A train journey, for sure, one of its kind! Man made concrete on right and the vast ocean on the left! Rustic, old style and such a forgotten kinda travel!
From the time I started planning my travel to Sri Lanka, I was determined to use the local transport as much as possible so that I don’t miss out on immersing myself in the local aura of the country. For me, local transportation has always been the best way to strike conversations with the locals and observe their culture and way of living closely. In Sri Lanka, train is definitely the lifeline of locals for their daily commutes. Also, it is extremely pocket friendly.
Even after giving a miss to a night’s sleep and catching a midnight flight, we were extremely charged up to completely soak in the experience of Wonder of Asia. As soon as we picked our luggage from baggage belt (took us around an hour) at Bandaranaike International Airport, we headed straight to the Bus stand which is right outside the airport. A galloping ride in Bus No. 187 on the four lane E3 highway made sure that we reach Colombo Fort station just in time to catch our train to Galle. Thanks to a gentleman who offered to be followed from Colombo bus stand to railway station and guided us to the ticket counter ensuring we do not miss our train.
We rushed to the platform to find huge crowd waiting for the train to arrive. Nevertheless, Mumbai locals have gotten us accustomed to hop on the train amidst maddening crowd. Fortunately, it was not a task at all to board the train and find a place with a window seat for ourselves. As soon as I felt contended with my window seat, my focus shifted to the interiors of the train which looked rustic and crumbled.The seat covers torn here and there, handle bars with rust deposited for years, shaking noisy fans took me to my forgotten days for few moments.
And now I was all set to dive deep in the journey with my perfect window seat. I could hear the sound of engine, whistle of the train and the murmur of people trying to settle here and there. The train left the platform and I had already glued my eyes to the window. I could only look at the manmade concrete ,skyscrapers, smoke out of the vehicles and could also hear some blowing horns.That’s when I looked through the diagonal right side window to the view of a never-ending horizon, the vast ocean symmetrically outlined by coconut trees and to my utter dismay, that’s when I realised I had got a window but a left side window. Although my research had told me how important it was to get a window seat during this train journey, but it did not tell me which side window seat. Here is my tip to future travellers on this route – Find yourself a right hand side window seat to experience the best of the journey.
Here are some pictures from my eyes!
And seconds after the realization, I was to be seen at the right side train gate for the rest of the travel to Galle. Standing at the train’s gate, I breathed with my mouth wide open to almost bite that fresh air and aroma. Yes, my senses go out of senses sometimes.
The only man made things this side of the track were tiny mud houses, small ponds and make shift ropes for drying clothes. I couldn’t believe my eyes of this contrast wherein two entirely different worlds were separated by a mere railway track. One side such raw, unadulterated and picturesque whereas the other side was bustling like any concrete city. World has so much to offer and we just have to travel to spot the offerings!
Although it was not such a pleasure for my legs, but I definitely soothed my eyes and soul with the view of lush greenery and infinite ocean for 3 hours till I reached Galle. The train ride on the route Colombo Fort – Galle is a must do for all those who want to feel one with the country and to experience the contrast which this enticing railway journey unveils.
Would love to hear your experiences of contrasts! Do leave a comment if you have one.