ColomboDecember 2, 2016 in Sri Lanka
Arrival in the capital!
After a mammoth journey we were finally dropped off via taxi at our prebooked hotel, hidden down a side street and nicely secluded.
We promptly freshened up and explored what was around the local vicinity (why is a McDonald's always the first thing to see!?). Shortly after we hopped into a tuk tuk to take us to an area called Galle Face Green, which is essentially a huge area of grassland with a stone edging that raises from a small beach and the sea. It's an area I'd read that locals like to hang out at and with a strong breeze there are lots of people flying kites and eating from the street carts that line it. Here we had our dinner of roti (flatbread) and a potato or prawn patty deep fried and covered in fresh chilli and a very hot tamarind sauce. We sat down and ate these while watching the sunset set on a foggy evening. Definitely a great way to kick start our first evening.
It ended with a foot massage and a much needed long night of sleep.
The next day exploring the city involved darting around the city seeing sight after sight including two very grand temples (one buddist, one hindu) a lovely lake, the National Museum, the Independence Memorial Hall, a large park, the old Dutch hospital and more!
We enjoyed each place differently whether it was seeing the grandure of the temples, with stunning detail and design (not many photos of these as disrespectful to take photos inside) to the hidden treasures such as the lake and park which gave sudden respite to the hectic roar of the city. The National Museum was great with incredibly old and ancient artifacts that show some of the history of the country including when the Dutch and Portuguese were here. We're really enjoying starting to learn more about this country!
This may sound like we rushed the day but it was actually very leisurely and with many drink stops trying to adapt to the sudden humidity.
The city is clearly going through a lot of refurbishment as there is building work popping up everywhere and I think it is quite an up and coming place. All the same it is very much a busy polluted and loud city, with some of the scariest driving I've ever seen (worse than Hanoi, Vietnam which may mean something to some of you!). Truthfully it's not somewhere we really wanted to stay long but still very good to see and experience, quite a sharp awakening into another world!