This story has been sponsored by Craig Travel.
Now, this is a destination that surprised me, was not what I expected, a destination that sets itself apart from anything ordinary… a destination I want to talk about. In short, Sri Lanka is a destination that truly exceeded all of my expectations.
But first, we start our adventure with three nights in the desert metropolis of dazzling Dubai. Fifty years ago, no one would have believed that the most lavish, luxurious, futuristic city in the world would be built from scratch, surrounded by desert. We’ll explore this over-the-top city before flying to Sri Lanka.
Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is a relatively large island located off the southern tip of India. Like India, it was under the influence of colonial powers (mostly British) until it gained full independence in 1948. Its recorded history goes back about 3,000 years and the influence of Buddhism has guided the people since its introduction in 550 B.C. Since then, until the British arrived, the country had some 189 monarchs spanning some 2,500 years. Remnants of this immense history can be seen as you travel through the country, in the form of temples, palaces and former city-states.
The country and its people are distinctly Buddhist in all they do. They live an ordered, tranquil life. What strikes you most while travelling in the country is the lush vegetation, the richness of the farms, the orderliness of life in general and the friendliness of everyone that you meet. Today, progress is evident but does not interfere with the charm and history of its past. Roads are good, and we seldom found traffic impeding our way.
When travelling, it is wonderful to find clean, modern, comfortable lodgings at the end of each day. Sri Lanka exceeded my expectations in this regard, every step of the way. Being able to enjoy multiple nights in most of them was icing on the cake. All of our hotels were a delight – large, well-equipped rooms, gracious, welcoming and friendly staff, tranquil secure surroundings with lovely grounds and the food… well, it deserves a note on its own.
Another great pleasure while travelling is the opportunity to enjoy a variety of excellent food, well prepared and presented. Most meals were presented as an extensive spread from which we could choose to our hearts content. We could sample from local cuisine, European or Asian dishes, vegetarian, meat or seafood. In one particular restaurant we encountered a refrigerated glass-walled room, dedicated to sweets and deserts. Everyone was delighted.
Sri Lanka remains relatively undiscovered, a wonderful benefit for the inquisitive traveller of today. Sites are relatively uncrowded with roads less travelled. Now is the ideal time to explore this land.
This is a destination of immense variety. You will find history to fill your imagination. This is also a land of grand vistas, wildlife reserves, mountainside tea plantations, wonderful seashores, historic forts, spice farms, colonial hotels, rainforests and so much more. Each day is a delight! And there is even shopping that might peak your interest. I highly recommend that you come along and discover Sri Lanka and Dubai this February. You won’t be disappointed!
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