A train ride in Sri Lanka is a fun way to see the lush green wooded mountain scenery, small towns with white Buddhist temples, and hillsides of tea plantations.
Who doesn’t like trains?
My boys loved this adventure and spent the whole ride with their heads out the windows. And I loved spending time standing in the open doorways watching the earth pass quickly by.
The hype and the reality.
I admit that I had overblown this train trip in my imagination into the most spectacular experience affording the most spectacular photographs. I half expected to be awarded a National Geographic Medal of Honor by the end of this train ride. And then when things didn’t work perfectly, I felt a bit deflated.
The first hour of the ride the weather was rainy, cloudy and a bit dark. There were times on the mountainsides that all you could see were clouds. Then a napping and fussing baby kept me from spending the whole trip hanging out a doorway like I would have preferred. Ahhh motherhood…
And then I looked at my other two sons who spent the entire trip with their heads out the window, grinning ear to ear and said to myself – “Who gives an arse that it wasn’t perfect for me. For them it was bloody brilliant!” (I like to use some weird fake British-Irish accent to curse sometimes. It makes it feel less naughty.) And many times that is what traveling with children is all about. Not everybody is going to love every experience, and that is okay.
Our Train Ride in Sri Lanka.
We took the “blue” train from Ella to Nuwara Eliya. This was about a 3 hour ride. Our train left at 06:00 on New Year’s Eve. As this was a Holiday Period, first class was sold out and we felt very lucky to have purchased tickets in advance. In fact, somebody at the hotel offered to buy them off us. And then the irony was that we left first class to sit in second class. Our guide was horrified when we told him later – like we were truly mad.
Why did we leave first class?
First class was just fine. The seats are a bit more comfy, you have air-conditioning which I am sure is wonderful in hotter weather, and there are trays to set food on. But we couldn’t open the windows. So we went up to second class to stick our heads out the windows like dogs!
We also really enjoyed eating fritters in greasy brown bags somebody came aboard to sell. I loved the one with little dried shrimps, and my husband liked the vegetarian ones. They pack some spicy heat so the children weren’t so interested.
Was a train ride in Sri Lanka with our heads out the window or bodies at the door a super-safe thing to allow your children to do? Well…no…not exactly. But when you travel overseas sometimes you need to throw out the safety rule book and just enjoy the experience. As long as you aren’t harming anybody take a risk now and then!
And in the end, despite the fog and rain, I still got some awesome photographs.
Some Helpful Information:
Have you taken this beautiful train ride in Si Lanka? What is your favorite train ride ever? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!