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Published: February 13th 2020
Here I go again !
Last summer I was telling my travel agent I hadn't had any brain waves about where to travel in 2020 .I know there are many places I want to sèe in Europe that is not a location for a winter holiday . Then , at the seniors book sale , I purchased the EyeWitness Top 10 in the World To See and discovered that Sri Lanka was the only one I was missing in Asia . Then Gadventures had a sale on their tours and Susan found me a very reasonable flight fare . So , here I am.
The flight was long . Regina -Toronto and a 10 hour layover . I took the train into the city , had lunch , walked a great deal and ended up spènding several hours at the Bata Shoe Museum . An interesting place .It begins with a history of shoes and as I worked my way through I was nodding at the references they were making . I realized I had bèen to most of the places they mentioned . Cairo , Greece , Burma ,Morocco, India , China , Ukbekestan and the Silk Road ,Istanbul, Rome . I knew what they were talking about and had seen the places they were showing photos of . I guess I am a travellor !
At 8:30 I boarded the plane for a 15 hour flight to Mumbai .I had packed blowup devises , ompression kneehighs ,snacks , a change off clothes , reading material ...anything I thought might help me cope . It went well ! I had forgotten to put the socks on at the airport and struggled to put them on in the plane . I managed but after an hour or so my toes were hurting and I realized I had them on wrong . I redid them and all was well . The 15 hours went well . Supper and a movie with a bottle of wine , sleep for 3.5 hours . A snack of hot samosas half of a another movie and then sleep for 3 hours . Finish the movie while having breakfast read a while and I arrived in Mumbai .
I do not know what the real problem was but I had to wait nearly 2 hours to get a hand written boarding pass and through security into the airport proper . This was after midnight their time . The place is huge and all the stores were open and people were eating , shopping and putting in time and the thought of any of those things was not appealing. I made my way to the proper gate and read and snoozed until boarding time .
The Sri Lankan plane was a wreck ! My seat was broken with a pillow in the gap , the seat back in front of me was nearly all ripped off but the attendants were beautifully dressed and a hot meal was served within 20 minutes of taking off . And then I fell asleep .
I arrived in Colombo at 5:30 am Feb 12 and my evisa did its job . I found an ATM , ignored the taxi touts and found the taxi union counter and booked my cab . 2600 rupees +300 for the express toll . About $24 Canadian for the 30 minute drive into town and then the 30minutes it took the driver to find my hotel . The check in time is 2pm and they had said if there was a room available I could get in at 11 but I lucked out and they let me in at @7 !, Woohoo , a shower a bit of horizontal time and a change of clothes and I was ready to check out the city . I wasn't ready for the temperature of 32 degrees with humidity but there was nothing to be done about that .
The hotel got me a tuktuk to go,to the National Museum , 80 rupees @75cents .And I spent a very pleasant , although not air conditioned , 4 hours there . A beautiful complex of many buildings several stories each . It was a good introduction to all things SriLankan .
The heat is really intense . I am glad I have a few days before the tour to adjust to it and to the time change (12 1/2 hours ) . I rested a bit in the Afternoon and headed out again to check out the Fort area which is where the European settlements /commerce built . . BIG buildings but my attention had waned .
I found a grocery store near my hotel bought some diet coke , a banana and yogurt ate and took some melatonin and slept nearly 10 hours . Hopefully I'll do the same tonight .
This morning I did a 4 hour city bus tour and it was good . Colombo is a sprawling city of 1.5 million people .. There is construction going on everywhere and it is both noisy and somewhat polluted . The streets are clean though. Soon I will head out again to explore some more. . One does not need 3 days in this city but getting adjusted to time and temp are worth it to me .
Enough for now . I hope I haven't bored you . I promise to write more about the people and observations in the days to come . I hope all is well with you and yours.
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