By Mark Palmer, Daily Mail
The Daily Mail has become the latest UK newspaper to hail the delights of Sri Lanka after the end of the civil war as the attractions of the country, long recognized by some, become apparent to a wider audience.
Mark Palmer begins his travel feature like this:
“We began with a night at the Wallawwa, a hotel about 20 minutes from Colombo airport. Hotels 20 minutes from most airports should be given a wide berth, but this was a wonderful way to ease into what was a hugely enriching whistle-stop tour.
“You are going to get hammered,’ said our driver, as we pulled up outside what once was the country retreat of a rich and powerful head chieftain. No problem, we thought, but then we realised that hammered was one of his favourite words. He would use it to describe any extreme form of activity. ‘We are hammering now,’ he would say when pounding down an open road.
“We did get hammered at The Wallawwa – by the gorgeous gardens, excellent food and gentle service. Massages never quite do the trick for me, but I emerged from a 60-minute ayurvedic session in such a blissful state that my wife wondered if I’d swapped my statins for an exotic happy drug.
“Next day, en route to Anuradhapura, the ancient capital, we stopped briefly at the Elephant Orphanage, where you pay to feed young elephants milk and watch a herd of nearly 100 bathing in the river.
“We continued north, and a couple of hours later reached one of the newest, most ambitious hotels in the country. Perfectly placed for many of the major sites in day trips, the Ulagalla Wallawwa Resort is set in 58 acres of wetlands and comprises 25 huge villas built next to paddy fields, where peacocks stroll around without a care…”
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