The Senani Silk Factory is on a hill half a mile from the center of Kandy. You can arrive via tuk tuk for a euro or so, or on foot, as it is a lovely walk to make the most of the views. In the factory you can see how they make natural silk with worms. Then see how they treat it, and finally they stain it to get a rainbow of colors. The silk is then used to make traditional dresses, but with the growing interest of tourists, They now also make clothes that are easier to wear for us. All this you can find in the store. It's not cheap but the products are good quality. The visit is supposedly free, but if you're not buying anything from the store, the guide will expect at least a tip, usually 100RS per person.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens are one of the three gardens of its kind in Sri Lanka. They are very large and beautiful. The entrance fee in the one we went to, just like in the two others, costs 600Rs for foreigners whic is roughly 5 euros. It is quite a lot for a garden, especially in this country, but thanks to this donation, you help support very beautiful and endemic plants. We wanted to get from Haputale, Nuwara Eliya bypass, but it was a very long way and the road was in bad condition. It's probably more convenient to take a train and then a bus from Nuwara down to the gardens, or a tuk tuk. The garden is 1500 meters high up, which gives it a cool climate. It was founded in 1861, at the start it was a plantation to try to cultivate the cinchona, a kind of plant that usually grows at this hight. It was a success and gradually they imported plants from all around the world, which have adapted very well to the place. It is a very cool and relaxing garden.
Hakgala Gardens have an entire section dedicated just to roses, which is beautiful. Cultivating a wide range of different roses, each with its own smell and colour, forming small bushes or larger plants. We met one of the gardeners who was very passionate about his job, despite not speaking English well he taught us a lot about the plants, which had the best smell, which won awards ... There was a group of children in white uniforms, as it was the end of the school year. They were on a day out with their families here. They were more curious about seeing two white people than the roses!
Legend has it that thousands of years ago, the beautiful queen of India, Sita, had a romance with the King of Sri Lanka, Ravana. It is said that the Queen had gardens in this very place. They were so beautiful that people came from far away to see them. It is very refreshing to come by the water, and many couples come here for the romantic surroundings. In Sri Lanka, the whole family lives together in small homes, until marriage. Then they take advantage of the garden rooms where they can have a discreet, intimate moment that nobody knows about. A charming little place!