The best way of exploring the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa is by taking a tuk-tuk to the main gate and then walking at your own pace – local people will try to convince you that walking is crazy idea… but if you aren’t afraid of moderate exercise – do not believe them!
Aneta goes for the Sri Lankan breakfast option, a rather large portion. This included some spicy fish, noodles, rice, lentil curry, fresh papaya juice… it was nice, if a little spicy for Aneta’s Polish tastes.
We set off via tuk-tuk to reach Polonnaruwa’s ruins. Once there, We get hassled by people trying to sell us things, or telling us that we their tuk-tuk services are essential since walking would be all but impossible due to the distances involved. We ignore them, and set off walking through the ruins, and from then onwards have a really nice day. It’s very hot, but tolerable, and the ancient buildings that we explore seem to get more and more interesting as we leave the touts behind and the day progresses.
A tuk-tuk takes us back to our Lake Hotel to pick up our bags (this involved a difficult conversation with a driver that didn’t speak much English at all and didn’t know where the hotel was – even though he implied he did), and from there into town to catch a bus. Our bus takes us to Inamaluwa, we sit at the back amidst some school girls who thought we were amusing… we certainly stood out, the bus was quite large, and almost full, and we noticed that everyone on the bus had dark skin and black hair, apart from us. During the journey we saw a few elephants standing by the side of the road happily munching on the surrounding vegetation.
Arriving at our destination we get offered a tuk-tuk ride for 50Rs… however we already know that it’s only a 100 metre walk! Doing a bit of research beforehand pays off in Sri Lanka.
Hotel Eden Garden. It’s not quite the luxury of the Lake Hotel, but it’s nice enough for ~$46 USD. A dinner buffet is on offer, but after taking a look at what’s on offer we decide to order al a carte – pork chop and chicken schnitzel, followed by a banana split.