Seda : After spending a rather comfortable week with Wally and Pushpa in their beautiful home, we booked ourselves into an 8 bed mixed dorm room in a hostel in Colombo for a few days. Sleeping on a bunk bed has its advantages though, like I now know how to stop Andy from snoring. I just toss and turn a bit and the motion is felt like an earthquake for the one sleeping at the bottom bunk…haha!
Andy: It’s a lot hotter in Colombo compared to the climate in the central mountainous regions of Sri Lanka, so at least our dorm room had a/c which we were thankful for!
We took a train from Nawalapitiya to Kandy, and then Kandy to Colombo. It was a beautifully scenic journey through miles of green countryside full of banana trees, bamboo forests and enormous ancient trees.
Now, everyone’s heard of having a reserved seat for disabled or pregnant ladies, but clergy is a new one on me! I felt rather privileged. Also, we found an increased level of consideration in Sri Lanka!
One of the first places we spend some time in Colombo was Queen Victoria Park where we were approached by the chief gardener who was keen to impart some of his knowledge onto us and maybe impress us with his knowledge of English influence on the landmarks of the area. He dragged us from tree to tree explaining all about it and I must say it was all very interesting. He’d been working there since 1988 and even showed us his original ID card of himself as a younger man. He showed us Banyan, Cannon Ball, Acacia and even Cinnamon trees. One of the larger trees also had flying foxes roosting in its highest branches too. They were massive!
Seda: One very interesting thing in Colombo is these amazing trees with massive roots. They are unbelievable because there are so many of them. It is not like a single protected tree in a town centre, these bad boys are everywhere and don’t look like asking for protection neither from time or the abusive ivy.
As we arrived in Colombo, we’ve found a pleasant city instead of a massive metropolis. There is a heightened security visible everywhere due to recent bombings. Even if we had any concerns, they would have disappeared immediately. People smile at tourists here and greet them, how nice! The city has a happy feel. I mean we even had someone stop at the pedestrian crossing for us, as you can imagine our chins dropped, we thought his vehicle must have broken down but no, the others stopped too, we were in utter shock!
The most practical and widely available quick meal is shorteats. They are lovely and maybe a bit naughty as all items are deep fried. I also very much like the Sri Lankan buffet style where you get a bit of everything and it’s awesome.
Andy and I had our first western day yesterday. If you are wondering what that is, it is our day off from this cultural journey and doing things that are totally western. A bit like as if we are back home. First we went to the cinema, then we went to a posh tea shop and had tea and cake. Andy had English breakfast Ceylon tea and I had Royal Pearl. We went to nose around in a supermarket and bought Cadbury’s dairy milk…yippie! Although Andy refused to buy me any cheese because the small imported cheddar packs were 3 times the UK price!
Interestingly as we bought our movie tickets, we were given a blanket each because apparently it gets very cold inside. I guess finding the remote control to turn the temperature down is more expensive then laundering, packaging and offering clean blankets to customers every time. Did I care? No, because I was terribly comfy with my blanky on me, feet stretched as my reclined luxury seat gave me the comfort like no other bed for the last 2 months…
We finished our day in a sky bar having beer….oh yeah baby!
Andy: I would also like to add for posterity at this point that it was here in Colombo I watched England beat New Zealand at Lords to win their first ever Cricket World Cup in dramatic style. Amazing stuff, and something I’ll never forget whenever someone asks me, so where were you?!