After a well deserved lay in and a leisurely breakfast we made for the tourist desk, always a good start point! About 5 minutes later we had booked 4 trips, the first today, a two and a half tour of Colombo in a private car where the driver is also the guide.
Joseph, our guide, collected us from our hotel and took us along the front passing the old parliament building, fighting all the traffic and Tuk Tuks
to get us to the Indian quarter: Incidentally the proper name of a Tuc Tuc is a Trishaw. We drove through these un-believably busy , colourful and noisy streets, passing numerous Hindu, Buddha and Christian Temples and Churches and for a few minutes I thought I was back in Delhi, there was no difference. Christine was sliding from one side of the car to the other
taking ‘photos Whilst Jo, our
Driver, was laughing and saying it will get her fit. Not only did we experience their way of trading, we also past the area where they lived, I must say we don’t always realise how good we have things In Europe.
Jo, whilst driving gave us a short history lesson about Sri Lanka. Naturally we knew this was a part of the British Empire and they gained independence in 1948 but like many countries given independence
everything didn’t go smoothly and even changing the name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka didn’t smooth things and eventually the separates who wanted autonomy, the Tamil Tigers as we know them by, rebelled and for 16 years there has been a civil war which only ended in 2009. It was evident by the number of Army and Airforce bases we passed just how geared up for war the Government was. The good news now is how peaceful and harmonious the population is.
Moving on from the Indian Quarter we visited the
main Railway Station
built by the British, still being used but very run down, past Victoria Park, also set out by the British, Independence Square and all the various Government buildings. We also drove through the “Posh” districts where the wealthy live and past all the Foreign Embassies etc., still fighting the traffic I may add. We passed the Colombo Test Cricket complex, with all their Cricket facilities ours look very poor, no wonder we lost 5 – 0 to the Bl—y Australians and the
Moving swiftly on, we drove past everything that was worth seeing here in Colombo, including two post boxes: A green one from the days of the British, it had GR on the door (King George VI) and red ones for the Sri Lankan post, though the red ones are only used for local post, the green ones are for all
other post, there is no escaping their Colonial past!!!!!
Dropped off at our Hotel after a fascinating trip around Colombo in time for a snack before heading out to the local Supermarket for this and that, including a bottle of Gin (& tonics) and a bottle of Port, Christine’s latest drink!!!! And a few biscuits.
Back in the Hotel for a “cuppa” and a catch up with e mails and web site etc., then down to the poolside bar for dinner but unfortunately by now it was raining, so we enjoyed a poolside dinner with wine today!!! In the
Hotels verandah. After diner, rain having stopped, we wandered down to the beach and had a paddle in the warm Indian Ocean enjoying the balmy weather. We shouldn’t be too shocked about the rain, after all one of the charming things about Sri Lanka is the greenness and varied vegetation, not like the sand and more sand we encountered in Abu Dhabi!!!
Tomorrow is a leisurely day, nothing planned but who knows with us!!!!!!!!