If I ever had to imagine how a developing city looks like, then I would definitely think of Colombo.
My first stop in Sri Lanka, I was striken rightaway by its ‘clean’ architecture, modern skyscrapers and silent traffic. They even stop at red lights here!
But that is because the most natural thing to do for me was to compare every single aspect with India, which is wrong as they are two different countries (I don’t think India can be compared to anything else in the world really), but I couldn’t help thinking about the similiarities and differences in my mind. I am even thinking still in Indian Rupees, and everything seems much more expensive! It actually is, but not as much as it looks like.
On my second morning in Mount Lavinia, just south of Colombo and a really nice beach, I had a lovely surprise…
My boyfriend joined me on my journey around Asia! How amazing is it?
We decided to take it easy on his first day, and spent it at Ramada Hotel swimming pool with Sarah, Roman, Mark and Arqan, the latters’ Sri Lankan host and new friend-guide. Ramada Hotel is a four star hotel, but behind the surface it is minus four… The sandwich I ordered had fleas in it, and Sarah’s room was apparently quite dirty. Not to say they were supposed to pick her up from the airport at 2am and ditched her! At least thanks to this we had free entry to the pool…
We then took a stroll around the seaside of Colombo, waiting for the sunset and gazing at the many couples romanicizing under their sun-protecting umbrellas, and the kids playing with their kites.
inner Arqan took us to an hidden side of Colombo and much less modern, the Muslim quarter of Hulsdorf, where we had some not-as-cheap-as-we-were-expecting street food. I must add this included fried cow and mutton’s brain, and the former’s intestine. I wanted to throw up only by the sight of it, but the curiosity was too high so I decided to take a bite of the cow brain… And still wanted to throw up.
But the time in Sri Lanka is not much, so me and Alessandro are on the move already towards Kandy, which will be our base for a couple of days to explore the southern inlands.
The morning trains from Colombo to Kandy leave at 7am (fast train), 8:10 am and 10:30am, it takes 3 and a half hours, for Rs 190 each in Second Class – which looks like this
Beware of a deaf guy who helps you finding seats though, he will eventually ask for money and we had to give him Rs 500! (From this side, I’m finding Sri Lanka more and more similar to India unfortunately…)