Train Journeys: Sri Lankan Hill Country

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.

–Edna St. Vincent Millay

Some of the loveliest train journeys I’ve experienced were those on the tracks that wove over and around sleepy hill towns and lonely tea plantations in inner Sri Lanka. I took these photos while in transit from Kandy to Ella, and from Ella to Happutale. In this case, it truly was about the journey, not the destination. (Okay, the destinations were pretty incredible, too, but I’m saving that for another post.)

SONY DSC

ella station, lined with red and yellow tulips.

 

SONY DSC

station master signals the oncoming train.

 

SONY DSC

liam, riding the rails.

 

SONY DSC

pakora train snacks, wrapped in newspaper.

 

SONY DSC

fellow passengers. how lovely is the woman in pink?

 

SONY DSC

scenes snapped from the open-air train window.

 

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

for thrills — riding the outside of the train.

 

SONY DSC

tea fields in morning mist.

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

these sweet girls on the train shared their curry and rice with us.

 

Advertisements