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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Colombo

Day -16  - 2-Jan-2016 (I continue From Here  

I leave Galle at around 7:30 AM and head towards the capital in an AC bus. Luckily I did not board a highway bus, so the journey is by the coast. I reach the fort area in Colombo and look for the hostel suggested by Khairul - Cityrest inn. Its a descent hostel but a little expensive and not as good as Clock inn. However, It is located at a perfect place around the best part of the town. It is situated behind the Dutch hospital. I am told that the check in is at 12:30, so  I leave my bag and go out for lunch. At a restaurant around the corner a Tamil speaking server is happy to greet this indian. He hands me a vegetarian rice and curry. He speaks to me about India and my travels. After lunch, I walk around the Dutch hospital and the shops it houses. I walk into the world trade centre across the street but it resembles so much like a mall in Bangalore that I step out. 


I am pleasantly surprised to see that even in the relatively crowded capital people follow traffic rules, yield to pedestrians. There are a few locals who come and speak to you requesting to guide you to some place but then if you refuse they go away. Tuk-tuk drivers charge you per meter. I like this small city. Colombo has a mix of old and new architecture. It is impressive. 


I return to the hostel for check in. Coincidence - I meet Tadashi again here. He is leaving to Bangkok that same evening and has checked out already. A traveller from Finland is also checking in at the same time. I get ready and leave. As I had not tasted Meekiri, I want to look for a place in Colombo that serves it. There is only one such place called Hondahitha Meekiri. I take  a tuk-tuk and reach there. Here I meet a boy called Sasi who has worked in the Gulf and has had lot of Indian friends. He spoke good Hindi too like many others who have worked in the Gulf. He helps me identify the sweets they had. I taste some Meekiri finally. He explains to me that the curd is made from buffalo milk. The treackle tasted more like jaggery syrup. I buy some other sweets as well. I thank him and leave.


I take a bus back. Get down near Gangaram temple. It is a very impressive temple filled with bronze idols of Buddha. I witness a photoshoot of a wedding couple here. The bride is dressed very elegantly in traditional Sri Lankan style saree and the bridesmaid too are dressed similarly. However, the groom is wearing a western blazer. 





I walk to the lake temple. Here the tourists are charged Lrs300 for entry. Some tourists got frustrated and refuse to enter for which the ticket collector says - "Poor country madam." I buy a ticket and walk in to capture some great pictures that always feature when you google Colombo. 






I take another auto to Pillawo’s restaurant suggested by Lonely Planet for its Kotthu. I don’t find the place then finally someone guides me to a restaurant that I still doubt is the original Pillawo’s. I normally do not like Kotthu back in India but want to try it here. It tastes the same. I don’t like the cheese Kotthu I have ordered. I try some book stores but fail to get any good book on Sri Lankan history. I walk to the beach and take the road by the coast. Its beautiful here. I watch the sunset again behind the clouds. Colours fade and I watch Colombo slowly step into darkness. 



I am unsure if I should be happy or sad. Should I be sad to leave this country tomorrow or should I be happy to have experienced all this? Just then I look at a rock by the beach and it says - "Be Happy" as if it was written just to answer the question that would occur in my mind at this moment.



I walk to a local food store and buy some tea. I take another bus back to the hostel.  

Route - Galle -> Colombo


Continued Here 

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