Waking up in Kandy at the Hotel Suisse was awesome, mostly because the breakfast they served in the Hotel ballroom was like stepping back in time. The ballroom looks like it was straight out of the 40s. The waiters served just like the old days. It was really charming.
Our first trip of the day was to the royal botanical gardens. These a large park with different varieties of plants from all over the world. As we have once of these back home in Canada, I actually was not impressed, I thought that it looked very similar to the one we had there. We had asked our driver to pick us up in two hours, and this was more then enough time. A few things of note. One of the gardeners was really friendly. They have a coin collection where they are trying to collect small coins from different countries around the world. So if you see him and have any small change, I think its a cool cause to give too. Secondly, there is a gardener who will try to show you live scorpions. If you do this, then the gardener will ask for money.
Next we then went to a gem dealer. Sri Lanka’s gem industry has a very long and colourful history. Sri Lanka was affectionately known as Ratna-Dweepa which means Gem Island. The gem dealer showed us the whole process of collecting gems in Sri Lanka, and the different types of gems they had there. We did not buy anything, since that is not really our thing, but they were pretty and seemed like a good deal. The most popular jewel from Sri Lanka is the Ceylon Sapphire. These are reportedly unique in colour, clarity and lustre compared to the blue sapphires from other countries.
Next we were dropped off in town to wander around and find lunch. We found a little local bakery where we found amazing pizza rolls. We walked the markets, and searched for souvenirs and goodies. The market place was busy. It was bustling with locals buying what they needed for every day life. There were not a lot of tourist shops. After fighting with the pedestrian traffic for awhile we gave up and went back to the hotel to swim.
At night there was as cultural show. It was a 10 minuet walk to the show. The show was in a auditorium. In the show, there were about 6 different types of of dances. At the end they went out to the courtyard to walk on the hot fire coals.