mentioned vehicles / animals / pedestrians, we finally made it back on to the highway and from there it was smooth sailing all the way down to the coastal road from Galle to Koggala, where we were staying.

We stayed at The Fortress hotel which I won't say too much about (other than it was wonderful) as I plan to do a full review post next week. Our room was amazing, with the worlds comfiest bed, biggest bath and hugest shower!

Settled in and unpacked, we headed down to the pool to get the lay of the land.

The infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean was stunning, and it was here we spent the best part of our holiday. Every morning after breakfast (where I ate my body weight in croissants and scones with jam whilst Matt tucked into healthy bowls of fruit...easy to see who's the fatty in this relationship!) we would set ourselves up by the pool and enjoy a morning of glorious sunshine before the afternoon thunderstorm. Unfortunately it did rain at about lunchtime every day for a few hours but it really didn't spoil the holiday at all. It was quite fun attempting to ride out the storm tucked under towels and an umbrella before ending up completely soaked and making a mad dash for shelter!

On one of the sunnier afternoons, we took a walk down the beautiful and endless stretch of beach outside our hotel.

We had drinks and dinner at the hotel restaurant, Pepper, every night. There were no other restaurants locally to the hotel, and Pepper was really lovely with an ever changing menu and themed buffet evenings so there was plenty of variety. We ate overlooking the pool and the Indian Ocean, most nights with a lightening storm lighting up the sky and the waves in the distance.

On one of the days we took a trip to Udawalawe national park to go on the elephant safari. It was such an amazing day! We saw elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, cobras, bats, lizards, buffalo, jackals, eagles, parrots (although I was always the last to see everything. Our guide would point something out, Matt would see it, and I'd spend the next half a minute saying 'where?! Where are you looking?! What is it?!' Until I'd finally see it too. My guide said I didn't have 'safari eyes'!)

How are your 'safari eyes' - can you spot the crocodile?!

We also had the opportunity to visit an amazing temple en route to the safari, Weherahena Temple.

Shoes off at the door, we were led around the underground temple, it's walls carved and painted with 20,000 pieces of artwork, depicting the history of the Buddhist religion.

The most impressive part, is the way the temple is built up and around a 39 meter tall Buddha! You can walk right up until head level, but the best view is from below.

On our final day, we stopped at the turtle hatchery down the road from our hotel, on our way to the airport.

Unfortunately this fella was caught in a fishing net and had to have his flipper (flipper?) amputated so he is a permanent resident, but he was happy enough and popped up out of the water to wave us off on our travels.

It was such a lovely, relaxing and stress free holiday, and even the fact that I had food poisoning for the last two days didn't taint it too much!

Now I'm back to reality in the desert, craving the sound of the waves crashing in the rocks, and wishing I was coming home to this every day. Take me back!

Have you been to Sri Lanka?



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  2. Ah Holly this looks absolutely amazing! And that hotel - luxury!! Not like anywhere I ever stayed in Sri Lanka! And yay you actually did get a pic of the two of you together!! =) xx

    Pearl & Peach