And then two weeks are suddenly over and the last day of the trip is here. So fast. After three days on the beach near Galle we are picked up by our driver in the morning and brought to Colombo. Only in the evening we have to go to the airport, and only in the early morning hours of the next day we leave again towards Munich. Until then we can spend some hours in the capital of Sri Lanka.
We get dropped off at the hotel where we slept the first night. Not because we have a room here, but because we know that it is quite centrally located and that we can easily start exploring the city from here. There is also a rooftop bar, and that's exactly where we want to have a bite to eat and a drink right now. The view, which we could only admire in the dark when we arrived, is really great.
A day in Colombo
Already from the beginning we know: Colombo is not a tourist stronghold like many other cities we visited on our way through Sri Lanka. Of course there are some sights here, but we often read that Colombo can be left out if you don't have enough time for the trip otherwise. Nevertheless, we don't want to miss out on anything if we're spending the day here anyway – and so we set out on our way.
First we go to the Viharamahadevi Park, which is within walking distance from the hotel. But our motivation to see a lot drops rapidly – it's almost unbearably hot, even if you're not standing in direct sunlight. Walking a few meters is insanely exhausting. Fortunately, the many trees in the park provide shade and we can walk for a while. My travel guide says that you can always see many couples meeting in the park, as this is often not possible in their parents' home. And I am surprised how many actually use the park as a retreat, and that quasi in the midday heat – on every bench and under many trees you see couples in love. I don't even need to think about having physical contact with anyone at this moment – much too warm.
Independence Memorial Hall
From the park we go directly to the Independence Memorial Hall. We pass the Viharamahadevi Open Theatre – a really impressive building. But more than a few photos are simply not feasible in the heat. We also take a few pictures of the Independence Memorial Hall, before we sit down in a cafe in the neighboring shopping center and cool down with a cold coke under the air conditioner. It is much too warm for extensive sightseeing tours! At the same time we are thinking about what else we want to do. Everywhere there is talk about the outlets in Colombo, and this is exactly what we want to see again in any case. But before that I want to see a district where not only beautiful buildings and parks are located, but where people really live – so we take a tuk tuk and drive to the district Pettah.
The lively quarter of Pettah
Located right next to the train station, the Pettah district is a much busier area than the area around the park. We walk through the narrow streets and alleys, let ourselves drift and have our hands full with not getting under the next tuk tuk, which meander between market stalls and pedestrians. We are constantly chatted up from the side, because obviously only a few tourists get lost here – and everyone senses the chance to sell us their products. Although the sun does not bang here directly on the street, but by the narrowness and the active hustle and bustle it is almost warmer here. Accordingly, we only stay here for a short time, before we consider to walk back to the train station on small detours. From here we walk through the dense traffic of the capital towards the shopping center.
Instead of getting out where we wanted to go, the tuk tuk driver drops us off quite far away. We think, this can be walked – a decision, which we regret relatively fast. Nevertheless, we walk to the outlet, which we got to know by posters – unfortunately it is not worth the effort. In between we thought about buying a bathing suit and a bikini and to take advantage of the infinity pool in the hotel (which is actually only for hotel guests, but here swim many who are not staying in the hotel). Unfortunately, there are only swim trunks in XXL and only swimsuits with sewn-in long pants and tops, so we decide against it after all.
And then? We let a tuk tuk take us back to the hotel, where we spend another hour on the rooftop terrace. Because we are picked up only around half past eleven, and it is only late afternoon. At some point we make our way to a neighboring shopping center to stroll around and have something to eat. And afterwards we go to the Rooftop Bar again. Chatting about the vacation and about future vacation plans. Enjoy the view while drinking a cold beer. Eventually our driver arrives, we get changed and are taken to the airport, where we wait again – because in Sri Lanka you have to be there three hours before departure. We get on the plane and sometime in Munich we get off again.
Two weeks have flown by and I am very happy to have seen and experienced another wonderful country. In my head I am already planning the next trip and can't wait to get on the plane again.
Have you ever been to Sri Lanka? If so, how did you like it there? I am curious about your experiences and look forward to your comments!