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As a kid everyone loves getting on the bus, a train or (being from Croydon) the tram for the first time. However, as you know the novelty can quickly wear off especially if you live in London, when travelling on the tube can be a daily, mundane occurrence. Being caught in rush hour or travelling by tube during a heatwave can leave you feeling uninspired, hot and probably slightly nauseous.
However, getting on a packed train across India with nothing but a hole in the ground for a toilet actually has a great sense of adventure and adds to the character of the country. Although train rides are majority longer - more like 40 hours longer - than a simple ride on the tube, it seems to go past like a breeze as you are met by some of the most stunning scenery on the planet. Imagine crisp green paddy fields and exotic coloured palm trees meeting your eyes, making you hypnotised with the beauty that it conveys.
It seems like only yesterday we took our first ever journey across India after a one way flight into Mumbai as children 17 years ago. Our parents pulled us out of school in Croydon to explore different cultures and to make the world our classroom and - look how far our journey as gone.
The Nine Arches Bridge, also called the Bridge in the Sky, is a bridge in Sri Lanka. Located in Demodara, between Ella and Demodara railway stations, the surrounding area is attractive to travellers due to the bridge’s architectural ingenuity and the profuse greenery in the nearby hillsides. The beautiful nine arches make it a very picturesque spot especially as it is located in a dense jungle and agricultural setting. Behind the railway, a forest is booming and below, tea leaves are being cultivated.
The unique part about this bridge is that it is built entirely from rocks, bricks, and cement with no use of steel or metals throughout the structure. The steel and metal materials destined to be used in the bridge were reassigned to be used for military purposes. The materials were then gathered in the form of rocks, bricks, and cement to make sure the bridge contraction still went ahead.
“A long train journey in Sri Lanka, or India in particular cannot be beaten. You meet the most interesting and interested people - learn and teach a new language, get offered beautiful food, get invited to weddings. Just amazing”
Follow the incredible journey over the next few weeks that explains how the brothers went from fleeing the tsunami in barefoot down the train tracks of Sri Lanka whilst leading other children and tourists to safety, to then years later getting there lives back on track with Gandys and building homes around the World.